You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to start get fit, particularly if you’re just starting out or coming back to exercise. One of the best ways to get started is simply to walk. First, always check with your doctor and get permission to start this or any exercise program. Find out from your doctor if walking would be good for you based on your condition or dis-ease. Second, all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes or sneakers. Let’s take a look at what makes it the perfect way to get started with exercising, how to stay motivated to walk and how to make sure your walking workouts are effective. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to head outside for a walk unless, of course, it’s raining. Then you can put on some music with a good beat and walk around your house or walk in place.
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Walking is a simple workout almost anyone can do. It’s just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. It can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be.
If you’re just starting out, and you’re not in very good shape, just walk for 10 minutes. Add on another 10 minutes to your walk every day until you are up to an hour a day. This can be done in two, 30-minute walks or any time pattern you like. After a few weeks you’ll be up to longer walks, picking up the pace, or tackling a small hill.
Walking gets you moving and it’s a great way to get in some cardio and get the blood moving without a lot of stress on your body. At the same time, you’ll start to notice that your leg muscles start to firm and your core strengthens. It’s not unusual to find that your pants are fitting looser after a few weeks of regular walks.
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While walking is easy to do, it can also get a bit boring. If you’re struggling to stay motivated to go on that daily walk, I have some tips for you…
- Find a walking buddy. It’s much harder to skip that walk if you know someone is waiting for you and relying on you to go with them. Having someone to talk to on your walks also keeps things interesting.
- Grab your phone or mp3 player and some headphones. Listen to music while you walk, download some podcasts or listen to your favorite audiobook. Having something to listen to will make the time go by faster and keep your walks interesting and fun.
- Schedule your walks and make them part of your daily routine. It will take a little while before it becomes a habit, but before you know it you won’t forget to go for your walk, just like you won’t forget to brush your teeth.
Step It Up and Track What You Do
In the beginning your main goal will be to just go out there and move around. That’s great and the perfect way to start out. But you’ll get to a point where that quick 15-minute evening stroll isn’t enough to get you the results you want. It’s time to push a little harder and make sure you get stronger with each walking workout.
Start keeping track of how long and how far you walk. Set a goal each week, to either walk a bit further, or cover the same distance in a shorter amount of time. Set a goal and then give yourself a week (or longer if needed) to get used to the new distance or speed. Once it starts to feel comfortable, you know it’s time to raise the bar. Keep pushing yourself and you’ll continue to get in very effective, low impact workouts by doing nothing more than walking.
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