Walk Your Way to Health

Summer is around the corner and you’ve not yet met your New Year’s Resolution to drop those extra pounds and begin a healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late. Today is truly the perfect say to get started. Just head over to Footlocker and invest in a pair of quality walking shoes. In order for your new lifestyle to become a habit, record your walks in the App of your choice for at least 3 months. This will really serve as a motivation as you see how quickly you progress in distance, speed and duration. Getting healthy and losing weight doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand. A great walking regime will help tone your body and build stamina and strength, but smart choices in the kitchen are the biggest factor in weight loss.

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The three keys to a walking regime, other than great music, are duration, distance and speed. Focus first on duration. If you’re truly out of shape, or if your shape has been horizontal on the couch for months, make sure you check with your family doctor before embarking on a strenuous walking regime. Once you have the all clear, aim to walk at least 30 minutes every other day for two weeks. Don’t concern yourself with distance or speed. The goal at this juncture is to establish a habit, gain confidence and slowly begin to build and loosen muscles.

At the start of week three, challenge yourself to walk two miles every other day for two weeks. Don’t concern yourself with speed, just distance. At the start of week four, your goal should be to walk two miles in thirty minutes. That’s a very brisk walking pace of a 15 minute mile. Continue this for at least two weeks.

At this juncture you will no doubt have begun to see major changes in your strength and stamina. Your legs are stronger and you’ve vastly increased your cardiovascular abilities. Your lungs and core are much healthier. Begin to jazz up your walks by adding tough hills and increased speed. Most importantly, the goal is to enjoy yourself while walking. Change your venue from the neighborhood, to the treadmill to local greenways or trails. Congratulations!

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