Exercise Plan: Start Walking Habit
To reap all the health benefits that this popular activity offers, create a walking plan that will help you meet your fitness goals and keep you motivated. And, while you don’t need an expensive gym membership or home treadmill, you should invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Your walking shoes should have good arch support, a firm, well-cushioned heel and non-skid, flexible soles.
Be sure to warm up by walking slowly before you increase to a brisk walk. At a brisk pace, you should be able to still speak and breathe easily while increasing your heart rate.
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To stick to your exercise plan, it needs to become a habit. Try these tips to make walking a daily habit:
- Walk in places you enjoy. Take a stroll down the beach, through a beautiful park or a shopping center. If you get bored of the same scenery, try different places and routes to keep things interesting. Don’t let your walk get boring. You’ll be more motivated to walk if it’s enjoyable.
- Grab some headphones or ear buds so you can listen to your favorite music as you walk. Just remember to keep the volume low so you can hear sounds around you.
- Bring a friend or family member. Having a regular walking buddy may help keep you going—even when you would rather stay home. You can cheer each other on and serve as role models for friends, family members, and others.
- Have a “Plan B.” When bad weather or other roadblocks get in the way, be ready with options, like walking inside a mall rather than outdoors. Check the weather every day so you can plan the best time to walk.
- Track your exercise plan progress on paper, online, or with a fitness app for your phone or computer. Record dates, distance, and how you felt when you were done. Devices such as pedometers and fitness trackers may help you count steps, calories, and how far you walk.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases