Walking for exercise is not the same as walking to the mailbox.
Walking is the easiest form of aerobic exercise and the most versatile. You can walk almost anywhere. You can change the pace, the scenery, the incline, etc. You can walk, jog, run, walk/jog, walk/run, jog/run, walk uphill, walk downhill, walk a combination of up and down hills, walk in water, walk in sand, and on and on.
You should have a route in mind, comfortable sneakers, water and the proper apparel. It’s important to know where you will be walking. Choose a route that can be lengthened or shortened. Local high schools usually allow the community members access to the track. This is a measured distance that you can lengthen by adding laps and shorten by subtracting laps. If you choose a route around your neighborhood, plan ways to lengthen or shorten the route. The ability to lengthen or shorten the route is important because there are days that you cannot (or don’t want to) go the whole distance. With a shorter option, you are much more likely to stay committed to your plan. Wear comfortable sneakers with good support. Carry water to avoid dehydration or heat stroke. Wear appropriate clothing. Use layers. As you get warm, remove some of your layers.
Keep your chin parallel to the ground and focus your eyes about 15 feet in front of you. Focusing out a short distance allows you to see the lay of the land. Subconsciously, it keeps you going because your feet are not at the end yet. Swing your arms and shoulders naturally. There is a natural rhythm to walking. Swinging your arms and shoulders also works more of your muscles. Tighten those abs slightly. Walking works all the abdominal muscles. Tightening your abs slightly improves your posture and works your abs more efficiently. Adding weights, changing the pace and walking on different terrain will also work your muscles harder.
An average person who walks 10,000 steps a day can lose about one pound a week. Power walking and inclines can help burn more calories. So, let’s get off the couch and get moving!
And, don’t forget the tunes!