Walking is considered one of the best forms of exercise because
it's easy, safe and cheap. Brisk walking can burn as many calories
as running, but is less likely than running or jogging to cause
injuries. And it doesn't require any training or special equipment,
except for good shoes. Walking is an aerobic and weight-bearing
exercise, so it is good for your heart and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Walking is an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages
and abilities. Start your walking program gradually, increasing
length and pace as you get used to it. The following suggestions
may help you to incorporate regular walking into your lifestyle.
If you have not walked distances for some time, you should start
slowly and pace yourself. Increase the length and pace of your
walk gradually. Here are some tips on how to get started and
how to prepare for walking.
Comfort and Safety Tips
- Warm-up activity - start slowly, do a few warm-up exercises
and stretches first. Don't walk immediately after a big
- Build activity slowly - start with a 20 minute walk then
increase gradually. Try to walk at least three times per
- Use the correct technique - walk at a steady pace, swing
your arms freely and stand as straight as you can. Your
feet should step in a rolling action from the heel to the
- Shoes and socks- wear thick comfortable cotton socks.
Sensible, comfortable and lightweight shoes with support
- Weather - wear suitable warm, light clothing in the winter
and cool, comfortable clothes in the summer. Don't forget
your sunscreen and hat.
- Water - drink water before and after your walk. Take water
with you on your walk, especially in warm weather.
- Cool down - make sure you cool down after a long fast
walk. Do a few stretching exercises.
- If you have been inactive, check with your doctor before
beginning any exercise.
- If you cannot walk and talk without becoming breathless,
- Listen to your body. If you feel pain, dizziness, nausea,
or sick in any way, stop exercising. If the symptoms do
not subside, consult your doctor.
- Do proper warm up and cool down exercises.
- Drink small amounts of water before, during and after
your walk, particularly in warm weather when you are sweating
- Walk with a friend for pleasure and safety.
- If walking alone, tell someone your route and expected
time of return.
- Walk during the day or on well lit streets.
- Always walk facing the traffic.
- If you miss more then a week, resume your physical activity
program at one-half to two-thirds of your normal level and
build up gradually.