When it comes to starting a fitness routine we can come up with a multitude of excuses not to exercise.
- " It's too much trouble to go to gym."
- " I don't have the extra money for a membership."
- "The gym is too crowded."
- " I don't have a full hour or more to devote to the gym."
Benefits of Walking for FitnessAs we get older, often we become less active when we should be exercising more. Get into the habit of walking. Developing a walking routine many lower your risk of stroke and help you to avoid or reduce middle age weight gain. It increases your bone strength and circulation and it reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes . Because walking is a low impact exercise, it is easier on your joints than other more strenuous exercises such as jogging and running.
Starting Your Walking RoutineIf you have not kept up an exercise or fitness regime, walking is a good place to start. Start slow and set realistic goals so you don't become discouraged. Develop good habits and proper procedures for best results and to avoid problems or injury.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear comfortable supportive shoes.
- Stretch before starting out. Stretch your calves, and hamstrings, and quads.
- Warm up of slowly. Start out at a normal, leisurely pace for the first few minutes and then pick up speed.
- Be aware of your posture. Keep your head up and eyes forward. Keep your shoulders back, and tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Cool down after a brisk walk by slowing down your pace towards the end.
- Stretch again. This will keep your muscles from tightening and help to aviod injury.
Make the Best of Your Time While WalkingWith our busy lifestyles, we can come of with numerous excuses not to exercise. Get creative with your walking regime and find ways to multi task.
Start with a positive at attitude and convince yourself thing you can enjoy walking. If you can walk each morning, use that walking as a time to plan the rest of your day.
- Listen to a podcast or audio book that interests you.
- Listen to your iPod Select. music that you enjoy or that invigorates you. (This may not seem like multi tasking but if it helps you to relieve stress, or gives you more energy, it has added beneficial results.)
- Walk with a friend. Conversation and companionship not only keeps you motivated by improves your mental health as well.
Fit Walking Into Your Schedule
Determine a way in which you can spend time walking everyday. Make walking a habit. Your walking exercise doesn't have to be all at once. Several short walking sessions will achieve the same results. Look for opportunities for short walks of 10 minutes at a time.
- If you work in an office program your computer to remind you to take a walking break.
- Instead of sending an e-mail across the office, get out and walk to personally deliver the message.
- Take a 20 to 30 minute walk on your lunch break (and eat in light, healthy lunch).
To increase your cardiovascular fitness plan to walk 3 to 4 days a week at a fast pace.To achieve weight loss, plan to do both five or more days a week walking 45 to 60 minutes, and make a concerted effort to reduce your calorie intake at the same time.
To accomplish even better results try adding light hand weights, ankle weights or even a weight vest.
Whether you have just started thinking of starting an exercise program, or already work out occasionally, or often, fitness walking should be a part of your overall health and exercise plan. If you are new to exercising, it is a great place to start. Then you can expand your workouts to include a greater variety of exercises to improve your strength (using weights), agility and balance (stretching and yoga).
Disclaimer: Before starting an exercise plan, consult with your doctor to determine your limitations and to avoid risk of injury.
Some Suggestions to Get you Walking for Fitness
- Altus Athletic AWJK Walk / Jog Kit - this is a great little kit to if you are ready to get serious about your fitness walking. It will keep you motivated too! It includes a belt to hold your portable radio or iPod and Water Bottle, Hand Weights, Digital Pedometer, and Ankle Weights. Great for toning while you walk.