Given that military inspired fashion is all the rage these days, it’s only fair that the fitness world gets a taste of the military world too. You may have been exposed to marching in your sports class, or if you were part of a marching band back in grade school, but the general perception towards marching is that it does not have any exceptional physical benefits. Even though most aerobics classes and zumba sessions make use of ‘marching in place’ exercises to kick-start the warm up sessions or to cool down after a strenuous workout, not many people give much thought to what this exercise form can do for them in terms of physical benefits. The best thing about marching is that you don’t need any additional equipment. You will only require a comfortable pair of shoes, and workout wear made of breathable, sweat absorbent fabrics.
We tend to associate the physical benefits of cardio exercises with rigorous, strenuous workouts that leave us panting and sweating profusely. Those workouts are high-impact cardio workouts that involve numerous quick movements and a lot of movement. Low impact cardio workouts such as marching are just as beneficial for the heart muscle as high impact workouts. Individuals who are unable to handle the stress of high impact workouts can reap similar benefits from less demanding exercises such as marching! Moreover, cardio workouts have the added benefit of improving your breathing capacity and making more oxygen available for absorption and utilization.
The physical benefits of any exercise will include the fact that it stimulates the production and proliferation of endorphins into the blood stream. Endorphins function as feel good hormones which suppress the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone. Give it a shot! You are sure to feel lighter, your mood is sure to be better, and you will feel energized both physically and mentally after your marching session!
Marching requires repetitive and sustained leg activity. Add a few variations and you are sure to feel the burning sensation in your legs! Marching is a great way to tone your leg muscles including your calves, hamstring and quads. So if toned, shapely legs have been your heart’s desire for as long as you can remember, start your marching routine right away!
Upping the intensity of your marching routine by adding fast backward and forward marching steps or even adding weights to rev up your marching drill will do wonders for your physical strength and endurance. And even if you stick to simple marching without weights and add a bit of high knee marching for variety, the effort it takes to maintain the sustained movement will build up your stamina and physical strength.
You may feel as if you want to fall on your bed and sleep till the soreness in your legs subside, but once the initial effects of your marching routine have worn off, you will notice how invigorated and energized you suddenly feel. Those days of feeling lazy and lethargic will slowly fade into oblivion as you get used to the idea of subjecting your body to regular physical activity.
You may think of marching as being boring and monotonous, but there is no limit to the marching drill variations that you can experiment with! Whether you march in place, or march your way across a large open field; whether you incorporate high knee exercises into your marching drill, or add backward and forward marching repetitions as part of your marching routine, you will be subjecting your body to a good, low impact cardio exercise. Let’s take a look at the physical benefits of marching!