Walking Tips

When do I go?

Exercise at a time of day and on days of the week when you will enjoy exercising most! If you’re a morning person then get up and go when you get out of bed. Some of us like to wait for a friend or spouse to go with us. Others like exercising after a long day. There is no right or wrong time to exercise or be active. We do suggest picking a time that you will stick with and be able to do most days of the week. Most sources recommend a minimum of no less than 150 minutes a week that’s just 30 minutes a day five days a week! The average adult (18 and older) should strive for 60 minutes of exercise a day five days a week.

How do I start exercising?

It is easy to begin. Just move! We suggest starting by setting a goal. Your health care provider, a family member, friend or colleague might be able to help you with setting a goal. You can begin by setting a goal to walk for a specific number of minutes, a specific distance or number of steps. Any goal is good just be sure to make it something that you understand and will be able to keep up with. Any activity is better than no activity at all.

Why should you start walking? Walking for 30 to 60 minutes each day is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit. Here are great reasons to start walking.
1. Walkers Live Longer
2. Walking Helps Prevent Weight Gain
3. You Can Walk Off Weight
4. Walking Reduces Risk of Cancer
5. Walking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
6. Walking Reduces Diabetes Risk
7. Walking Boosts Your Brain Power
8. Walking Improves Mood and Relieves Stress
9. Walking Can Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
10. It’s Easy to Get Started Walking

As always, before you begin a new exercise program, check with your doctor first. As long as you’re cleared for exercise, walking for weight loss is a great place to start. These tips will help you create a walking fitness plan that fits within your abilities and helps you lose weight.
1Begin slowly. Even though walking is as natural as breathing, you still need to give your body time to adapt to the increased demands you’re putting on it. So don’t begin your walking program with a 10-mile hike. If you’ve been inactive for several years, begin with as little as 15 minutes walking per day, five or six days per week.

2 Note your starting point. Can you sustain 15 minutes of continuous walking without becoming overly tired or sore the next day? If not, dial it back to 10 minutes per day. If 15 minutes is comfortable, keep up that level for a week before you try to increase your time.

3 Find the right pace. There is no right speed to walk–there is only a right speed for you. The pace that’s right for you is the pace you can sustain for 15 minutes at a time, gradually building up to 30 minutes. You should be breathing deeply, but not out of breath or gasping for air. You should be able to talk, but not sing.

4 Keep Track of your course. When you’re just getting started, the time you spend walking is more important than the distance you cover, but it can be comforting to know where you’re going and fun to track where you’ve been.  Whether you’re at home, at your in-laws, or on a trip, you can easily keep track pf your course.

5 Challenge yourself, but be smart! If your goal is weight loss, you want to build up to walking at least 30 minutes and preferably 60 minutes per day, at least five or six days per week. But don’t expect to reach your goal in a week or two. Plan to increase the time you spend walking by about 10% per week, and you’ll continue to progress without risking overuse injury and fatigue. (That means it will take you about 3 months to build up from 15 minutes per day to 30 minutes per day.)

6 Track your progress. It doesn’t matter whether you’re chasing fitness goals, financial goals or personal goals; tracking your progress makes you more likely to hit your target. Keeping a log of your workouts gives you concrete proof that you’re doing what you set out to do, and that you’re making steady progress toward your goal. You may click here to print out the simple ‘Script Trail Walking log to get started!

7 Think tortoise, not hare. You remember the story of the tortoise and the hare; the slow and steady tortoise beats the speedy hare who gets distracted and loses sight of his goal. Walking is a very moderate exercise program, and you’re not going to lose 10 pounds a week. But if you combine regular, moderate walking with a healthy diet, you can develop the lifestyle habits that will help you lose weight over time and keep it off for good.

If you’re a beginning exerciser or a busy Baby Boomer or Senior, walking is the easiest exercise to get you on your way to losing weight. It’s easy to integrate into your daily routine, and for most people it’s a really painless way to increase your activity level.

A typical number of steps per mile is between 2,000 and 2,500 steps.

Below is a simple estimation to help you determine yours steps.

Height

4’10”
4’11”
5’0″
5’1″
5’2″
5’3″
5’4″
5’5″
5’6″
5’7″

Steps per Mile

2,601
2,557
2,514
2,473
2,433
2,395
2,357
2,321
2,286
2,252

Height

5’8″
5’9″
5’10”
5’11”
6’0″
6’1″
6’2″
6’3″
6’4″

Steps per Mile

2,218
2,186
2,155
2,125
2,095
2,067
2,039
2,011
1,985

Below is a list of some easy stretches to do before your walk form the American Heart Association.

Abductor (inner thigh) Stretch

Keeping your torso upright, lunge to one side with a bent knee over the toe. Keep your other leg straight. Push your weight to the “bent knee” side until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh of your straight leg. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Calf Stretch

Stand facing a wall with both hands on it. Position one foot forward (knee bent) and the other leg back with the leg straight, toes pointing at the wall. With your stomach tight, lean in toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the lower part of the back leg. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Chest Stretch

Place your fingertips lightly on the back of your head. Push your elbows back while squeezing with your upper back until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 seconds. Option: Another option is to stand in a corner with one hand or elbow on each wall. Your feet should be 1½–2 feet away from the corner in a split stance. Keeping your back straight and tummy pulled in, lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 seconds.( Keep feet staggered, one behind the other.)

Hamstring Stretch

Prop one foot up on a low, secure bench or stair step. Stand tall. Keeping your chest high, hips square and tailbone lifted, bend forward from your hips. Feel a stretch in the back of your high or knee. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Lunge forward with one leg, knee bent. The back leg can stay straight or bent slightly. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in front of your back thigh near the groin. Keep your torso upright and your front knee behind your toes. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.

Palm Touch

Bend your knees slightly. Try to touch the floor by bending from the waist, but don’t bounce. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then repeat 1–2 times. If you have lower back problems, do the same thing, but with your legs crossed.

Shoulder Rolls

Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then down and backwards in a circular motion. Repeat 5–10 times. Perform with both shoulders simultaneously or alternate right and left.

Toe Touch

Place your right leg on a chair or railing, making a 90-degree angle with the other leg. Keep your left leg straight and lean forward, touching the toes of your right leg. Don’t bounce. Switch legs and do the same thing. Repeat the entire exercise 1–2 times.

Wall Push

Stand 18 inches away from a wall. Lean forward, pushing against the wall with your hands and keeping your heels flat on the ground. Hold it for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 1–2 times.