How to Get Started—And Stick With—a Fitness Walking Routine

Getting started with a walking routine can sometimes feel like a daunting task but if you follow some basic guidelines you’ll be walking and reaching your goals before you know it.

It’s important to remember that if you are new to walking you will need to gradually build up your routine. It’s best to start out slowly and increase the amount of time you spend walking each day or week. Although the Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of exercise daily you may have to start lower than that, depending on your current activity level.

Set small goals for yourself when beginning a walking routine. It’s much easier to see yourself losing five pounds than fifty pounds and you’re less likely to lose faith if you are continually hitting small goals along the way to better health. This also pertains to setting time and distance goals. If you start too quickly you may not be able to keep your pace up.

You need to make your walking routine a habit. If you only walk sporadically you are less likely to stick with your program, whereas if you do it at least five times a week you will find that it will become a part of your daily routine and your body will miss it if you don’t do it.

Keep up a good pace while walking. This is especially important if you are doing it with a friend. Many times people find themselves talking to each other and as they do this they unconsciously slow down. It’s important to know what your target heart rate should be and check it periodically while walking to make sure that you are getting the most out of your exercise time.

Drink plenty of water throughout your walking routine. Staying hydrated is important so that you can maintain the right level of exercise while taking care of your body. Dehydration is a serious condition and it can affect you even after working out. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walking routine.

Watch out and stay safe when walking. It’s best to walk where there are other people or with others, walking during the day or on well lighted streets or walking areas, make sure friends and family know where and when you take your walks, and if you can’t find a safe area to walk outside then consider purchasing a treadmill or joining a gym.

Always remember to check with your doctor before starting a walking routine, or any exercise program. It’s also important, if you are walking to lose weight, that you eat healthy in order to promote adequate weight loss.

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