A walking program for beginners

One step at a time towards a healthier lifestyle

4th Mar 2019
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If you have decided to take up walking as a part of your health goals for 2019, to lose weight or for better health, you won’t be disappointed. Walking is the most convenient and the best form of physical activity for good health and weight management. Walking as an activity, does not drain you out like painful workouts or various kinds of fad diets that eventually show results but only for a short period of time. 


Walking helps you burn calories and helps you lose weight. It helps reduce risks of heart disease, type II diabetes, breast cancer and other lifestyle diseases. It is recommended to walk for 60 minutes a day, and a few times in a week for good health. Let’s get you started, to help you understand few basics about walking. Once you get acquainted with these steps, walking comfortably for 30 minutes to an hour will be easy!


Before you get started, here are few things to consider when you begin with a walking program:

  1. Preparing to walk: You should try to learn what you need to do before you begin a walking program. This may include getting a medical check-up (in case you are suffering from any kind of illness), investing in basic accessories like walking gear, the right shoes, clothing, and more.
  2. Learn the walking technique: You need to learn a good walking technique or the effort would be futile. This includes a proper posture, use of arms and right leg motion.
  3. Walking Schedule: You need to determine how often you will walk, how fast, different types of walking techniques, and how far you can accomplish the 30-60 minutes walk per day.
  4. Self Motivation: Firstly, if you have taken up walking to be your fitness regime, you have achieved the first level of moving closer to your health goal. Secondly, if health is your priority, find ways to motivate yourself, not lose interest or give up. You can explore different locations for walking, which could motivate you daily.
  5. Make small goals to achieve the big ones: Try setting small goals, like 15 minutes a day and increase it daily by 10 minutes, which will eventually help you achieve the 60 minute walk a day.


Experiment with other exercises


Once you're more advanced, you can include jogging or any form of strength training in addition to your walking. It skips the possibility of losing interest as it is bringing in variety to your activity. Strength training benefits your metabolism, muscles, and more, and as walking becomes part of your daily routine; you can even consider adding a little weightlifting to increase your stamina. You should go for more effective ways to use walking weights that involve lower risk of injury.


Setting the right expectations

The most important thing to remember is to be realistic. If you’re unable to complete the 60 minute walk, don’t be harsh on yourself. The body takes time to get used to a certain activity and you will eventually achieve it with the right determination and dedication. If you're new to exercise, focus on starting slow, be consistent and you will notice your body getting stronger as time goes by. Setting up smart goals is a unique technique. These are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (S.M.A.R.T) goals that will help you structure your walking in the course of time. You can also eventually modify your walking techniques to increase stamina or strength. You are likely to discover that using the right posture and arm motion will help you walk faster.

If at any time during the walk you are experiencing difficulty, you need to stop and slow down. Be aware of warning symptoms of problems such as heart attack or stroke and seek medical assistance if needed.   


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