Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
Congratulations! You have decided to take up walking on a regular basis. You wont regret it. Walking is good for you. It relieves stress, controls body weight in conjunction with a healthy diet, helps reduce blood pressure and reduces the risk of contracting other illnesses such as diabetes and dementia. Walking is free, fun and you do not need any special gear or equipment to begin.
Here are some tips to help you carry through with your decision.
Have a walking plan.
This can be as simple or as complicated as you like. The important thing is to study your lifestyle and discover how often you can walk, what time of day suits you best and where can you walk. Do not be too ambitious. Three times per week for fifteen minutes per day would be a good start. Read this article for walking goals.
Wear suitable footwear.
This is very important. To begin with you do not need any special footwear as long as your shoes or boots are comfortable, adequately support your feet, have flexible uppers with a good thick bouncy sole such as trainers or sneakers. As you progress in your walking you may need help in choosing suitable footwear.
Prepare your feet
Before you start rub your feet all over with petroleum jelly. This prevents friction between feet and socks or shoes. Wear good wicking socks, socks which draw away the moisture from your feet. A mixture of cotton and man made fibres is better than full cotton, which retains moisture.
Choose your terrain
When you start walking choose level ground. As you build up your fitness you can be more adventurous and attack rising ground. As you walk be aware of what is taking place around you, listen to birds singing, admire the clouds, and observe the traffic! You may gather material for your next creative writing period or novel!
Be prepared for setbacks
Sometimes life gets in the way of our best laid plans. Do not get disheartened if you find it hard to establish the walking habit. Start again. Look at your work and family commitments and find the next day you can walk. Restart your walking program as soon as you can.
Maintain a moderate walking pace. Build up distance before speed. Be patient with yourself. If you are obese you should just stroll.
Find a walking buddy
If you can find a friend to walk with you the whole experience becomes more enjoyable. You will encourage each other and benefit from the social aspect.
Enjoy your walking and be proud of your decision to embark on a healthier, fitter lifestyle!