Walking Tips: Make Exercise Easy
Walking tips can make exercise much easier to fit into your daily routine. Whether you’re thinking about having weight-loss surgery, or you’ve already had a procedure, exercise plays an important role in losing weight. It can also keep you from gaining back unwanted pounds.
The first thing anyone should do before starting an exercise program is check with their doctor to make sure it’s safe. Walking provides many advantages for people who have knee problems, hip pain, foot pain, balance issues and arthritis. You can almost walk anywhere – your neighborhood, the mall, a park, the woods, and of course, the boring treadmill. Once you build up your stamina and have a walking routine established, you can build your intensity and burn more calories with each stride.
A study in 2013 found that brisk walking can be just as effective as running for improving diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease risks. Researchers say it comes down to how many calories you burn. Walking may take longer to burn as many calories as running, but you can achieve the same health benefits.
Here are 10 walking tips to create a successful exercise routine:
- Start slow. Know your limits when you head out the door. If you haven’t been exercising in a while, maybe years, you need to gradually ease into a walking routine. Try walking for 10 minutes at a time. Walking three times a day for 10 minutes is the same thing as taking a 30-minute walk.
- Wear proper shoes. Make sure you have supportive shoes designed for walking. Blisters, heel pain or shin pain may indicate you need to replace your walking shoes. Use an arch support if you need one. Make sure your shoes are wide enough for your feet.
- Create a route. Take a drive where you plan to walk so you know the distance and can calculate how much time it will take you to walk. Keep track of how far you’re walking so you can gradually increase the distance and speed.
- Use proper form. Resist the urge to text or surf the internet from your phone. Keep your eyes focused on the road in front of you. Let your arms swing naturally.
- Have a plan for bad weather. Don’t let rainy weather derail your walking routine. Take your walk to the mall. If you. have a gym membership, try walking on a treadmill. Ask for help first if you’ve never used one before.
- Stay safe. If you’re walking when it’s dark outside, wear reflective clothing. Walk in safe, well-lit areas where you’re not alone. Stay aware of your surroundings.
- Listen to music. Create a playlist of your favorite songs to keep yourself motivated while walking. Watch the volume. You don’t want your music to be so loud that you can’t hear a car honking or someone calling to you.
- Walk with a friend. This is one of the best walking tips. Having someone to talk to can make your walks go by quickly. If you don’t want to depend on walking with a buddy, consider taking your dog. Pets need daily exercise, too!
- Use a pedometer. Keeping track of your daily steps is an easy way to make sure you reach your walking goals.
- Reward yourself. Set some walking goals for yourself. Once you’ve walked a certain distance or number of consecutive days, reward yourself. As your miles stack up, you might need some smaller clothes!
Learn more about losing weight at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss Center. Find out if you might be a candidate by using our online body mass index calculator.