sometimes uneventful and other times unbelievable!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I started walking to increase my physical activity.  Walking is really a great exercise.  It's not hard on your knees or your joints and fast walking will get your heart rate up.  My sister and I have been getting up at 5:30am to walk.  We have worked our way up to 3 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening.  I feel so much better when I walk and I'm starting to crave the walking. 
So this past weekend I went shopping to buy me some cool tank tops and shorts to go walking in and I must say it was a new experience for me.  It's been so long since I shopped for exercise apparel that it was actually a little difficult to realize that I'm in smaller sizes now.  Hopefully with my walking regime I will lose even more weight.  I thought about carrying some hand weights when I go walking.  I'm still thinking on that one. 

Here are some benefits of walking taken from the Mayo Clinic:

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It's safe, simple and doesn't require practice. And the health benefits are many. Here's more about why walking is good for you, and how to get started with a walking program.

Benefits of walking

Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. Walking can help you:
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage your weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.

Preparation helps avoid injury


Image of woman using proper walking technique Proper walking technique
Walking isn't as likely to lead to injuries as other types of exercise. Still, take time to prepare yourself to prevent injuries, such as blisters or muscle pain.
Get the right gear
Be sure to wear comfortable footwear. Choose shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb shock. Before you buy a new pair, be sure to walk in them in the store.

Also dress in loosefitting, comfortable clothing and in layers if you need to adjust to changing temperature. If you walk outside, choose clothes appropriate for the weather. Avoid rubberized materials, as they don't allow perspiration to evaporate. Wear bright colors or reflective tape after dark so that motorists can see you.
Use proper technique
Walking is a great exercise because it's so simple to do. But using the correct posture and movements is essential.

Warm up
Spend about five minutes walking slowly to warm up your muscles. You can walk in place if you want. Increase your pace until you feel warm.

After warming up, stretch your muscles before walking. Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch and side (iliotibial) stretch.

Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

So make it a goal today to do some walking.  It's easy...and it's FREE!!

1 comment:

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