Walking for Fitness

For anyone deciding to start exercising the first thing that comes to mind is walking. All you need to start is a good pair of walking shoes. Walking for fitness is just another holistic approach to healthy living. Even if you have a gym membership walking is a great complement to your fitness program. So what is the best way to start out walking for fitness?

First of all you want to be dressed for the weather. In winter make sure you wear a hat and gloves and layer your clothing. This way if you do get warm you can take off your jacket. Of course wearing sunscreen on those sunny winter days is important too, along with sunglasses if necessary. Your walking shoes are absolutely important. You need to have a comfortable pair of shoes that are cushioned and support your arches. There is nothing worse than coming home after a long trek and suffering from achy feet or having developed blisters and corns that hamper you from walking for a few days or even weeks.

It is also important to plan your walking route so you know exactly where you are headed. Plus this will give you an estimate of how many miles or kilometers you are walking. A good idea is to drive your planned route so you know the distance. Write down your starting mileage and then your ending mileage when you arrive home. This will tell you if your walk will be one or two miles long or even longer. Another idea is to start walking in one direction for ten or fifteen minutes, then turn around and head home. The next time go a little further until eventually you are completing your desired route. When I started walking, I walked for 15 minutes for the first week and then I steadily increased it by 5 minutes. A good rule of thumb for knowing how far you have walked is it takes about 15 minutes to walk a mile if you are walking briskly, otherwise if you are walking at a leisurely pace it will take from 17 to 20 minutes to walk a mile.

You may want to purchase a pedometer. There are all kinds available on the market from ones that just record the distance, to others that will count the calories you have burned. The prices for pedometers range from $20 up to $100 or more. Check out pedometers for sale in HolisticSeniors Shop. You can find one there that will fit your needs.

When you first start your walking routine do not overdo it. If you go too far and get sore or worse pull a muscle, your motivation will become low. Eventually you will start walking less and then one day you just don’t bother anymore. Walk at a pace that you can comfortably carry on a conversation with a friend. You will know you are walking too fast if you are breathing too hard and cannot carry on a conversation so slow down. Stop for a minute or two to catch your breath. Start back up again but at a slower but steady pace.

Also make sure that you spend the first five minutes warming up before heading out. Then when you return home stretch your leg muscles as this will reduce how sore you will feel the next day.

Is your fitness important to you? Do you enjoy walking by yourself? If not, ask a friend or spouse to join you. So start walking today and have fun!

Photo: morguefile.com

 

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