While some fitness enthusiasts are looking for the latest and trendiest exercise or gym, many others are now turning to good, old-fashioned walking to help them feel great and get into shape. Walking can be a healthy, invigorating experience….and you don’t need to be a member of an expensive gym.
The first order of business in beginning any walking program is to select the correct shoes. Do not choose fashion over function. Poor-fitting shoes can lead to pain throughout the body. Make sure your shoes fit properly with the balls of your feet resting exactly at the point where the toe end bends during walking. Shoes should have plenty of cushioning to absorb impact. Do your shoe shopping at the end of the day when feet are the largest and be sure you wear the socks you will be wearing during your walks. And, once you have purchased the shoes, only wear them for 300-500 miles of walking.
Now you have the correct shoes and are ready to get started. Begin by walking 12 minutes every other day but try to eventually build up to 30 minutes 5 days a week. Experts say to be considered active, adults should take 10,000 steps a day. (Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track that progress).
Here are a few tips to get you started on a walking regimen:
- Move your arms freely in coordination with the opposite leg.
- Don’t stoop or look down.
- Don’t carry weight or dumbbells.
- Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two.
- Walk with a “purpose”.
Remember also to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking 10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day will help keep the kidneys functioning properly and replaces any lost fluids. (Coffee, tea and soft drinks cannot be substituted for water.)
Also very important is your walking surface. A cushioned or rubberized track is the best as it can absorb most of the impact of walking. Grass is another ideal surface but watch out for hidden dips or holes. Walking on concrete or a mall floor is not the best but if this is your only choice then choose shoes with extra cushion.
Most importantly, consult your Indianapolis chiropractor before beginning any exercise program. Your chiropractor can suggest a wellness program that is right for you and that will help you manage any muscle soreness and discomfort.
So for exercise, just try walking!