How to Start a Walking Program

Did you know that walking is the number one participation sport in the world? Walking is one of the best things you can do for overall health and wellness. When you walk you use more muscles than any other sport. In fact, walking uses almost all of the 650 muscles and 203 bones found in the human body. So what are you waiting for?

There is not much involved in starting a walking program. You can start immediately and you don't need a coach to teach you how to walk. The equipment required to start is minimal and relatively inexpensive.

Important Equipment

The most important piece of equipment you will need is a good pair of walking or running shoe. Most shoe stores and sporting goods stores should be able to supply you with a good selection. You can also check out some of the online stores, you will find some good sources at DrLeonards.com or FootSmart.com. You may also want to think about getting yourself a pedometer. Pedometers are handy little gadgets that can measure your distance and time and help you keep track of your progress.

Why am I walking?

Now that you have your equipment and are ready to go, it might be nice to know why you are starting a walking program. The health benefits of walking are many and include the following:

Helps with weight loss.

Helps to reduce blood pressure

Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes

Relieves stress

Boosts overall energy levels

Strengthens the heart and reduces the risk of heart disease

Studies have shown that walking relieves depression and anxiety

Strengthens your body

Burns almost the same amount of calories as running

How should I start?

Since walking uses almost all 650 of your muscles it is a very good idea to warm up before you begin a walk. This will loosen up your body and help to avoid injury.

How long should I walk?

You should build up to walking for about one hour. Your current fitness level will determine the length and time of your first walk. Some people will only be able to walk around the block, others will able to walk the full hour. Do what you feel comfortable with and build from that point. Keep a log to measure your progress. As you become fitter, increase the pace and distance.

Personally, I like to measure my walks in distance. A pedometer will be of great assistance. Measuring your walk in distance helps to compensate for days when you might walk a little slower or faster. After your first few walks try to achieve a brisk pace where you may be puffing a little but you can still talk. Remember, there is not much difference in the amount of energy (calories) expended by walking or running a specified distance.

After you have finished your walk don't forget to cool down. Try to spend about 5 minutes walking slowly. This will allow your heart, lungs and blood flow to return to normal gradually. This decreases strain on your heart and can help to prevent muscle strain and soreness.

JUST DO IT!!!

Hey, you've seen the commercials. Now you just have to commit yourself to walking on a regular schedule. Make it part of your routine just like brushing your teeth. It's easy to do and doesn't require special training or equipment. Just do it!

Copyright 2005 Michael Brooks

Mike Brooks has been a life long follower and proponent of the fitness lifestyle. Through his avid research, Mr. Brooks has come to the realization that being healthy is a choice and encompasses not only proper diet but also a fitness regimen that includes the mind, body and soul. Mike Brooks is the publisher and editor-in-chief for the health information site http://www.ultimatehealthreport.com

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Arthritis Exercise ? One Way to Relieve Pain & Stiffness in Your Joints (part 3)

There are three main types of exercises to include in... Read More

Avoid These Top 5 Workout Myths

Do you know the health and fitness industry is plagued... Read More

See How Trampolines Can Be Part Of Any Exercise Program

When the trampoline was invented by a young boy intrigued... Read More

Physical Activity Versus Exercise: Is there a Difference?

Quite often a client will come into the gym discouraged... Read More

Sweating Vacation

It seems like everyone is concerned about putting on the... Read More

2-Minute Fitness

Why would I want to write about yet another fitness... Read More

What the Philosophy of Tai Chi Can Do For You

Taoist PhilosophyTo understand the purpose of the form it is... Read More

What is the Right Home Exercise Program for You?

What do you want to get out of the exercise... Read More

Get Fit From Home!

Using Things Around The House Don't feel that just because... Read More

Online Fitness Coaching

If I were to tell you that you could burn... Read More

Exercises You Probably Dont Do But Should!

This is going to be kinda short and sweet. .... Read More

The Truth About Exercise and Why Its Not Always Good for You!

Exercise is often regarded as a panacea for many things..."if... Read More

Lance Armstrong, Exercise, and Will Power? Characteristics that Make a Champion!

The Tour De France, arguably may be the hardest sport... Read More

Unstable And Proud Of It! Power to the Push-Ups!

When I get finished teaching you this never-before-seen version of... Read More

STRETCHING; Why Should I?

This short article looks at some of the tips, tricks... Read More

Anywhere and Anytime Exercises

These type of Exercises generally makes your body strong and... Read More

The Fundamentals of Pilates

There are people who are fond of getting an exercise... Read More

Get Out and Play: Top 7 Outdoor Exercises

Do you remember when our parents used to yell at... Read More

No Time For The Gym?

As you have undoubtedly heard, college students around the country... Read More

Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Exercising the Abdominals

The abdominal muscles are essential for maintaining good posture and... Read More

The Truth About Lactate and Exercise

For years exercise scientists and physiologists have preached that lactate/lactic... Read More

Optimize Your Exercise: Maximizing the Time Spent Working Out

Diet and Exercise are the inseparable twins that are seen... Read More

Stretching for Health

Lack of flexibility is now seen to be a major... Read More

Exercise Intensity

"Physical Fitness"Some physical activities (exercise) are not intense enough to... Read More

The Right Exercise Intensity

We've all heard the exercise guidelines that recommend we participate... Read More

The Power Workout:

Scenario: I really want to get in shape, but I... Read More

Success Versus Failure in the Exercise Department

Success is what you are prepared to make of yourself... Read More

Programming Brief: Exercise Order

One of the fundamental principles of exercise prescription, specifically resistance... Read More

The Cool Down - Recover Faster & Avoid Injury!

Many people dismiss the cool down as a waste of... Read More

Lance Armstrong and Exercise - From Denial to Desire!

Press Conference 1996 ? Lance Armstrong On Wednesday October 2,... Read More

10 User Friendly Habits for Successful Home Gym Training

Are you dissatisfied with your current training program? Are you... Read More

Exercising - Ways of staying motivated!

The number one reason people say they do not exercise... Read More

Integrating Core Stabilization into Your Workouts

Stabilization is a hot topic in the fitness industry over... Read More