Before you hit the trail, you need to warm up your muscles to avoid injury.
|·||For five minutes, either walk on the spot or down a block or two and then stop.|
|·||Stretch your legs, arms, neck and shoulders using slow, easy movements. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds. Don’t bounce.|
|·||Avoid injury by following proper warm-up, stretching techniques.|
If at any point you experience dizziness, pain or shortness of breath, stop exercising. See your doctor right away.
Bring a bottle of water along with you. Drink when you’re thirsty, when you’re not thirsty and anytime in between.
|Beginner||three to four times a week||Slow, easy pace. You should be able to walk and talk. Once you feel more fit, pump your arms and walk faster.||Start with 10 to 15 minutes. Graduate to 30 minutes.|
|Intermediate||four to five times a week||Find hills or stairs that take about a minute to walk up. On a treadmill, increase the incline. Incorporate hills or inclines three or four times during your walk. You should be able to walk and talk, but not sing a song.||45 minutes|
|Advanced||five to seven times a week||Add interval training with high intensity and low to moderate efforts. Alternate going up hills or stairs briskly with three to four minutes of fast-paced walking on flat surfaces. Build up over six to eight weeks. Then do hills or stairs for four minutes alternating with one minute of brisk walking.||45 to 60 minutes|
You can walk anywhere, anytime. Take the stairs, walk the kids to school, stroll through your local mall, hit a nature trail or hike through a national park. If you have joint, hip or back pain, try “water” walking at your local pool or fitness club.