Starting out in walking

How to get fit through regular walking

Walking is a great way of getting your body fit and healthy. Whether walking to work or going on mountain treks, it develops your leg muscles and cardiovascular system as well as improving stamina. Here's the guide on how to get started once you've decided that walking is the right exercise for you.

Get your walking shoes on!

Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to start walking. Whether for health, weight loss, companionship or as part of a larger training program, you’ll soon start to see the benefits. Walking is really easy to take up; after all, most of us do some walking everyday already, but there are a few things to think about before beginning a more serious regime.

Take it slowly when you start walking ...

When you begin, it is best not too push yourself too hard. Rely on your body to give you signals and don’t let yourself get too tired. Relax and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty of time for tougher terrain and longer routes when you’re used to walking for exercise.

For safety reasons, and until you have a better idea of the distances you can manage, stick to areas where there is transport, level ground and people around in case you do push yourself too hard and need help. This needn’t mean boring walks; find local canal or riversides and other nearby beauty spots.

Set out to walk a couple of miles at first, unless you are already quite fit. The beauty of walking is that, route permitting, you can increase your distances as gradually as you like, and vary the setting. Walkers tend not to set themselves tough distance or speed goals, so relax and enjoy gradually increasing your capabilities.

How far you walk will also depend on how much time you have and there are no hard and strict rules about how long you need to walk for and there are plenty of benefits to mild, or moderate, activity. Take time to rest on your walk and to take in what’s around you as you go. If you are building up your fitness from scratch, walking is ideal because it allows you maximum flexibility.

So, don’t worry too much about launching into a strict walking program; make walking part of your life.

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