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Getting Started

  • Develop a habit. Walking a minimum of 5 days/week is a good goal.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking.
  • Start your walk at a slow warm up pace.
  • Stop and do a few warm up stretches.
  • End your walk with the slower cool down pace and stretch well.
  • By taking the time to warm up and stretch, you will perform better and reduce the chances of injury.
  • To avoid stiff or sore muscles or joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further, and walking for longer periods of time.
WATCH your Posture
  • Walk tall.
  • Hold your head up and eyes forward.
  • Your shoulders should be down, back and relaxed.
  • Tighten your abdominals and buttocks and fall into a natural stride.
  • Focus on looking forward to about 12-20 feet in front of you.
  • Arms should swing naturally at waist level with arms bent at approximately 90º.
  • Your hands should be relaxed and loosely closed.
  • The elbows should be close to the torso.
  • If your arms get fatigued, keep them bent for 5-10 minutes, then lower them to recover. As soon as you feel rested, raise them again.
  • Strike the ground first with your heel. Roll through the step from heel to toe.
  • Push off with your toe. Bring the leg forward to strike again with the heel.

What to Wear

  • Wear shoes with thick flexible soles that will cushion your feet and absorb shock.
  • Flexible shoes will ensure you are able to roll through the step
  • If your feet are slapping down rather than rolling through, your shoes are likely too stiff.
  • Wear clothes that are right for the season.
  • Cotton clothes for the summer help to keep you cool by absorbing sweat and allowing it to evaporate.
  • Layer your clothing in the winter, and as you warm up, you can take off some layers.

How Much Is Enough?

  • For the general health benefits try to walk 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, at a "talking" pace.
  • To improve cardiovascular fitness walk 3 to 4 days a week, 20 to 30 minutes at a very fast pace - breathing hard but not gasping for air.
  • If you are walking for weight loss you should walk a minimum of five days a week, 45 to 60 minutes at a "purposeful/talking" pace.
  • The more you walk, the better you will feel. You also use more calories.