Walk Toward a Healthy Lifestyle
Have you started eating healthy and now you are ready to incorporate exercise into your new healthy lifestyle? If you haven’t done any physical activity for months, years, or even decades, it is best to start slow and easy. Many people who have decided to embark on a healthy lifestyle make the mistake of starting too fast and too hard with their workouts which can cause injury.
My suggestion for those just starting out:
Walking is an inexpensive activity that everyone can do. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes.
Where to walk?
- Your neighborhood
- Local greenways
- The mall
- A treadmill
- In place
- The zoo
- Tracks at local schools
How do I get started?
- Start slow. Try walking 5-10 minutes every other day.
- Each week, increase your time by another 5-10 minutes.
- Once you are comfortable walking 30 minutes every other day, start increasing your pace.
- Aim to walk at least 210 minutes (30 minutes x 7) a day.
I am not going to lie. If you haven’t exercised in years, this might hurt. You probably will be tired afterwards. You might even want to give up.
DON’T GIVE UP.
It gets easier. I promise. Do make sure you are wearing good walking shoes. Find a local running store in your area and get fitted for proper shoes. I promise they will make a world of difference on your feet and knees. Make sure to track your workouts. Consider saving $1 – $5 a workout. After a month, treat yourself to something nice – a pedicure, new socks, a new water bottle, etc. Tracking also allows you to see your consistency and how far you have come.
Items to Make Walking More Fun:
- A child, a friend, or a dog to keep you company
- A water bottle – hydrating is very important
- iPod with headphones for listening to music, podcasts, etc.
- A Garmin to calculate your distance/pace
Want to set a goal for yourself? Aim to be able to walk a 5K (3.1 miles). Most communities have 5Ks that are walker friendly during the year. Find one 2 or 3 months out and make finishing it your goal. As always, see your doctor before starting any exercise program.