So you have made the big descision to finally lose a little weight and do not know how to go about beginning a new exercise program. The good news is that if you are able to, then walking is about the best thing you can begin with if your body is not in all that great of physical condition. It does not cost you anything other than time, unless you invest in a decent pair of shoes. Even then, you do not have to break the bank with shoes as you can get a pair at your local Walmart that will last at least long enough to see if you are going to stick with an exercise regimen. And not only can you get away with a cheap pair of shoes, you also do not require any fancy gym clothes. Just dress comfortable and ensure you carry a bottle of water large enough to keep you hydrated while out.
This basic exercise is actually one of the best and most restorative exercises you can do for your body. It is low impact and easy to build up to a brisk pace over a short period of time. As you also lengthen the distance of your walks, you might decide to stroll through your neighborhood, down a tree lined path in a park, or at some point, cross country on a good hiking trail. Walking combined with a healthy diet will lead you to a life of higher quality than a sedentary life eating sugar laden treats while watching the latest re-run of Seinfeld or what ever is on the boob tube.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. First and foremost, this is usually the biggest reason most people begin any exercise routine. Going for three to four brisk walks per week will help you to achieve your weight loss of weight management goals.
- Prevent or manage health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. If you have any of these conditions, be sure your doctor clears you for exercise before beginning. Most doctors will be ecstatic to have a patient working towards getting healthier through exercise over medicines any day.
- Strengthen your bones and muscles. These are both critical issues to stay on top of as we age. Strengthening our bones and muscles will give us a better quality of life in our senior years as our posture will remain erect rather than stooped over with osteoporosis.
- Walking will improve your mood. Life’s problems will feel more manageable with a release of feel good endorphins. This will help you to be focused and mentally centerered. Walking is great therapy for depression.
- Walking will improve your balance and coordination.
Set realistic goals for yourself. Do not plan to walk five to ten miles your first outing. Set several short term goals in order to meet long term objectives. Track your progress by keeping a journal. Remain motivated by keeping your walks fun. Walk with a friend. Enjoy the great outdoors and your new life of healthier living.