Retro walking: Why should it be part of your weight-loss routine?

Just like many other workout practices, it's just a matter of beginning slowly, finding your rhythm, balance, and stability to become a confident retro walker. Photo: Shutterstock/In Green

Many across ages mention 'walking' as their primary fitness activity. However, do you know that a fitness practice, as simple as walking, yet challenging, exists that can probably give you another set of unique health benefits? This is retro walking, or in simple terms, walking on reverse!

As you can imagine, exercising caution to steer clear of obstacles is important if you attempt this fitness routine. But just like many other workout practices, it's just a matter of beginning slowly, finding your rhythm, balance, and stability and gradually progressing into a confident retro walker. If you want to try it, get comfortable footwear, choose a clear, obstacle-free path you are familiar with and get going.
Why should you? Here are the benefits: 

Burns more calories
Yes, it helps you lose more weight as compared to normal walking at the same speed. This is because you need to put in an extra effort to balance and coordinate your movement. It also engages muscles like calves, glutes and hamstrings which contribute significantly to whole-body metabolic rate. If you pick it as a cardio routine at a brisk pace or attempt it on an incline platform ensuring safety, you can burn even more calories. 

Improves concentration
Retro walking demands a lot more concentration as compared to forward walking. It challenges your mind-body connection, increasing awareness of your movements and pace. Retro walkers will also naturally focus on how they place their feet, move their arms and even breathe. With gradual practice, your senses can get sharpened with this technique. What's more, it can be a 'spicy' yet easy addition to the workout routines for all ages, as getting bored and distracted is not an option while you walk backwards. If you want to tread a safer route to master it, try walking in reverse with a workout partner. 

Lower impact on knees
As compared to forward walking, retro walking is smoother and has a lower impact on your knees. This means those with knee issues can also gradually master it. As backward walking demands an upright posture for occasional checking for obstacles, it would also help with improved joint alignment. You can consult with your doctor too before trying it to take any additional precautions required.

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