Walking is a fantastic way to begin and maintain fitness. It is a wonderful habit with many studies confirming that those who walk regularly are better able to manage weight as they age.
Walking also offers so many health benefits such as: reducing your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes; improving your flexibility and balance; and, there are some studies that show walking may even lower your risk of developing dementia.
For most of us, daily walking may be more beneficial than running because walkers have a much lower risk of exercise-related injuries than through running. The key for those starting out is to keep at it! So, if you’re just starting your fitness journey, know that fitness walking is a seriously good place to begin.
You won’t need lots of fancy clothes to get started. A good pair of supportive, properly fitting shoes designed for walking or running are mandatory. You need the shock absorption to protect your joints and the support to walk stronger and longer.
Not sure what shoe is right for you? Ask us!
Turn your stroll into a fitness walk by focusing on your core. To do this, draw your bellybutton toward your spine as you walk. Keeping your core engaged throughout your walk will make be more effective, protecting your back and getting your abs in on the action.
Getting started is simple. First, head outside. Then walk at your normal pace for 10 minutes. Was your core engaged? It should be. Your body is now warm and ready for an increased challenge: Walk the 10 minutes back at a “hurry-up” pace.
The hurry-up pace is when you are late for an appointment and you must get there. You shouldn’t be out of breath at this pace. If you are, slow down and work up to faster paces slowly.
A beginner should aim to walk about 1-mile in about 18 minutes. You should be able to get to that goal quickly in just a few weeks of consistent walking. Then, extend to 2 miles of walking, no matter how long it takes, and finally get to 2 miles in 30 minutes. That is a strong walking pace that will reward you with better fitness, health and wellness.
So get out there. Be active. And live life to the fullest, longer.
No matter how you choose to be active, keep these recommendations in mind before you start:
Dr. Dukes is here to help you succeed. Call for help in finding the right walking shoes or call to schedule your wellness exam with Dr. Dukes today and soon you’ll be building fitness habits that will keep you living well longer.
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