Not everyone needs to run to get exercise. Walking can also be highly beneficial, what can help you build up stamina, keep off weight and make it possible for you to maintain physical fitness. Here’s how to make the most of your exercise regimen by simply donning a pair of walking shoes and heading out.
Identify Your Place
You have several choices for walking ranging from sidewalks to paths to trails. You may find that the flattest and smoothest surface is the best option for you. If you do take in hills or curves, avoid the extreme ones early on.
One of the better places to walk are clearly defined trails. Typically, trails offer soft, but firm ground what can be much more comfortable for your feet. You may find that walking on a hard surface such as bike path or sidewalk puts too much strain on your lower back notes Fitness 19
Consider the Scenery
One advantage of walking over running is that you can briefly stop to take in what interests you. It isn’t like walking will raise your heart beat as high as running, but it will provide the exercise you need.
Some people prefer to walk past storefronts, or along the shore of a lake or through different neighborhoods. You may find that you like to mix your route, taking various paths of interest to you.
Go Slow, Initially
If you haven’t exercised in some time you should start off slowly at first. The idea here is to build up to your normal routine and stay at it. If you are too ambitious, you may become discouraged and quit.
The best way to go is to walk about a half mile the first day and increase it to a full mile by the end of your first week. If your goal is to walk two or three miles per day at least five days per week, gradually work up to your goal. You can track your progress with a pedometer and take it from there.
Take in Enough Water
You might not burn off as much water while walking as you would with running, but you will lose water nonetheless. It is always good practice to drink sufficient amounts of water as you prepare to walk. Upwards of eight cups per day is ideal.
Before you leave for your walk, consume a cup of water. Bring with you bottled water and sip it as needed. Avoid drinking too much water otherwise you may need to take an unplanned bathroom break.
Your Shoes Matter
Wear nothing but the best walking shoes when you set out for your walk. Your shoes should be supportive with enough room to wiggle your toes, but not so loose that the heels move more than a quarter of an inch while you’re walking.
You may find that placing a gel in the sole of the shoe can relieve pressure. Make sure that your laces are secure. And at the first sign of wear and tear, such as worn heels, you should replace your shoes.
Mix and Match
Besides walking you may also benefit from other forms of exercise. Some people also like to run and may run for five minutes, walk for five minutes and then resume running.
Incorporate other activities as desired. You may like to play soccer, shoot hoops, go bowling or play lacrosse. A variety of exercise regimens can be beneficial.
Now that you’ve begun your exercise routine, you’re ready to enjoy better health. Always eat right, get enough sleep and make exercise part of your lifestyle. You’ll feel better and you may live longer too.