Walking, an Easy and Effective Exercise
Many people in the United States are overweight and/or out of shape. They want to get into better shape but either don’t know how to do it or don’t want to try very hard. I have a solution that will help…exercise. While exercise alone won’t get you completely healthy, it will certainly help.
Exercise is easier than you may think. You DO NOT have to run a marathon or lift weights or do anything that is very strenuous.
Most doctors say swimming is the best form of exercise, because it is easier on your joints. The problem with that is you have to have access to water year round. Unless you have a membership to a fitness club with an indoor pool, you must live in a warm climate with access to a lake, ocean or pool. That reduces a large number of people.
Bike riding is considered by most doctors as the second best form of exercise for your joints. The problem with bike riding is that you either have to be in a warm climate year round or have to be able to afford either a fitness club membership or exercise bike for when the weather is bad. There are, however, attachments that you can use for you bike in the winter. You simply take you bike indoors, put on the attachment which keeps the rear wheel in the air, and it becomes an indoor exercise bike. While some people do this, for me personally, I would be concerned about the bike falling off the attachment and start to move.
WALKING is the key exercise. You can do it almost anywhere and it is free. You probably have many questions including, how far do I walk? How fast do I walk? How long do I walk? And what if the weather is bad?
When you first begin, how far you walk is not very important. The key is that you are now moving. If you can only walk 50 yards, that is fine. You have to start somewhere. The goal for this phase is to work your way up to a 1 mile continuous walk.
Once you are able to walk 1 mile continuously, you should start working on your pace. Your goal for this phase should be to do a 20 minute mile.
Once you have reached the goal of walking 1 mile in 20 minutes, you should increase your time walking. Most doctors suggest 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times per week. Increase your 1 mile walk to 30 minutes, you should be doing about 1 ½ miles at this time.
According to http://www.the-fitness-walking-guide.com/average-walking-speed.html the average fitness walking speed is 3.0-3.5 miles per hour. That means you would be walking at a 17-20 minute mile pace. If you are walking for 30 minutes at this pace, you should be doing a pretty good job exercising.
Most doctors suggest exercising AT LEAST 3 times per week, in my opinion, it is easier to do it if it is part of your normal routine. In my case, I walk the first thing every morning. I know some people may not be able to do that. Maybe make it part of your work schedule, either walk before you go to work or as soon as you get home. If you work 5 days a week, that means you are getting 5 days a week of exercise. The key, is to make exercise part of your normal routine .
What about walking in bad weather? You can walk in just about any kind of weather, however, some weather just isn’t very fun to walk in. You can buy exercise videos that will help. I highly recommend Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away the Pounds videos. You can pick up one of those for about $10.
The bottom line is that you start moving on a regular basis. The more you exercise, the better you will feel and the healthier you will get.