Walking is easier on your body than probably any other exercise, which is usually more vigorous, such as running and competitive sports, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good exercise. Walking can be tailored to most fitness levels and health needs. A walking for fitness program can start slowly and increase as you build stamina and strength, without any equipment, and it is free, that is except for a good pair of walking shoes, that you should be purchasing from a reputable shoe store that has trained, experienced staff on hand to fit you properly with the support you need.
Another useful tool is a good reliable pedometer or activity monitor. For the pedometer, we like the Omron HJ-321 Triaxis Pedometer It counts your steps accurately and quietly, whether positioned flat, vertically or horizontally. The HJ-321 Tracks Two Kinds of Steps, both regular and brisk steps separately. It also tracks your daily distance traveled along with the calories you burned doing your walking. It can store this information up to 7 days for you to compare your weeks progress against last week.
For a good and accurate Activity Monitor we like the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate & Activity Tracker HR Who hasn’t heard of Fitbit ? And the Charge 2, while being very reliable and accurate also comes with a wrist based Heart Rate Monitor. So you can keep track of just how well your body’s performing along with the level of strain you’re putting on your heart as well. Accurate information is very important when your dealing with pushing your body further than it’s been used to. And the Fitbit Charge 2 is just the monitor to do this and more. The all-day activity tracking and auto sleep tracking allows you to observe how your daily routine adds up. The Smart-Track feature enables you to record your workouts select exercises automatically and monitor real-time workout stats as well. So this is just the kind of activity monitor you need if you’re taking your "Easy" form of exercise seriously!
Now, getting back to walking for walking sake, is really understanding the fundamentals, of the program. Walking Is a Whole Body Workout! Have you ever just watched someone walk? Not a racer, and not someone slowly ambling along, but just a normal person walking quickly. Their body moves in synchronized motion, all of the joints, muscles, and tendons. The feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, and hips work in rhythm, and it doesn’t stop there.
The upper body is working as well. At a normal pace, a walker’s arms swing along with the rest of their body, not the small, closely held motion of a runner, but full arm swings. The back, midriff, chest, and shoulders roll with the motion as well. The walker’s head is erect, and though the head does not move, supporting the head as the body moves exercises the neck muscles as well. See, a whole body moving in sync and reaping the benefits of getting the right form of exercise by just walking. But doing it right!
Advantages of Walking. Doctors say that people who walk regularly can often attain better long-term health and suffer fewer injuries than someone who exercises more vigorously because walking has minimal impact on your bones and joints. This is even more important to a person who is out of shape and conditioning. And it is perfect for someone recovering from a debilitating operation or injury.
Even moderate stretching required by some activities may be a problem for seniors or others with joint problems, but if you can walk, you can walk your way to a fitter and leaner you. Again, with your doctors being consulted prior to you’re embarking on any form of exercise, even just walking!
Make a plan: Once your health care provider clears you to increase your physical activity, plan your way to making being fit a part of your active lifestyle. Harvard Medical suggests starting with five minutes of fitness walking twice a week, and gradually increasing to fifty minutes of walking exercise six days a week, over a twelve week span. Walk at a pace that pushes you, but at which you can still carry on a normal conversation. I’m sure you have heard this many times before, but it’s important that you understand that you do need to push your body in order to reap the benefits of being out there walking. If you don’t do this correctly, than your just wasting your time. So be patient, work your way up and in no time you’re going to be able to sing a little song to yourself as you briskly walk your way to a fitter you.
Push yourself moderately: If you have been sedentary for a while, don’t rush in, even if you were a competitor in the past. The benefits of walking for fitness are cumulative, but so are the effects of inactivity. Give your body a chance to adjust. If you are really out of shape, start by parking a few stalls farther away each time you go out, or consider walking to errands rather than driving. Take a flight of stairs rather than the elevator for additional walking during your regular routine.
Dress appropriately for the weather: You will warm up as you walk when moving at a good pace; don’t overheat or get too cold. The worst thing you want to get from your walking experience is a cold from walking in the cold and sweating enough to make your head end up stuffy and feeling miserable. Always dress for the weather and under-dress when the temps are a little chilly outside because if you’re walking at the correct pace, you’re going to be heating up your body in due time so the lighter layers will be a perfect balance for you.
And remember, you need to ramp up slowly in the beginning of your walk and then do the opposite when your distance goal has been reached. Make sure you slow your pace down for the last 5-7 minutes of your walk so that your heart-rate and your body temperature can lower itself by the time you’ve reached back home.
There you have it. A few simple things to keep in mind as you get yourself moving once again on the path to being a fitter and healthier you.
The active gang here at PedometersUSA.com!