You have to walk before you can run. Too often people will begin a high impact exercise regime before they are ready. This can result in people giving up on exercise altogether. Instead you can try something more low impact that still has plenty of benefits – fitness walking.
Walking can be a great way to lose weight, lower cholesterol, tone your muscles and even strengthen your heart. Best of all, you already have everything you need to get started right away.
In order to get to a decent level of fitness it is recommended that you walk for 30 minutes on most days of the week. This doesn’t have to be all at the one time: you could walk 10 minutes in the morning, then the same again at lunchtime and then in the evening. It’s all about finding times that can fit around your life – and you don’t have to do it alone, get your family involved and if you have a dog then it’s an even better excuse to get fit.
If losing weight is your goal then a sixty minutes per day is the minimum requirement. It is perhaps best not to rush into a big commitment but start slowly, gradually building up your pace and distance, and before you know it you will be walking for miles.
To get yourself into a regime, decide on a route before you start. Using online mapping software, you can plan your full week, taking yourself on a variety of different walks, each to challenge you in a different way. Make sure you dress correctly for the occasion and prepare for any weather eventualities. Walking shoes are not vital for a beginner but make sure your feet are comfortable and well supported.
Once you are up to pace then there are several steps you can take in order to improve your fitness even further. For example, longer strides are going to tire your muscles out quicker than short steps, so keep an eye on your stride length. This tip can be especially helpful when you are walking uphill when smaller strides will help you to maintain your pace.
Swinging your arms helps burn extra calories and maintains your pace. By putting your arms at 90 degrees you will have a shorter swing and this can help to up your speed.
Exercise should never be painful so build up slowly and work at your own pace. Choose the right routes and you might even find that it’s an inspirational experience.
Do you have any fitness walking tips? Tell us all about them in the comments section below.