Intimidated by the idea of exercising? It’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Walking – whether you take a brisk walk every morning with your four-legged friend or enjoy a quiet stroll on your lunch break – is a great and easy way to get in shape.
Walking is good for your heart, lungs, and circulatory system, can help you control your weight, and can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. It’s also a great stress release or pick-me-up.
St. Joseph Hoag Health, the health care partner of Angels Baseball, is proud to support healthy communities by participating in the
Angels 5K & 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk on April 11.
Brisk walking is a good moderate-intensity activity that doesn’t stress your joints as much as running. If you want to lose weight, commit to walking every day and fit it into your routine. You’ll also control the calories you take in by eating a healthy diet.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine if you’ve never exercised, if you smoke or if you have heart disease or other chronic illnesses. Stop exercising and contact your health care provider if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting while exercising.
Follow these tips for spicing up your routine:
Raise the Bar
If you usually walk a two-mile course in 30 minutes, try to complete it in 29 minutes next week. You can also try setting a long-term goal. If a two-mile hike is a challenge now, how will you need to step up your routine to walk five miles six months from now?
Walk with a Buddy
A walking partner – a colleague from work, a friend, or your spouse – can give you that extra motivation to get out every day. If you can't find a partner, try joining an exercise class.
Buy yourself a pedometer to track how many steps you take each day, or a heart monitor to keep yourself in the right cardiovascular zone. Or, use walking as an excuse to buy a portable music player so you’ll have an upbeat tempo to walk to—just be sure to keep the volume low enough that you can hear traffic and other sounds that could warn you of danger.
Kick It Up a Notch
You can build up to vigorous exercise by taking on the challenge of race walking or “power walking.” The faster you walk in a given period of time, the more you’ll be working your heart and lungs; you’ll also burn more calories. Walking up hills will do the same thing.