Tips to Get Started on a Walking Plan


Walking is by far my favorite form of exercise. Whether you’re walking around the neighborhood on your lunch break, using the treadmill at the gym, or taking a weekend hike in the local park, my Interval Walking Program can help you blast away calories and improve your health. Follow these easy “steps” to get the most from your walking workout!

 

  • Invest in the right equipment. A sturdy pair of sneakers — such as cross-trainers with shock-resistant soles — is a must! Since it’s so important to supplement cardio with stretches and strength training, I also recommend a yoga mat and a pair of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells.
  • Don’t rush into it! If you aren’t currently active, be sure to ease into your walking routine. Commit to taking a 10-minute walk each a day for the first week, and add small increments over time. You’ll prevent injury and be more likely to stick with it long-term!
  • Dress the part. · The right outfit puts put you in the mood to move! A comfortable sports bra along with a cute workout top, pants, and a jacket is my go-to outfit for walking (and don’t forget the sunscreen if you’re heading outside!).
  • Track your progress. Studies show that people walk more when they count their steps by wearing a pedometer. Some watches are even pedometers and heart rate monitors all in one! The trick is to find one you can easily use, and keep it with you every day. It’ll be fun to challenge yourself to add more steps!
  • Start with a stretch. Studies show that stretching helps increase how long and hard you exercise, as well as your muscle’s elasticity. Stretching is a feel-good action — it comforts your body and releases tension — but it also helps prevent injury. It’s a must!
  • Find the best time for you. · People always ask me about the best time of day to do a walking workout, the answer is: whatever time best suits your schedule! I like mornings — but physiologically, it doesn’t matter when you exercise, as long as you do it.
  • Don’t ignore pain. Some discomfort is expected when starting a new routine, but if you feel pain when exercising it’s important to stop immediately. Apply RICE — rest, ice, compression, and elevation — but if the pain persists more than two days, or if you think the injury may be serious, consult your doctor.
  • Get a buddy. Through all my 30 years in the fitness business and talking to mil­lions of people, I have found that those people who exercise with a friend, spouse, or significant other are far more successful than those who try to do this alone.
  • Make a playlist. If you have a hard time staying motivated, try creating a special playlist with all your favorite, pump-you-up songs on your iPod, and only allow yourself to listen to them while you’re walking. Listening to books on tape is another great trick!
  • Walk outside. You can do Interval Walking indoors, but walking outdoors is my absolute favorite! The sights and sounds of nature are a great way to banish stress, and you’ll reap the benefits from an extra dose vitamin D!


  • Next: The Step-by-Step Plan

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