Walking For Fitness

Walking is an excellent way to get in shape and lose weight. Almost anyone can do it, no matter what their current fitness level, and all you need to get started is a comfortable pair of shoes.

Brisk walking can help reduce the incidence of numerous illnesses including coronary heart disease. Fitting walking into your life is easy once you start looking for opportunities:

  • Walk at least part of the way to work – for example, walk to the train station, or park the car further away from the office
     
  • Walk to the shops, or any other short journeys
     
  • On weekends head out for longer walks with family, friends, or the dog
     

How to walk

  • The key to fitness walking is pace. This is a brisk walk, not a gentle stroll
  • Walk tall with your head up
  • Take full breaths, inhaling and exhaling completely
  • When walking uphill, take smaller strides, leaning into the hill.

How long should I walk?

  • General health, 20 - 30 minutes most days at a "talking" pace
     
  • Weight management, walk for 30 - 45+ minutes at a comfortable pace as many days as possible
     
  • Cardiovascular fitness: Walk 20+ minutes at a fast pace, ideally over slightly hilly terrain. At least 3 sessions per week, gradually increasing pace and distance.
     
  • Remember, exercise should never be painful. If you feel any severe pain, contact your doctor immediately.

Before you start you should read the next few pages!

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