Walk Your Way to Fitness

elderly couple walking fitness activeThe American Heart Association says that a 30-minute walk a day can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, and Type-2 diabetes.

The following tips can help you start walking with maximum safety and the most success.

  • Talk to your doctor. Consult a health care professional before starting a workout routine if you are not physically active.
  • Wear appropriate attire. This includes supportive shoes, good socks, breathable active wear, and a hat or cap to shield you from the sun or keep your head warm.
  • Remember to stretch. Avoid sore muscles and injury by stretching before and after you walk.
  • Start slow. Progressively increase the intensity and length of your walking regimen over time.
  • Plan a route. Use www.mapmywalk.com or another similar website to plan a walking route. There are also many free online walking videos that can be used indoors with no equipment other than shoes such as START! Walking at Home American Heart Association 3 Mile Walk (www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYuw4f1c4xs).

Sources: American Heart Association, “Why Walking?” www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Why-Walking_UCM_461770_Article.jsp; eXtension Network, www.extension.org

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