According to the American Heart Association, walking is the easiest form of exercise to stick with. It's also one of the most effective forms of exercise and can be done by most people. Here are five tips to help you get started!
- Get a Good Pair of Shoes
Walking is one of the most cost-effective forms of exercise, so a good pair of walking or athletic shoes is all you really need. It's not even necessary the shoes be new, just as long as they provide the comfort, support and stability to sustain your walking program.
- Find a Walking Route
A local park or walking trail can be the perfect location for you to walk each day. Look for areas that are well lit and populated, and bring a companion if possible. If you can't find a walking trail, many smart phone apps are available to help you locate one, or you can even map your own route. Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi also has some tips on several locations around the state where you can find a place to walk.
- Make it Fun
Bring a friend or listen to music to keep you motivated! A companion can help you keep a steady pace, or good upbeat music can help you walk faster. Research shows that having an exercise partner is one of the best ways to stay accountable and enjoy yourself, while music can lift your mood and help you keep a steady, brisk tempo.
- Stretch It Out
Stretching is an important element of any exercise program, but it's mostly important following your workout after your muscles are warm. This can help maintain flexibility, which becomes increasingly important as you age and will help you avoid injury. The Mayo Clinic has information on incorporating a safe and effective stretching routine into your exercise regimen.
- Create a Well-Rounded Routine
Variety is key to a solid exercise program. This includes cardiovascular exercise like, walking, along with strength training and stretching. It's important to challenge your body on an ongoing basis to promote strength and even more health benefits. The Centers for Disease Control has developed physical activity recommendations for every age and stage of life.
Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi has helped thousands of Mississippians start a walking program. You can learn more about the health benefits, find places to walk and even tracking tools on the Let's Go Walkin' Mississippi website. Take steps today to make walking work for you! Be healthy! Go Walkin'!