Walking is almost assuredly the one thing we should all be doing more. There is a myriad of health benefits to simply walking. It can help to relieve stress while strengthening muscles and improving your coordination. Walking is one way to lose weight and stay active. It is also good for your heart. By engaging in a beginner walking program, you can keep your blood pressure down and even lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Chances are, you already know these facts and a host of other benefits that walking will provide. If you have already decided to embark on a beginner walking program, there are a few things to consider before starting.
Guides and tips for successful beginner walking program
Getting A Physical
Physical's from your doctor should be a routine procedure and many of you already do this on a regular basis. It is especially important before beginning any exercise routine. Especially if you have been inactive for quite a while. While it may seem like an unnecessary undertaking prior to walking, it certainly could not hurt. Your doctor will check for any conditions or limitations you have that you may be unaware of. If nothing else, this will give you a peace of mind and allow you to focus on your program.
After obtaining a clean bill of health, you will want to consider what it is specifically that you want to get out of a beginner walking program. It could be that you just want to get outdoors a few times a week and spend a little time away from all the electronics that generally have your undivided attention. In this scenario, a goal of walking two or three times a week for a specified amount of time would suffice. If you are very serious about losing weight and becoming more active, you may want to set short and obtainable goals that you can build on. For example, maybe you want to lose twenty pounds. Instead of having that as your only goal, you may wish to have a couple smaller goals that can be achieved in the short run and then built upon.
Where Will Walking Take You?
Once you have the go ahead from your doctor and a pretty clear idea of what you would like to accomplish with a beginning walking program, you might like to consider where it will lead. If your main goal is to clear your head and spend some alone time a few hours out of the week, then walking will most likely take you around your neighborhood. And there is nothing wrong with that. You will certainly reap some benefits this way. If you would like for walking to become a social activity that you can engage in with friends and possibly meet new people, you might want to start a plan for how to make that possible. You can call your friends and ask if they would like to walk with you. Check to see if there are any local activities for walkers in your area. There might already be a group of people who are more than happy to have more walkers join them.
This may seem like a simple choice but the clothes you wear are an important part of a beginner's walking program. Especially if you will be walking at night. You will most certainly want bright colors that can be easily seen by drivers. You may even wish to purchase a reflective vest if you will be outside and on roads with no sidewalks. After security you will want to consider comfort. You don't want to set out for an hour long walk only to wish you hadn't because your shirt is too tight fitting, or your pants feel a little too restrictive. You will want to have comfortable clothing that you can move around in with ease. Athletic clothing is very easy to find and will serve you well.
Wearing the right shoes is crucial for success. Obviously, you do not want to start a beginner's walking program with your favorite pair of high heels or loafers. If you wake up after day one with painful blisters and aching feet, you will not want to continue to day two. There are a multitude of different athletic shoes for different activities. You may not deem the differences that important right now, but believe me, they are. For example, basketball players make a lot of sudden movements and changing of directions. As such, they need a shoe that will keep up with the different positions their feet will be in.
Running shoes differ from walking shoes in that they generally provide the most flexibility at the arch. Walkers should be more concerned with the flexibility provided at front of their foot. Even if you wish to move from a beginning walker to a runner, running shoes are not the best choice at first. You will like to find a comfortable pair of walking shoes. You should make sure they are not too thin in addition to fitting longways. You do not want shoes that incessantly rub against the sides of your toes and feet.
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As with any activity, if you do not at least somewhat enjoy it than you will not stick with it long. Thinking of ways to make walking more enjoyable will certainly benefit your program. You can find different parks to go walking at for a change of scenery. If you live in the suburbs but enjoy people watching, you may wish to drive to a more metropolitan area where there is a lot of activity. Don't feel stuck with the treadmill at your local gym if that is something that you do not like. There are many fun places to walk at.
Hopefully you have found plenty of helpful information in this article. I wish everyone the best of luck with their own beginner walking program. And of course, do not feel overwhelmed. Take it slowly and keep it simple and you will find yourself on the right track. Remember, even a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step!