Walk A Day . . .
The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. An eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.
A regular walking program can help:
Every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Although walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, don't forget to stretch your back, shoulders and arms. This will help to loosen up any tension you may be carrying and make your walk more enjoyable as well as more effective.
1. Walk short distances. Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance.
2. Forget about speed. Walk at a comfortable pace. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed.
3. Swing your arms naturally, and breathe deeply. If you can't catch your breath, slow down or avoid hills.
4. Be sure you can talk while walking. If you can't converse, you are walking too fast.
Listening to lively music while you walk is also a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear.
Keep track of your progress.
Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 20 minutes a day.
But there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule
whenever you can. That may mean two 10-minute walks each day, or
even hour-long walks two to three times a week. The best schedule
is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit!
For reliable and unbiased information on health and fitness, check out the American Council on Exercise at http://www.acefitness.org.