Reading time: two minutes.
Carol and I just got back from our morning walk. About a half mile from our house, we met a guy about 15 years younger than us on a morning “jog.” He looked really bad! He was huffing and puffing noisily, his feet were slapping the pavement, he had an agonized look on his face, and he could only muster up a weak little flip of the wrist as we waved and called, “Morning!”
I hope he looked at us and thought, “They seem to be having much more fun than I am!” Today I’ll give you a quick version of what we’ve learned about fitness walking over the years.
I truly believe you can reach almost all of your fitness goals through a brisk daily walk. Read on! I’ll give you our most important tips about a daily fitness walk.
To get the most benefit for cardiac fitness, weight management and the release of mood altering endorphins, follow this simple advice…
Go early. If you wait until the end of the day, you’ll have found dozens of excuses to not exercise. We like to get started before we’re fully awake!
Good shoes. Make the investment and get a proper fit. Sore feet will ruin your resolve.
Good route. We love our hilly neighborhood. Our 2.2 mile route takes 35 minutes, an ideal time for us. We like seeing what’s going on in the ‘hood. If you like a track, find a local school or park with a walking track. Many communities have walking trails. If you like indoors best so you can watch the news, get the machine that works for you: treadmill, bike, elliptical. I use an old Nordic Track ski machine in the winter. If you need hills, find hills. If you need flat ground, find a good spot, but pick a route you enjoy.
“Walk like you’re late.” This is our most important advice. We often see people “drinking their coffee outside” as we like to call it. It’s a stroll that offers only a minimum of health benefits. Walk as if you are late somewhere, and build slowly until you can go hard for thirty minutes. Get a physical annually and your doctor’s permission before you start. If you can’t carry on a conversation, BACK OFF! You’re going too hard!
Get a partner. If you can’t get a walking partner, get an accountability partner who will gently and enthusiastically ask you if you’ve been keeping up your walking regime. Knowing that someone who loves you and wants to encourage you is going to ask you on a regular basis if you’re hitting your goals will get you out walking on days you don’t feel like it.
It’s really as simple as that! As Isaac Newton suggested, “A body in motion tends to stay in motion!” I’d love to hear about your walking routine soon!
Next week: strength training!
Thanks for reading.
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