Along with great health benefits, fitness walking offers ease and convenience. The only special equipment you need is a pair of walking shoes. Here’s some basic info to help you get moving.
What to wear:
Choose a shoe with one-quarter to one-half inch of padding under the heel, to protect and cushion it.
put your heel down first, rock forward, then push off with your toes. Keep your back straight, pull your tummy in, and swing your arms along with your feet. Step short and fast and maintain a steady pace for the best cardiovascular workout. Uptempo music can help you keep to your pace. However, if you walk in a high-traffic area, headphones can be a safety hazard. Evaluate your route to see what’s best for you.
- Drink a glass of water before you leave and another when you come back. If it’s warm out, take a sports bottle along.
- Try walking on a treadmill. It’s great when the weather’s against you. Set the machine at a 5-8 percent incline to increase the intensity.
- Avoid using handheld weights or ankle weights. They can affect your gait and cause muscle strain or injury.
- Pay attention to aches and pains. If you feel pain in your legs, back, or elsewhere while walking, stop. Correct your form, do more warm-up stretches, or change your shoes to see if that helps. If problems continue, you should see your doctor.