How to walk long distances without getting tired
Do you have a trek or a long walk goal planned? Wondering where to start? Synchronized breathing!
Marie Lyne from Foot health comes to talk to us in this article about the Afghan march.
What is the Afghan march?
Walk faster, further, more consciously… without getting tired and regenerating!
The Afghan walk is a walking and breathing technique inspired by the Afghan nomads, the Kuchis, who for centuries have known how to walk very long distances on foot and without fatigue.
It was the European Edouard G. Stiegler who introduced this formidable technique towards the end of the 1980s with his flagship book “Regeneration by the Afghan march”. It is a walk that involves the synchronization of the breath and the step.
Easy, efficient, within everyone's reach, Afghan walking brings many physical and mental benefits thanks to deep rhythmic breathing. Whether it is for a health practice, a sporting objective or making the road to Compostela, the Afghan walk is a fundamentally benevolent walk for the body and the mind.
A useful technique for walking but also for other sports activities.
There are different “step-breathing” sequences adapted to the topography of the terrain (ascent, descent, flat terrain) and to the physical effort. The ability to walk great distances, over different types of terrain obviously calls for athletic treks and expeditions. Thus, followers of hiking, running, cycling and Nordic skiing, in particular, are enthusiastic about discovering the potential of Afghan walking uphill and on long routes.
The Afghan walk is also practiced daily as part of a health routine. It is an exercise that adapts to the physical condition of the practitioner while offering many benefits: improvement of metabolic exchanges and the functioning of the lungs-kidneys-intestines, skin, maintenance of joint flexibility, development of strength.
Thanks to the oxygenation of the blood, Afghan walking has favorable effects on the blood, lymphatic and nervous systems. The physical effort required by this type of walking is modulated on the physical condition and the objectives of the practitioner.
For example, if your goal is to relax, to reduce stress, we will practice long rhythms where the number of steps on the exhale will be longer than the number of steps on the inhale. On the other hand, if you are sad, depressed, and need to energize yourself, you may choose a greater number of steps on the inhale than the number of steps on the exhale.
Finally, within the framework of a followed practice, one reaches this “emptiness” of the mental so much sought after to de-stress. When practicing Afghan walking rhythms, there is only one step to be taken in order to move towards a meditative walk. Afghan walking is the art of walking towards oneself; a fundamentally benevolent walk.
Do you want to know more or learn how to do it? Check out the walking health profile for available workshops!