Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
So you feel the need to get some more exercise or you need to boost your weight loss
programme. The simplest answer is to walk regularly. If you are new to walking this article might help you. When you decide to embark on a walking programme there are many questions which spring to mind. Where will I walk? How long should I walk for? How fast should I walk? Do not concern yourself with these questions to begin with. Simply choose a suitable pair of walking shoes .Start at your own front door. Walk at whatever pace you feel comfortable with and enjoy your walk. Over time you can build up distance, time and pace. The experts tell us that we should walk for thirty minutes at least three times a week for health benefits.
Finding time to walk can also be a problem but if you analyze your day you may be able to find a suitable slot. You may be able to find time to walk more at work .
Firstly, make a commitment to yourself to embark on this programme of self improvement. If you have any worries about your health talk to your doctor or medical care advisor before you start. The programme is structured very carefully so you are not doing too much. You accustom yourself gradually to this new regime.
Take note of the time you leave home and walk for half the recommended distance and turn back.
Weeks One and Two: 10 minutes per day
For these two weeks walk for 5 minutes and turn back. Time yourself with your watch. Do this at least three times per week, every day if possible. You should be able to walk comfortably without having breathing problems. Do not be tempted to do too much. This will only dishearten you and turn the exercise into a chore.
Week Three and Four: 15 minutes per day
If you feel that you could comfortably walk last week’s distance without any difficulty you can now increase the time to 7˝ minutes each way. If you are less than comfortable with last week’s task continue at last week’s pace for a further week. You alone will know whether you are comfortable or not.
Weeks Five and Six: 20 minutes per day
This week walk for 10 minutes each way. On the way back try to increase your pace, go a little faster for a few minutes. Your aim is to try to arrive back a little sooner at your destination. Even one minute less is an improvement. Remember too to swing your arms as you walk. This will help you go a little faster.
Weeks Seven and Eight: 30 minutes per day
Now you can walk for 15 minutes each way. Again warm up on the first 15 minutes and when you turn back increase your pace a little. When it becomes uncomfortable reduce your pace until you feel comfortable again and then increase to a brisk pace for a further few minutes. Walk for 30 minutes at least three times per week.
Weeks Nine and Ten: 30 minutes per day
These weeks continue as before, timing yourself as you walk and alternating in the second half between normal pace and a slightly faster pace. Try, this week to get in an extra day’s walking. Build up distance before you build up pace. Building up your walking routine is the important thing. Build it up to a stage where if you skipped a day you would miss your walk.
As you reach the 30 minutes per day target remember it is not necessary to walk the thirty minutes in one go. You can take two 15 minute walks or even four short walks. As long as they add up to at least thirty minutes you are keeping to your commitment. In this way you can utilise short periods of time to reach your target.
If you feel tired or ill at any stage skip a day and then when you return start at a lower level. Be comfortable in your walking. If you push yourself too much you will not enjoy your walk.
You might like these walking shoes.
Enjoy your walk and welcome to a healthier lifestyle!