The Do's and Don'ts of Walking
By Sara Butler
If you're ready to start a new workout program, then walking is certainly one to consider. After all, it's low-impact and a great workout for your heart. Plus, it's accessible to most people and doesn't require a gym. Here's what you need to know about starting a new walking program and a few do's and don'ts to help you get started.
How Much to Walk
For most people, starting at 20 minutes is a good goal. You can work your way up from there by adding a few minutes to your walk each week. If you don't have 20 minutes at once, it's OK to break it down into a shorter period of time, such as two 10-minute walks.
Aim for walking at least three days per week as you start out. If you want to add a day or two as you get stronger, then feel free to do so. Plus, if you're trying to use a walking workout to get a healthy body weight, you may have to walk longer on more challenging routes to reach your goal.
A Few Do's and Don'ts
A few of the things you want to do when starting a new walking program include:
- Getting the right shoes - Buy shoes specifically made for walking and make sure they fit well. You can go to a specialty store where your gait and stride are considered when being fitted for a shoe. This will ensure you get a great shoe, but if you have no such store available, simply buying shoes made for walking in the right size will help get you started.
- Understand how to walk - You aren't going for a casual stroll, but a walk that is supposed to get your blood pumping. If you walk with friends, talking while walking should still be possible but not as easy as if you were simply sitting on your deck chatting about your day.
There are some don'ts you need to know about when you exercise too. These include:
- Focusing on distance and speed - While you want to ensure you're getting a workout, don't spend too much time thinking about how far or fast you're going at first. You can get faster and go farther as you get stronger.
- Starting slow - You may be excited to get started, but don't do too much too soon or you risk injury. Instead, pace yourself and work your way up to longer, faster walks. Be open to making adjustments as needed while walking, too.
When starting a new exercise regimen, talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic for more tips and safety information.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Riverside, Calif.