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How to Walk Yourself Fit
Walking is one of the most basic and often easiest exercise routines. It is one of the simplest ways to boost your metabolism, burn calories and slim down. As with most exercise programs, if you have any health concerns, it is always best to check with your doctor regarding any limitations you might need to consider. Once you have the nod from your physician, walking yourself fit is a simple step-by-step process!
Step 1: Prepare
Before jumping right into a walking program, be sure to prepare yourself with comfortable clothing and good walking shoes. Take time to stretch before heading out for your walk. A few simple stretches followed by a slow start will help your muscles get back into the habit of walking.
Step 2: Set realistic goals
If you have not been out doing a lot of exercise, starting slowly is best. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week. They also suggest that, if this is not your current program, you should start with 5 to 10 minutes a day for a few days and slowly work your way up, rather than jumping straight in with 30 minutes. Set a goal you know you can easily achieve and then go for it. If you find you have set your goal too high, it’s perfectly fine to adjust it.
Step 3: Motivate yourself with music
A great way to stay motivated and moving during a walk is to bring along your iPod or MP3 player. Create a special playlist for yourself with your favorite tunes. Have a slow, gentle song to start your warm-up, with more upbeat tempos to follow. A walk-yourself-fit playlist will not only keep you moving but will help you gauge when to pick things up a bit, and to slow your pace to cool down.
Step 4: Track your progress
Keep a log of how you are doing. Documenting how far you are walking, how much time it takes and even the number of steps you’ve taken can keep you motivated and inspired as you see your progress. You can record the information using a pedometer as well. This will give you an accurate reading of how far you have traveled, how many steps you’ve taken to get there and how long it took you.
Step 5: Have a bad-weather DVD
Cold, wet, snowdrifts or the lack of place to walk where you feel safe don’t have to keep you from walking yourself fit. When getting to a gym or walking outside isn’t an option, you can still get yourself moving at home with a walking DVD. Walk-yourself-fit DVDs don’t require any special equipment or complex routines. A walking DVD will also help to vary your routine, adding a little something new to the mix.