One of the best ways to start a fitness program is to simply begin a walking regimen. Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise without putting undue stress on your joints. When starting out with a walking program, you should check with your physician so he can tell you of any limitations you should have or any problem dealing with any medications you are currently taking.
How to Start a Walking Program
It is important that you plan out your walking program and decide how long you want to walk and how many days a week you plan to walk. A good start would be to walk three times a week and build up from there. It all depends on you health when you start out, and if you have any health conditions that would limit your walking.
Flexibility should be one of your top concerns, so you don’t pull any muscles. Starting a stretching program will make a big difference but make sure you warm up first before you do your stretching. A pulled hamstring, groin or quad muscle will set you back so avoid the muscles pulls by stretching.
Monitoring your heart rate is very important and your doctor could tell you what your maximum heart rate should be for your age or you can easily find a chart that shows your target heart rate for your age.
A good pair of walking shoes is also important since they will make your walking more enjoyable and will help keep your feet from developing problems like blisters or sore arches. You can use a pedometer to measure how far you are walking so you can keep an accurate record.
Hydration is vital and you should have some kind of water bottle with you if you are walking long distances, especially on warm days.
Be consistent in your walking program and try not to skip any days unless you can’t possibly make it on a certain day. The more you walk the easier it will get and you will notice an increased energy level and weight loss.
There are different levels of walking and once you are walking at a good pace and not tiring so easily you can slowly increase you speed until you reach your target heart rate. Advanced walkers can even get into speed walking or power walking. These are more strenuous and you need to make sure you are in good enough shape to start out with these programs.
Power walking is especially a great way to rapidly get into peak physical condition. This type of walking involves walking with long strides with your arms swinging in rhythm. More advanced power walkers put weights on their wrists, ankles, and waist and don’t try this until you are in great shape.
The main key is to start walking as soon as you can and don’t put it off because of excuses. You will be glad you started.