QualiWalk Scheme

Introduction
Benefits of Walking
The Posture, Techniques and Pace of Walking
Relationship between Walking and Energy Expenditure
Walking Exercise Prescription
Monitoring of Exercise Intensity
Exercise Procedure
Stretching Exercise
Resistance Training
Demonstration of Resistance Training
Cardiorespiratory Endurance Test
Assessment Comparison Table (For Male)
Assessment Comparison Table (For Female)
Recommended Walking Trails
Safety Tips and Points to Note for Walking
Enquiries
QualiWalk Programmes
QualiWalk Scheme

Introduction

“Daily exercise keeps us fit, people of all ages can do it”

An accumulation of at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (at least 10 minutes per session) will bring great benefits to your health.

Walking is perhaps the safest and most effective aerobic physical activity. Easy to master and good for health, it can be done any time. Walking with your family members and friends helps maintain good relationships as well. A walking exercise that is performed with correct posture and in proper amount is called QualiWalk (Fitness Walking). It does not require much gear beyond a pair of good walking shoes to protect your feet. To enjoy an energetic and healthy life, take your first step in walking now.

Benefits of Walking

  1. Improving your blood circulation and cardiopulmonary function
  2. Helping you to maintain physical fitness and boost self-confidence
  3. Helping you to burn energy and keep a healthy body weight
  4. Keeping the levels of blood pressure, blood lipids, cholesterol and blood glucose under control, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes, and preventing some types of cancer (e.g. colorectal cancer)
  5. Strengthening your bones, muscles and joints, and preventing osteoporosis
  6. Relieving stress, and enhancing mental alertness and memory
  7. Improving the physical strength, mobility and balance control of the elderly
  8. Improving the fitness level of pregnant and post-natal women

The Posture, Techniques and Pace of Walking

Posture

  1. Keep your body upright as far as possible, even when going up or down a slope.
  2. Raise your head, relax your shoulders and look forward.
  3. Start each step by moving forward your knee, and then your calf and heel, just like walking as usual.
  4. Bend your elbows with your hands relaxed.
Posture
 

Posture

 

Proper Techniques

  1. Relax and do not tense your muscles.
  2. When your foot touches the ground, use your heel first, then feel the pressure roll toward the front part of your foot and toes. When moving your feet alternately, shift your body weight from one leg to the other.
  3. Walk naturally in larger-than-usual strides of about 0.5 m to 0.75 m, depending on your body size.
  4. Co-ordinate upper and lower body movements and swing your arms naturally.
  5. Keep your feet parallel when moving forward, don’t put one foot in front of the other in a straight line like catwalk models.

    Proper Techniques

Correct Pace

  1. Start with a shorter distance and increase the distance gradually.
  2. Walk at a pace that gradually increases your breathing and heart rates.
  3. Adjust your breathing according to the intensity of the walk. If you are walking at the right pace, you should be breathing faster than usual but still be able to carry on a conversation comfortably.
  4. For a more vigorous walk, move in larger strides at a higher frequency while keeping your posture, breathing and symmetry of movement unaffected.
  5. As the pace of walking increases, you swing your arms more.
  6. Start with flat ground.

Relationship between Walking and Energy Expenditure

 

Method 1: By Walking Distance

 

Body Weight - Calorie Expenditure Chart

Smart Tips:
“Virtual Classroom  -- Energy Expenditure” provides a rough estimate of our daily energy expenditure and encourages us to manage our body weight by participating in physical activities and building them into our daily life.

Games:http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/healthy/en/game_sport_classroom_01.php

 

Method 2: By Step Count

Please check the energy cost with reference to your body weight and total step count in the chart below.

Calorie expenditure for walking

(Note:
The information shown above is for general reference only. The actual situation may vary with the age, gender, physical fitness, skill level and intensity of the exercise of an individual.)
Smart Tips:
Walk 10,000 steps a day!
The number of steps walked per day varies with occupation and life pattern. Generally speaking, it is recommended that 8,000 to 10,000 steps should be taken every day for improvement of physical fitness. You can keep track of the number of steps you walk in your daily life by using a pedometer or relevant mobile applications.

 

Walking Exercise Prescription

Walking is a physical activity suitable for people of all ages. Regular walking can effectively improve cardiopulmonary function and cardiorespiratory endurance. You should develop a practice plan according to your health condition and physical fitness. The normal pattern should be 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. Beginners can start with sessions of at least 10 minutes each depending on their physical fitness.

  1. Frequency: Exercise 3 to 5 times a week and have enough rest after exercise.

  2. Intensity: You may vary the intensity of exercise by adjusting your pace and stride. To assess the intensity of exercise, you may make use of the Rating of Perceived Exertion and the Target Heart Rate Zone.

  3. Time: You can start with a 30-minute walk, which may be divided into sessions of at least 10 minutes each. The duration can then be gradually increased according to your physical ability.

 

Monitoring of Exercise Intensity

Target Heart Rate Zone

Find out your Target Heart Rate Zone
Target Heart Rate Zone

Note: Chronic patients and those who do not have the habit of doing exercise should adjust the upper limit to 70% and consult their doctors first to workout a safe exercise programme.



Rating of Perceived Exertion

Smart Tips:
How to Measure Heart Rate
  1. Use a watch with a second hand or a stopwatch;
  2. Use the tips of your index and middle fingers to touch the artery on your wrist or neck gently and feel the pulse; and
  3. Count the pulses for 15 seconds and then multiply the number by 4. The result will be the heart rate per minute.
How to Measure Heart Rate
Smart Tips:
Let's Plan our Intensity of Physical Activity
Walking is an aerobic exercise. Regular walking will not only improve health indexes, but also enhance physical fitness. Initially, you should start with aerobic exercise of moderate intensity before proceeding to exercise of vigorous intensity gradually. To monitor your progress from moderate to vigorous intensity, you can measure your heart rate against the target heart rate.

Games:http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/healthy/en/game_sport_level_01.php

Exercise Procedure

Procedure Physical Activity Duration Purpose
Warm-up Warm-up exercise of a low-intensity At least 5 minutes
 
  • To raise body temperature
  • To allow your body to gradually prepare for further exercise
  • To enhance the flexibility of joints
  • To prevent or reduce the risk of injuries during exercise
Stretching exercise At least 10 minutes
Workout Walking exercise of a moderate to vigorous intensity, coupled with a suitable amount of resistance training At least 30 minutes
 
  • To strengthen cardiopulmonary function
  • To enhance muscular strength and endurance
  • To promote bone health
  • To improve body balance
Cool-down Stretching exercise At least 10 minutes
 
  • To allow your body to calm down gradually after exercising at a vigorous intensity
  • To reduce fatigue caused by the accumulation of metabolic wastes
  • To allow more blood flow to other parts so that your body can return gradually to the normal condition
Cool-down exercise of a low intensity At least 5 minutes

In cold weather, spend more time on warm-up exercise of a higher intensity and wear appropriate warm clothing to maintain your body temperature.

Stretching Exercise

Basic principles:

  1. Do static stretching exercises.
  2. Do not overstretch your muscles, and avoid sudden or jerky movements and ballistic stretching exercises.
  3. Slightly stretch your muscles for 10 to 30 seconds, and keep your breathing even and smooth.
  4. Do stretching exercises from head to toe or vice versa.
  5. Stretch your muscles and joints on both sides of your body evenly, repeat 3 to 4 times each side.

Demonstration of stretching exercises:

1 Neck
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Neck
 
  • Look forward.
  • Turn your head slowly to the left until the right side of your neck feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat on the other side.
2 Shoulders and neck
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Shoulders and neck
 
  • Relax your shoulders and neck, look forward.
  • Slowly lower your left ear toward your left shoulder until your right shoulder feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat on the other side.
3 Shoulders
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Shoulders
 
  • Pull your right arm horizontally across your chest and hold your right elbow tightly with your left arm. 
  • Slightly press your right arm toward your chest until your right shoulder feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
4 Arms
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Arms
 
  • Put your right hand behind your neck and near the top of your shoulder blade.
  • Pull your right elbow to the left with your left hand until your right shoulder and upper arm feel a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
5 Chest
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Chest
 
  • Stand near a wall or a pole with feet slightly apart.
  • Raise your right arm, bend your right elbow and hold it at shoulder level as shown in the illustration.
  • Keep your back straight. Lean forward slightly and stretch your chest.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
6 Waist
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Waist
 
  • Stand with feet slightly apart.
  • Bend your left elbow and put your left hand on your waist. Stretch your right arm above the head and bend to the left until feels right side waist a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other arm.
7 Anterior thighs
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Anterior thighs
 
  • Hold a railing with your right hand and stand erect.
  • Take your right foot up behind you toward your hips with your left hand until the front of your right thigh feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
8 Inner thighs
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Inner thighs
 
  • Hold a railing with both hands. Stand with feet approximately two shoulder widths apart.
  • Shift your body weight to the left foot and keep your body straight. Bend your left knee slightly until your right inner thigh feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
9 Posterior thighs
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Posterior thighs
 
  • Hold a railing with both hands. Take one step forward with your right foot.
  • Straighten your right leg with your heel touching the ground and toes pointing upward.
  • Shift your body weight backward until the back of your right thigh feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
10 Calves
Demonstration of stretching exercises - Calves
 
  • Stand with your left foot in the front and right foot at the back, toes pointing forward.
  • Hold a railing with both hands and lean forward slightly. Bend your left knee and straighten your right leg while keeping your feet flat on the ground until your right calf feels a slight stretch.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

 

Resistance Training


Basic principles

  1. Wear loose outfits. Do warm-up stretching exercise before resistance training.
  2. Resistance training should be progressive in nature, so that muscular strength and endurance can be improved in a safe and effective way.
  3. Resistance training is best performed 2 to 3 days per week, targeting major muscle groups of the body, including chest, shoulders, upper back, waist and back, abdomen, buttocks, thighs and calves.
  4. In each training session, perform 2 to 4 sets for each major muscle group and perform 10 to 15 repetitions for each set.
  5. Keep your breathing even and smooth during the exercise. Exhale when exerting force for pulling or pushing, and inhale slowly when returning to original positions. Do not hold your breath to avoid adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.
  6. After each training session, do stretching exercise to let your body cool down and adjust.
  7. Professional supervision is required for all the resistance training during recovery from illness or injury, and in the case of joint pain or pregnancy.

 

Demonstration of Resistance Training

Smart Tips:
Resistance training is a muscle strengthening exercise that is effective in improving muscular strength and endurance, toning muscles and strengthening joints
1. Demonstration of Resistance Training Press Up (chest, shoulders and triceps)

  • Put your hands shoulder-width apart on the wall. Stand erect with your feet slightly apart.
  • Inhale when inclining your body towards the wall until your elbows are bent at an angle of about 90°.
  • Exhale when pushing up until your body returns to the starting position.
  • Keep your body straight throughout the exercise.
Advanced move: Put your hands on a bench or on the ground
2. Demonstration of Resistance Training Dipping (chest, shoulders and triceps)

  • Put your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench. Place your feet slightly apart.
  • Inhale when lowering your body until your elbows are bent at an angle of about 90° to 135°.
  • Exhale when pushing up until your body returns to the starting position.
  • Keep your body straight throughout the exercise.
Advanced move: Keep your legs straight
3. Demonstration of Resistance Training Squat (thighs and hips)

  • Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart. Cross your arms in front of the chest.
  • Inhale when lowering your body and bending your knees until your thighs are about 45° to the ground. (Note: Remember not to let your knees extend beyond your toes)
  • Exhale when standing up until your body returns to the starting position.
  • Keep your body straight throughout the exercise.
Advanced move: Lower your body until your thighs parallel to the ground
4. Demonstration of Resistance Training Lunge (thighs and hips)

  • Stand with your right foot in the front and left foot at the back, toes pointing forward.
  • Inhale when lowering your body and bending your right knee until your right thigh is about 45° to the ground. Keep your left leg slightly bent. (Note: Remember not to let your right knee extend beyond your toes)
  • Exhale when standing up until your body returns to the starting position.
  • Keep your body straight throughout the exercise.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
5. Demonstration of Resistance Training Stepping (thighs and hips)

  • Stepping up and down is effective in strengthening your thighs and hips. (Note: The step should not be too high to avoid causing too much pressure on your knees. Your knee should be at an angle not less than 90°.)
Smart Tips :
Lifting a water bottle can strengthen your muscles in a leisurely manner.
Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent. Hold a plastic bottle containing about 500 ml of water with your right hand. Raise your right arm and keep it straight. Return slowly to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each arm.
Demonstration of Resistance Training

 

Cardiorespiratory Endurance Test

In the QualiWalk training class held by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the instructors will arrange for a 1 mile (i.e. 1.6 km) walking test for the participants so as to let them have a better understanding of their physical condition.  The test is conducted in the following way:

  1. Select a walking trail of approximately 1.6 km (i.e. 1 mile) in length.
  2. Warm up first.  Count the time as you start walking.  Walk at the fastest pace in a steady manner to finish the trail.
  3. As soon as you reach the end of the trail, record the time spent on the walk.
  4. Then count your pulse rate for 15 seconds.  Multiply the number by 4 to find out your heart rate per minute after exercise.
  5. Refer to the assessment comparison table * below to check your physical fitness.

*During the class, instructor will provide another table for participants aged under 20.

Assessment Comparison Table (For Male)
Assessment Conversion Table (Male) (Aged 20-29)

Assessment Conversion Table (Male)  (Aged 30-39)

Assessment Conversion Table (Male)  (Aged 40-49)

Assessment Conversion Table (Male)  (Aged 50-59)

Assessment Conversion Table (Male)  (Aged 60 or above)

Assessment Comparison Table (For Female)

Assessment Conversion Table (Female)  (Aged 20-29)

Assessment Conversion Table (Female)  (Aged 30-39)

Assessment Conversion Table (Female)  (Aged 40-49)

Assessment Conversion Table (Female)  (Aged 50-59)

Assessment Conversion Table (Female) (Aged 60 or above)

Recommended Walking Trails

What places are suitable for walking? First of all, you must select a safe trail, e.g. a well-lit trail with a dry road surface and free of obstacles. Some suitable trails are suggested below:

DistrictVenue
Southern Ap Lei Chau Winf Tower Park
Central and Western Hong Kong Park
Sun Yat Sen Menorial Park
Wan Chai Wan Chai Park
Bowen Road
Eastern Quarry Bay Park
Sham Shui Po Lai Chi Kok Park
Yau Tsim Mong Kowloon Park
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
Wong Tai Sin Po Kong Village Road Park
Ngau Chi Wan Park
Kwun Tong Laguna Park
Jordan Valley Park
Kowloon City Kowloon Walled City Park
Capenter Road Park
Kowloon Tsai Park
North North District Park
Pak Fuk Tin Sum Playground
Tai Po Tai Po Waterfront Park
Mui Shue Hang Playground
Sha Tin Sha Tin Park
Ma On Shan Park
Ma On Shan Promenade
Sai Kung Sai Kung Promende
Po Tsui Park
Tseung Kwan O Waterfront Park
Tseung Kwan O Promenade
Tuen Mun Tuen Mun Park
Wu Shan Riverside Park
Wu Shan Recreation Playground
Yuen Long Yuen Long Park
Tin Shui Wai Park
Tsuen Wan Shing Mun Valley Park
Tsuen Wan Park
Kwai Tsing Tsing Yi Park
Tsing Yi Promenade

Taking a walk regularly has long term benefits for our health.  Apart from walking the trails listed above, you may also try the following:

  • walking instead of taking public transport for short journeys; getting off the vehicle one or two stops earlier and walking to your destination
  • walking with your friends and have fun
  • going for a walk in the morning and evening, to get relaxed and relieve stress.

 

Safety Tips and Points to Note for Walking

  1. Understand your own physical condition (especially for persons who suffer from chronic illnesses). As health condition and physical fitness vary among individuals, it is advisable to ensure that the intensity, duration and frequency of exercise are within your capabilities.

  2. Make walking a habit and do it progressively according to the guidelines in order to achieve the target of enhancing physical fitness. Those who seldom exercise should start at a lower intensity and a slower pace, and then progressively increase the exercise intensity, duration and frequency.

  3. If your physical condition does not allow you to participate in walking according to the above guidelines, do not force yourself to do so. Consult a doctor or other professionals beforehand.

  4. If you feel unwell or have any adverse reactions during or after walking, stop immediately and seek medical assistance.

  5. Wear suitable sportswear, socks and walking shoes. Put on your socks even if you have got a pair of comfortable shoes. Key features walking shoes are follows:
    • the toe box should be wide and the heel counter snugly fit
    • the inner part should provide proper support and protection
    • the heel counter should be sturdy and provide enough protection
    • the sole should be non-slippery and the body soft and flexible

  6. Do warm-up and stretching exercise before you start a walk; and do suitable cool-down exercise afterward.

  7. Drink enough water before, after and during a walk.

  8. Walk in moderate temperature and humidity conditions; and avoid extremely hot or cold weather.

  9. Select a safe place or trail for a walk.

More information

For details about the “Healthy Exercise for All Campaign”, please call the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) 24-hour Customer Hotline at 2414 5555 or visit the website of LCSD at www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/healthy.

For more information on health, please call the 24-hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health (DH) at 2833 0111 or visit the website of the Central Health Education Unit of DH at www.cheu.gov.hk.

For information on QualiWalk, please contact the Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China at 2838 9594 or visit the association’s website at www.hkpfa.org.hk.

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Acknowledgement:
Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China

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