Walking Your Way to Health
Lower bad cholesterol (LDL)
Raise good cholesterol (HDL)
Lower blood pressure
Reduce your risk of diabetes or manage your diabetes
Stay fit and strong
If you are physically inactive, begin walking 5 or 10 minutes every other day. Walk slowly for 2 minutes to warm up and increase your speed to a brisk walk for the remaining minutes. If you become tired or breathless, decrease your walking speed.
Gradually increase the amount of time for your walks. For added encouragement and support join a local walking group or begin walking with a group of friends.
You can begin walking in your neighborhood and for a change of scenery, visit local parks or recreation areas.
If you have children, encourage them to walk with you. If you children have bikes, they can ride along while you walk briskly.
Always begin walking at a slow pace. After a couple of minutes, increase the pace. Maintain the brisk pace until you reach the cool down period. To cool down, walk at a slow pace for at least 2 minutes.
If you start with a 10-minute walk:
Warm-up 2 minutes
Brisk walk 6 minutes
Cool-down 2 minutes
The only equipment you need is a great pair of walking shoes. You can visit a local athletic shoe retailer and be fitted for a pair of walking shoes. You do not have to buy an expensive pair of shoes. Choose a pair of shoes that is comfortable and provides cushioned support.
Wear loose clothing when you are walking and make sure you bring a bottle of water.
Enjoy walking by listening to your favorite music or audio books. Make a commitment to walk at least three times per week. You can gradually increase to walking each day. You will begin to feel better and your body will feel stronger.
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