Beginners Guide To Power Walking

Beginners Guide To Power Walking

Summer is around the corner and perhaps you’ve not yet accomplished your New Year’s goal of establishing a solid walking routine. It’s never too late. Experts agree that the exercise that produces the greatest lifelong results with the fewest injuries is walking. A solid walking regime sets the foundation for strong and flexible muscles, cardiovascular development, mental clarity and overall wellness. The added benefit of walking is that other than a pair of quality walking shoes, no special equipment is needed. One option that many walkers praise is a pair of quality headphones for listening to your favorite music or inspirational podcasts. Follow these tips for establishing your walking routine.

Friends Power Walking in Park --- Image by © Kevin Dodge/Corbis

If you’ve literally been a couch potato for the last several months, or have a substantial amount of extra weight, it’s always recommended to check with your family doctor before starting any exercise routine. The three targets for developing a walking regime are duration, distance and speed. Break down your walking goals to targets that can be accomplished each week. It’s strongly recommended to keep a journal, either written or on one of many great Aps, for at least 6 weeks. This will not only serve to show your progress, but will also be terrific motivation as you see how you’ve progressed in a short period of time.

The first week, plan to walk at least thirty minutes every other day. Don’t worry about your speed or distance. The objective is to simply get moving and begin to establish a routine. The second week, increase this to walking five days for thirty minutes. Try to vary your walks both with finding different locations such as the neighborhood, a park or even a treadmill. Varying the time of day for walks is also important. You certainly don’t want boredom to set in before you’ve established a routine.

The third week you should begin the add distance to your goals. Still walking five days a week, set a goal to cover two miles during your thirty minute walk. This pace is rigorous and will begin to increase muscle mass in your lower body as well as cardiovascular endurance. Spend two weeks at least walking five days a week accomplishing two miles per thirty minute session.

Finally, add rigor and variety to your walks. Add hills and short bursts of speed. This walking regime coupled with healthy eating choices will set the foundation for a healthy body and more enjoyable quality of life. Congratulations on your decision!




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