Guide to Walking Fitness

Walking to Lose Weight

Walking burns calories. It varies according to your speed and whether you swing your arms or “power walk”. However, taking a regular walk each day will burn calories and eventually lead to better fitness and weight loss. Don’t forget to drink extra water! So put those walking shoes on and get out there and start walking.

It is a good idea to stretch your muscles before you begin your walk. Proper stretching will help prevent soreness. You also need a warm up. This can be as simple as just starting with a slow pace for a few minutes before you increase the time and intensity of your pace. You also can warm up by walking in place or just moving around a little.

After your walk, cool down slowly by reducing your pace. Then repeat the gentle stretching. It feels so good. It also increases your flexibility and tones your muscles.

No Expensive Equipment Needed!

One thing you want to do is protect yourself.

More precisely, protect your feet.

Proper shoes are important to protect your feet and give you a little extra spring in your step. Walking shoes are also very comfortable. If you walk everyday, good shoes will wear out in a couple months. The wear should be on the bottom of your shoes and not the upper portion of your shoes.

How Far, How Fast?

So how do you know how far you’ve walked? Get an inexpensive pedometer. A pedometer counts off your steps during your walk. That is especially good when you are slowly increasing your walks daily. You can also keep track of the amount of steps in your daily life. The more you move, the better. You might find yourself parking a block or two away from where you are going to increase the number of steps.

If you’re a (former) couch potato who wants to get walking, good for you! Start out slow — if you can only make it five minutes, that’s OK. You can gradually add time and speed until you can walk a mile in 15 minutes. Once you’ve made it to that goal, try 2 miles in 30 minutes.

Here’s another piece of “equipment” that’s totally optional. An iPod or MP3 with your favorite up-beat songs also helps you enjoy your exercise and makes the time and miles go by so much faster!

Is the weather where you are too hot ot too cold (or wet or snowy or…)? You don’t have an excuse any more — you can even walk at home! There are lots of DVDs out these days that pace and time you, so you know you are getting a good workout.

Start today, put on those shoes and get busy!