Don’t Over Complicate It!
Are you ready to get in better shape and don’t know where to begin? Start walking! Walking is one of the most enjoyable and accessible forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and the desire to feel better.
Walking will give you great legs, posture and endurance.
If you’re new to walking, start off with slow, short sessions and build your way up gradually. Don’t worry about speed in the beginning…just get out there! After you have formed the habit you will want to evaluate your program and your goals. Here are some general guidelines depending on your goals:
If you are walking for general health benefits try to walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day, most days of the week at a pace that you are breathing heavy but can still talk.
To improve cardiovascular fitness you should walk 3 to 4 days a week, 20 to 30 minutes at a very fast pace. At this pace you are breathing harder but not gasping for air. Warm up and cool down in addition to the time spent at the faster pace.
If you are walking for weight loss you will probably need to a minimum 45 to 60 minutes five days a week at a moderate to brisk pace. Walking faster will burn more calories in the same amount of time. However, increase both mileage and pace slowly to prevent injury.
Think of elongating your body. Hold your head up and eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, back and relaxed. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking. Incorporate a warm up, cool down and stretches into your routine. Start your walk at a slow warm up pace and increase your pace as your body loosens up. Stretching at the finish will make you feel great and assist in injury prevention.
The toughest thing about starting a fitness program is developing a habit. Walking daily is a good habit to start. So, don’t over-think it….just walk out your door!
-All the best, L