Getting Started With Walking
Walking is a great way to stay active, regardless of your age or body type. It's fun, needs no special equipment, and lets you set your own pace
Walking can be a great way to start becoming more active. Walking has many advantages:
- Most people can do it. Almost anyone can walk; it doesn’t require any special equipment
- It’s convenient. You can walk just about anywhere you happen to be. You can walk in your neighborhood, at the mall, around the office, in a parking garage, or even in place at home
- You can set your own pace. You don't have to strain yourself when you walk. Even slow walking helps
- It’s enjoyable. You can enjoy the sights as you walk. You can also listen to a portable music player or talk with friends
- It’s social. Family or friends can walk with you
Always walk with an eye toward safety. Stay away from traffic, be aware of your surroundings, and choose a safe route.
This may surprise you, but walking burns almost as many calories as running the same distance. How far you go matters more than how fast you go. This week, you could try to walk 4000 or more steps each day. If you already walk more than this, keep it up. You could try to increase your daily quota by about 200 steps each week, but increase your number of steps moderately so you can reach your goals. For the best health, some experts suggest a long-term goal of 10,000 steps per day. This is great if you can do it. For now, you can focus on making short-term changes. Eventually, you may want to make sure that you stay moderately active for 30 minutes 5 times a week. This amount of physical activity can improve health.
Using a pedometer to measure your walking
One way you can stay motivated is by tracking your physical activity. We’ve talked before about using a pedometer, or step counter; you may consider using one. A step counter counts the steps you take, how far you go, and the calories you burn. More advanced step counters let you track your progress online. Some smartphones and other devices have pedometer applications. You may already have one! Even if you don’t use a step counter, try to keep track of the time you are active each day. This can help you stay on track. Discuss with your healthcare provider the short and long-term goals that you can set for yourself. Goals like walking a certain number of steps by a set date or going on a 5-mile bike ride by the end of the month can make your physical activity more fun. When you record your activity in an exercise tracker, you can watch your progress towards your goal.
Physical activity can be key to weight management and a step counter is a simple way to track it. A step counter gives you positive feedback when you walk and can help you stay on target.
A step counter detects small changes in your activity and can be a nice way to see if you’re getting more active, as well as a reminder that every step counts. It can also show how small changes can have big effects in just a
One way you can use a step counter is to set small goals during the day. For instance, you may want to set a morning goal, a noon goal, and an after-work goal. If you fall short of your morning goal, you could go for a walk on your lunch break. If you reach your goal, you can reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.