Most people begin a walking program to either lose weight or to become more active after leading a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Walking really enables you to do both at the same time because walking, while not a strenuous exercise still enables your body to function the way it was meant to. After all, people were designed to move. We have the arms and legs, toes and fingers to do so very well. We were meant to be foragers in the beginning. Traveling throughout the land gathering fruits, berries, nuts and other naturally grown fruits and vegetables. In doing so, by necessity, we traveled miles every day and only lingered as long as the food supply lasted.
This changed when we adapted to farming and animal husbandry came into being. We stayed in one place, became communal with other people we associated with and cultivated crops and maintained livestock for meat along with the vegetables that we grew for our own consumption. Did this make life easier for us? Yes and no. We still had to work hard each day, up at, or before dawn to take care of livestock in the dark and then into the fields, that first had to be cleared out before any seeds could even be planted. So in a way, people did have it easier that they no longer had to forage for their food, because they grew it themselves. But this also took a lot of hard work.
The point I’m getting across here is that our ancestors had to physically work hard at just plain surviving. In doing so, they kept their bodies in great shape, eating just enough to get by with so they could store and prepare food for the winter seasons when nothing grew. You very rarely saw a fat farmer!
Today, with all our modern conveniences we no longer have to work up a sweat plowing a field or cutting down trees to clear that field or stack stones that were dug out of the field before it could be planted with life-sustaining crops. No today, we simply go to the food markets and purchase the foods that we need and most of us no longer even walk there, because of the distance, we drive. When once we considered a distance of a mile or two, or three a short walk to visit a neighbor. Today we consider the distance of a mile way too far for us to take the time to walk that far.
So, you see why most of us are not getting the daily amount of physical activity that our forefathers used to get on a daily basis, even just by walking into town. No today, any distance more than a couple of city blocks is just too far for us, and what about all of that downtime when we could be using that time for more office work? No, things have changed, and not all for the better when it comes to individual inactivity.
That is why most physicians today stress the importance of getting your daily exercise and for those of us that are either approaching 50 or have already seen that milestone go by. Our doctors are recommending we take up a serious walking regimen in order to get our cardiovascular working the way it was meant to do from a time gone by.
Now walking in and of itself is a great low-impact exercise, which is ideal for most people as it won’t put stress on your feet, legs and knees. As a beginner, you should focus on using good walking posture and technique as you steadily build your walking time. Good posture means walking with your head held high, your back straight, to slightly leaning forward but not too far so that you look like your heading for a battle. Swinging your arms slightly with the motion of your walk is also suggested. Later, after you’ve been walking for a while, you can add hand-held, or wrist weights to add a little more resistance to your walking regimen.
Brisk walking for 30 minutes per day, totaling 150 minutes per week, is recommended by health authorities to reduce your health risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions.
Aim to walk at least five days a week. Start out warming up, doing some stretching and continue with a five-minute, slower paced walk. Slow your pace to cool down during the last five minutes of your walk. Start at a pace that's comfortable for you.
As you pace yourself, making sure you're striving for that 150 minutes of activity per week is fine but you also need to make sure you keep taxing yourself, striving to move a little faster and go a little further each week. Building yourself up slowing, your body is going to respond as it gets used to the new requirements of moving that you’re asking it to do. You will be surprised after a few weeks that you're able to walk longer at a faster pace than when you first started out, and for a further distance as well.
Tracking your pace with a pedometer is a great way to stay motivated and see just what you accomplish each week. PedometersUSA.com has a variety of reliable pedometers that you can choose from, depending on your current wants, everything from Standard Pedometers to ones that can the data store your progress from the last 7 days for the convenience of tracking that progress against yourself. To wearable Activity Monitors, which we like because they do a lot more than just track your steps and distance. In fact, they can be your “Coach on your Shoulder” providing incentives to move just a little bit more each day and even track your calorie intake, depending on the model you select.
We like the Fitbit Charge 3! You can choose from more than 15 exercise modes like run, bike, swim (yes, it's waterproof!), yoga, circuit training and more. You can set a goal and get real-time stats during your workouts to track advanced progress on just how well you’re doing. It has a Touch-Screen display that is easily seen, even in the sunshine. Stores heart rate data at 1-second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5-second intervals all other times. It even tracks your sleep to see if you’re getting the proper amount of rest each night.
As we said, we are happy your looking at adopting a new walking program to get your body in shape as you get a little older, but if you use a little bit of that knowledge you gained over the years, we’re sure you can see the benefits of strapping on a Fitbit Charge 3 to your wrist in order to keep yourself on track and help you to keep upping your distance while maintaining a good pace so that you will be walking yourself to a healthier lifestyle for many years to come.
Your fellow walking enthusiasts here at PedometersUSA.com!