Walk for your Health

Walking is one of the easiest ways for you to be physically active. This post provides you with general tips on how to create and follow a walking plan. Walking is inexpensive, and you can walk almost anywhere and at any time. Walking may:
  • Give you more energy and stamina and lift your mood.
  • Tone your muscles and strengthen your bones.
  • Increase the number of calories your body uses.
  • Lower your risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Give you an opportunity to actively socialize with friends and family.
Start walking now!
Leave time in your busy schedule to follow a walking program that will work for you. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Choose a safe place to walk. Find a partner or group to walk with you. Encourage and support each other in committing to walking regularly even if each of you has a different fitness level or walks at a different pace.
  • Wear shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. They will cushion your feet and absorb shock. Before you buy new shoes, walk in them in the store.
  • Wear clothes that will keep you dry and comfortable. Put on fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
  • Divide your walk into three parts. Warm up slowly, then increase your speed to a brisk walk. This means walking fast enough to elevate your heart rate while still being able to speak comfortably, concentrate, and breathe without effort. Cool down slowly.
  • Stretch lightly after warm-up and cool-down.
  • Spread your walking evenly throughout the week. Try to walk at least 3 days each week if you cannot walk daily. Each week, add a few minutes to your walk.
  • Break up your walk into multiple sessions throughout the day if you have a busy schedule. Make sure each session is at least 10 minutes long. Some physical activity is better than none.
  • To avoid stiff or sore muscles and joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further, and taking longer walks.
  • Set goals and reward yourself.
  • Keep track of your progress with a walking journal or log. Record date, time, and distance.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes each week of moderate intentensity physical activity. Divide these minutes up over the week as your schedule allows. The more you walk, the more health benefits you may gain! Check out the sample walking program below to help you get started:

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