Want to start exercising but don’t know where to begin? How about turning walking into a fat busting exercise? Walking is simply the easiest form of exercise. And it’s one of the most effective methods to keep the pounds off. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, comfortable clothing and the will to stick to your fitness walking program and you’re all set! If you are committed to walking your way to a healthy body, consider these practical tips:
Note: Make sure you are healthy enough to walk long distances. If in doubt, consult your doctor.
Getting the Right Gears
Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Your feet will take the most beating when walking long distances. It makes sense to get the most comfortable pair of shoes you can buy. Beyond how cool looking the shoes are, make sure they come with excellent cushion to absorb the impact with every step. Make sure you are getting good ankle support too. When fitting the shoes, take into consideration the thickness of the socks you will use when working out. You don’t want to end up with an ill-fitting pair! Finally, consult an expert when picking the right shoes. Don’t be shy and ask the sales person about certain features.
The same thing goes for clothing. You want to choose clothes that will wick away moisture from the skin and dries fast. Choose clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable.
Prepping the Muscles
Prepping the muscles through stretching is a critical part of any exercise. Add a warm up, cool down and stretches in your routine. Warm up exercises help prevent muscle stiffness, soreness or injuries. Start by walking slowly to warm up the legs. Do bits of flexibility drills to stretch those muscles. Walk the desired length of time and end it with a slower cool down pace.
Mixing Things Up
It helps if you have a fitness buddy to motivate you to stick to your fitness program. But if you are doing this alone, do what you can to make every session an exciting one. The best way to get yourself pumped up is music. We recommend bringing a sweat-proof earphones and an MP3 player. Create your own fitness music and use it to motivate you to walk farther and push harder.
If you have a dog, you can also get your pet to help you stick to the program. Instead of the usual walk in the park, take the scenic route. Bring your dog for the ride and stay fit together!
Get a Pedometer
Step up your progress by getting a pedometer. A pedometer will measure your steps and daily progress. It’s a useful tool for those who are really serious about upping the ante when it comes to their workout routine.
When using a pedometer, always measure your stride before setting up the device. Read the instructions carefully so you can track your progress accurately. In addition, make sure to set the appropriate time when using the device.
Perfecting Your Form
Just like any exercise, you want to achieve the right form when walking. Keep your back straight, walk tall and do not hunch your shoulders. Bring your shoulders down, relax the back and pull your abdominal muscles with every step. Activate your glutes as you walk. Finally, fall into a natural stride to avoid injuries.