How To Walk For Fitness

We all learn to walk naturally as children, so clearly it seems like an easy enough activity. Without being overly simple, regularly walking for exercise has numerous benefits for your entire body. To go further than just walking across the room for fitness, have a look at some tips to make walking part of your daily exercise routine. Walking requires little in the way of equipment, so it is advantageous to incorporate into your exercise schedule. For the most part, a good pair of comfortable shoes is all you need. However, good walking shoes are absolutely essential if you plan to take your walking regimen seriously. Look for lightweight, flexible, and comfortable walking shoes that offer cushioning and stability features. To find a large selection of good walking shoes, you’re better off visiting a store that specializes in athletic footwear. Once you buy some comfortable walking shoes, pay attention to the wear and be sure to replace them often for the best fit and feel.

Step 2 – Begin slowly. There’s no greater mistake novice walkers make than trying to take on too much too quickly. Over-extenuating yourself can lead to a host of injuries and may put your walking plan on hold before it ever truly begins. As you start your routine, be sure to warm up at a slow to moderate walking speed for at least 5 minutes before you pick up the pace. You may want to walk briskly for only 15 minutes daily as you begin, but you can gradually stretch this time out as you begin to feel stronger and more comfortable. Any time you end a walk, be sure to include 5 minutes of cool-down walking at a slower pace to give your muscles the recovery time they need.

Step 3 – Pick up the pace gradually. A good rule for increasing the intensity of your walking workout is to plan on an increase of 2-3 minutes of brisk walking each week. As you adjust to walking regularly, this increase shouldn’t faze you too much, and before you know it, you should be meeting the Surgeon General’s recommendation of 150 weekly minutes of aerobic exercise. Just be sure that you make gradual changes to your routine and always wear good support shoes to prevent and avoid unnecessary and painful injuries.

Step 4 – Tone your muscles. Aerobic exercise is wonderful, but it’s not all your body needs to stay in optimal condition. Once you feel you have created a solid walking routine, try adding some strengthening exercises like lunges or push-ups to your workout. You can also spend part of your walking time using ankle weights to help improve muscle tone. Adding strength training will help give you a better-rounded workout. Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes even while you are strength training to take advantage of the support they provide for your feet.

Step 5 – Keep your eyes open for walking opportunities. A 30-minute daily walk may not work in everyone’s schedule, and you most likely will not be able to fit in a full workout every day. This doesn’t have to stall your exercise plan, though. Keep your good walking shoes handy and look for any opportunity that presents itself for walking. Stringing together several 10-minute walking stretches can offer similar health benefits to longer walking workouts.

If physical fitness has seemed like an insurmountable goal in the past, take advantage of these tips and let walking help you on your way to achieving your personal fitness goals.

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