Monday, November 12, 2007

The easiest and may be most effective way to Workout: Walking

If you love the idea of working out, but you’re just not sure where to begin, why not try walking. Walking is an easy way to incorporate exercise into your life. Walking can be as simple as a slow walk around the block for beginners or as advanced as a brisk power walk through the neighborhood for the experienced exercisers.

For Beginning Walkers

The key to working out when you are just beginning is to start slowly and then work your way up. You should also remember to keep your posture straight, and keep your neck, back and shoulders relaxed while you are walking. You should also keep your abdominal muscles in while walking since this can help strengthen your abs and reduce lower-back pain. Avoid swaying the lower part of your back and make sure your bottom is tucked in.

Start by walking for about 10 to 15 minutes at a nice even pace. Make sure your steps are not too slow. You want to try to cover at least one mile in about 20 minutes. Make it a goal to walk at least 5 days a week. Don’t forget to give yourself a day of rest too. Once walking a mile in 20 minutes is easy enough, step it up a pace by adding 5 minutes to your walking routine. After you’ve made it to about 30 minutes, it’s time to move forward to the moderate walking workout.

For Routine Walkers

Now that you’ve been walking for at least 30 minutes a day, it’s time to move on by increasing your speed and distance up to 45 minutes a day. Pace yourself with faster steps for at least 15 minutes a day. You want to cover 1½ miles in 15 minutes. Once you are walking 15 minutes a day, you can gradually add 5 minutes to your workout. After you are comfortable with walking 45 minutes a day and you’re covering about 2 miles, you’re ready to move on to a more advanced walking workout.

For Advanced Walkers

If you’re walking 2 miles a day and you’re ready for a challenge, you can introduce speed-walking to your workout routine. When you begin speed-walking, you should notice yourself out of breath and you should only be able to respond to someone with short words. Once you’re comfortable with speed-walking, you will want to cover 1 mile in 12 minutes. Once you’re walking 12 minutes a day and you’re covering that mile, you should add 5 minutes to your workout. When you are able to cover 2 miles in about 25 minutes, you may want to try walking up hill for a challenge or you may want to consider slow jogging.
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