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Published on April 09, 2013

Walk Your Way to Better Health

April 9, 2013  

If you think getting fit involves buying an expensive membership to a gym and working out until you’re about to collapse, you need to reconsider the benefits of a regular walking program. One of the easiest forms of exercise, walking can be done anywhere, anytime, and for the small cost of a good pair of shoes. Follow these tips to start your own custom walking program.

Safety First

Gather a group of friends who can walk at your pace and speed. Walk in a public place that is well lit and open. In addition, do not wear jewelry and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Form is Key

When you walk, keep your chin up and hold your shoulders back. Let your heel touch the ground first, and roll your weight forward. Swing your arms while you walk, and keep your toes pointing forward.

Warm Up, Cool Down

If you haven’t walked in a while, start gradually and build up to a pace you can handle. Before each walk, stretch and warm up. After each walk, stretch and cool down.

Be Comfortable

Wear shoes that provide enough support and cushion, and make sure your clothes are comfortable. As your body becomes more accustomed to walking, increase your time and distance. The first week you may want to walk 15 minutes, increasing by three to four minutes each week. Eventually, you can build up to a 40-minute walk, at least three times a week.

First Step? Check with Your Doctor

Before you begin a walking program, consider the following questions:

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with heart trouble, high blood pressure, or bone or joint problems?
  • When you’re active, do you have pain in your chest or on your left side (neck, shoulder, or arm)?
  • Do you faint often or have dizzy spells?
  • Are you over 50 and relatively inactive?
  • Do you get winded when you’re active?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, discuss your answers with your doctor before beginning your routine walking program.

Source: niddk.nih.gov and medicine.net

Is it time to see a doctor about starting a walking program or another kind of physical exercise? Visit www.kpgcares.org to find out more about KishHealth Physician Group doctor and to make an appointment.

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