8 Steps to Create a Walking Workout Plan

No matter your fitness level, you might think about starting a fitness program when those around you are also excited about a fitness program. You were designed for motion. Have a plan that fits your current fitness level. You'll enjoy physical changes and re-energize your ability to get out and engage the world. It's never too late to start (or start over).

So, how does a busy person do it all?

Eight Steps to Create Personal Success

  1. If you're over 40 or have a chronic disease (asthma, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.) check with your physician before starting an exercise program.

  2. Get a good pair of running or walking shoes. Avoid cross-trainers, aerobic shoes, or any footwear you've owned for more than a year. Have a thumb's width of length between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. When you're standing up, make sure your foot isn't wider than the sole of the shoe.

  3. Start and end each workout at a slow walking pace. Increase your effort by the middle of your walk, but be sure you can easily carry on a conversation.

  4. Doing too much too soon is the number one cause of injury. Pain is an indication from your body that something is wrong and needs to change. Even a misaligned sock seam can cause a nasty blister.

* Apply ice to the sore muscles for 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day. Avoid frostbite by using a cloth between the ice and your skin or, if you are using ice directly applied to the area, monitor your skin and keep the ice in constant motion.

* Take two days off and start back with less time or distance and flat terrain. If your pain continues, get medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider who is familiar with exercisers. Get a plan for returning to exercise.

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