Tips for Starting a Walking Program
It’s National Walking Day! The American Heart Association deems the first Wednesday each April this special fitness holiday, making it a great time to start a walking program if you haven’t already. Walking is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages—and a great way to fight aging and complement your program regimen of facial exercises.
Research shows that regular walking program helps:
Promote bone health and help prevent osteoporosis
Elevate your mood
Reduce the risk of strokes, diabetes and heart disease
Improve blood pressure and cholesterol profiles
Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
Make sure to check with your physician if you have any medical concerns.
Start off slow—try just 10 to 15 minutes a day and then keep adding 5 minutes per session. Build up to a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Try to do this a minimum of five days per week. If you already follow another workout regimen, consider adding walking three to four days a week.
Strive to breathe deeply and maintain good posture as you walk. Think about holding your head up, sucking in your tummy and elongating your body. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Start with an easy stride and then increase your pace as you feel more comfortable. You will still enjoy the benefits mentioned above if you walk at what is known as “talking pace,” which means you can still hold a conversation. If you want to use walking for cardiovascular conditioning, simply increase your pace or try to work in intervals at a brisk pace.
Bring a bottle of water along with you so that you can stay properly hydrated during your walk. At the end of your walk, make sure to stretch your calves, hamstrings, chest and back to help prevent injuries.
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