Walking is one of the safest physical activities to improve your health with the least risk to your muscles and joints. People who walk are less prone to heart attacks, diabetes and other chronic health problems.
Every little bit of walking counts. Ten minutes of walking three times a day is just as good as 30 minutes at one time. All you need are comfortable clothing and a pair of low-heeled, thick, flexible-soled shoes that fit well. These shoes will cushion your feet and absorb shock – making your walks a pleasure for your feet!
The best exercise machine with fur … is a dog!
Wear clothes that fit the season – layers of clothing in the cooler months let you peel off layers as you warm up. Light, cotton clothing in the summer helps keep you cool. Choose shorts that don’t chafe your thighs – try a pair of lycra/cotton form-fitting shorts or tights.
Get moving! …walk anywhere and at any time – it all adds up to a healthier you! Use the chart below to get started. Gradually increase the frequency, intensity and time that you walk. Over several weeks, you can begin walking faster, going further and walking for longer periods of time.
Get Walking Guidelines
|Frequency – how often?||Intensity – how hard?||Time – how long?|
|Start by walking
3 days a week.Start off slowly. Pace yourself. You should be able to walk and talk.
|Start off slowly. Pace yourself. You should be able to walk and talk.||Start by walking 10-15 minutes at a time, even if it means reducing the intensity to a very easy pace (slow walk).|
|Progress to 5-7 days per week over the next few months.||You can slowly and progressively increase the intensity of your exercise sessions. Use the perceived exertion scale to monitor the intensity of your efforts.
Listen to your body. If you feel comfortable doing what you’re doing, you’re on target. STOP if you experience dizziness, pain or shortness of breath.
|Add 5 minutes every week until you can walk at least 30-60 minutes every day.|
Intensity of 4-5 feeling of exertion
30-60 minutes DAILY
Levels of Intensity of Effort
|Level||Intensity of Effort||Walking Pace|
|0.5||Very, very weak effort||Very, very easy pace|
|1||Very weak effort||Very easy pace (slow walk)|
|2||Weak effort||Somewhat easy pace|
|3||Moderate effort – can walk and talk and sing a song!||Somewhat hard pace (fast walk)|
|4||Somewhat strong effort||Hard pace (as fast walk pumping arms back ad forth to increase pace)|
|5||Strong effort – Can’t talk in sentences, only a few words at a time.||Somewhat harder pace (as fast as you can walk on flat ground, pumping arms back and forth to increase pace)|
|6||Stronger effort||Very hard pace (fast walk up a gentle slope)|
|7||Very strong effort||Very hard pace (fast walk up a steep hill)|
|8 -9||Can’t talk in sentences, only a few words at a time.||Very, very hard pace (fast walk up stairs)|
|10||Very, very strong effort
|As hard as you can go!|