Posted - July 30, 2012

The Many Forms of Walking

After Weight Loss Surgery, Take a Walk Down a Dallas Nature Trail

After Weight Loss Surgery, Take a Walk Down a Dallas Nature TrailOne would think there are really only a few kinds of walking out there—fast walking, slow walking and somewhere-in-between walking—but there are actually several different forms of walking that weight loss patients in Dallas can engage in to stay in shape after surgery. Walking can provide you with myriad health benefits to keep you strong, healthy and fit after weight loss surgery.

Here are just a few research-proven benefits that walking can provide:

  • Decreases risk of arthritis, colon cancer and diabetes
  • Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke by helping to lower bad cholesterol levels
  • Enhances strength, aerobic conditioning and flexibility
  • Fortifies the immune system

Walking is also an excellent low impact exercise that won’t increase pressure on otherwise achy joints like an intense exercise such as running will. You can walk virtually anywhere and at any time without having to spend money on pricey gym memberships. Dallas and Ft. Worth are home to countless serene, natural places for weight loss surgery patients to enjoy an invigorating and refreshing stroll. You don’t always have to stick to traditional walking—there are plenty of alternative approaches to walking you can employ to amplify your health benefits while mixing up your walking routine.

Try these fun, alternative approaches to walking for fitness after weight loss surgery.

Nordic Walking

Though it may sound like something you should only do in the mountains of Sweden, Nordic walking can be done right here in the United States—all you need is a pair of Nordic walking poles. Nordic walking poles actually help improve your walking abilities by absorbing shock, increasing your oxygen consumption and helping you to burn more calories. This is because Nordic walking incorporates arm movements as you progress along the trail.

Nordic walking poles can be purchased online or possibly at a local fitness retailer in Dallas. It may take some practice to perfect your Nordic walking form, but in time you will be able to engage your full body while walking to improve your overall fitness. To learn more about the health benefits of Nordic walking and where to find training check out the American Nordic Walking Association (ANWA) website.

Meditative Walking

The art of meditative walking involves concentrating on the idea and process of physically walking to sharpen overall focus and awareness (while getting in shape, of course). To enjoy meditative walking, you must first find a walking path with a distinct start and finish that’s far away from traffic or other distractions and will take at least 20 minutes to finish.

Before you begin walking, stand still and take a deep breath while reminding yourself why you’re walking in the first place. This is also a good time to develop a mantra to chant as you engage in meditative walking—this could be anywhere from a weight loss motivation mantra or a general mantra for good health. As you step forward to begin your walk, remember to take steady, deep breaths along your journey. Really allow your head to clear as you focus on being mindful with every step you take. Allow yourself to forget about work, home and other daily stresses and really hone in on why you’re walking. If you find yourself distracted, snap yourself back into focus to regain attention on the task at hand.

Ready to get walking? Check out these great places for Nordic and meditative walking in Dallas:

  • Cedar Ridge Preserve Nature Trail off Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas provides a serene nature trail perfect for all types of walking. This trail is home to countless species of birds and is one of the highest elevations in the entire Dallas Metroplex, sitting 755 feet above sea level. For more information on how to get to the nature trail visit the Audubon Dallas website.
  • Katy Trail is a beautiful walking trail built along the abandoned MKT (Katy) Railroad located in the heart of Dallas at Reverchon Park. This beautiful wooded trail runs adjacent to several parks and provides a separate but parallel rubber jogging surface perfect for walking.
  • Glendale Park Loop Trail provides another excellent walking environment for weight loss surgery patients located in the southeast Oak Cliff area of Dallas. This trail is one of two trail loops that was purchased in 1938 and are connected by a bridge that sits over Five Mile Creek. This is the perfect trail for walkers in need of a rustic, relaxing trail experience.

Remember to consult your weight loss surgeon in Dallas before engaging in any new physical activities. Also, if you’re planning on going walking this summer remember to apply sunscreen and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated when under the hot Texas sun.