Doctors and other health care professionals agree that walking is one of your best options for a regular exercise program. Occupational health specialists recommend walking for employees who spend too much time sitting at their desks.
Walking for 30 minutes, four or five days a week, helps you lose weight, and lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Because walking is a low-impact activity, the chances of an injury are low compared to many other type of exercise.
Appropriate preparations reduces the chance of an injury, and make walks more effective and enjoyable. First and foremost, you must wear shoes with a wide heel counter to reduce the chances of a fall or sprain. You can buy shoes specifically designed for walking, but any lightweight, well-cushioned shoe works fine.
Because you will be exerting and expending energy, drink plenty of water. Take a bottle of water with you on hot days and long walks. Note that you can become dehydrated even in cold weather, too. Of course, you must dress for the weather. Wear breathable, dry-fit materials for humid days, and properly layered clothing during the cold season.
Vary Your Walks
One of the most common enemy of working up a consistent schedule for daily walks would be the monotony of the routine. Plot out some variety to your workout schedule that will change the pace, the view, or even the time of your daily walk. This should help you avoid getting bored with the activity, and so will help you look forward to it more.
You may also vary your pace. One way to do this is to have one workout a week that you do at a more intensive or faster rate.
Make Walking Part of a Complete Physical Fitness Program
Walking mainly works your legs, your heart and your lungs. You need more for whole-body fitness. Should you prefer to upgrade to include strength training once or twice a week to your routine, seek professional advice from occupational health services like U.S. HealthWorks. With proper guidance, you should be able to safely conduct exercises that will strengthen your core muscles, and build muscle mass and strength in the arms and upper body.
Carrying hand weights when you walk can also work your upper body, but be careful not to carry too much. Start with one pound weights and don’t exceed 10 percent of your body weight. Do another activity for some sessions. For example, you might swim or go biking
one or two days a week to create a well-rounded fitness routine.
Walking for Health. NHS Choices.Beginning a Fitness Walking Program the Walking Site.