The beauty of walking is that it can be done anywhere at any time. Whether you are on vacation or on a lunch break at work, you can lace up your sneakers and head out for a walk, burning a few additional calories that will go toward your weight loss goals. While our eating habits have a lot to do with our waistline, exercise certainly plays a large role in giving us that extra boost to keep us on track and provide us with motivation when we need it most. The best part is that a little walk goes a long way and you’ll likely feel a burst of energy after you hit the pavement, trail or treadmill. Here are a few tips for tackling those daily walks with gusto…
Keep it fun. There is no better way to lose interest in an exercise regimen that is utterly boring to you. With that said, it will do your mind and body wonders if you adopt a walking routine that keeps the pep in your step. By incorporating small changes throughout your walk, you will find that it goes by faster and it will push you to get better every time you hit the road. For example, try throwing in two-minute increments where you pump your arms and walk at your fastest rate, then go back down to a two-minute stride that is somewhat easier for you. The real fun starts to happen when you incorporate hills into your routine. This will make the flat surfaces feel that much easier and give you something to look forward to on the other side of the hill.
Get the right shoes. While it may seem like you’d be fine simply lacing up any pair of shoes before you head out for your walk, it’s actually crucial that you get proper shoes. Having a pair of solid walking sneakers with the proper arch support and shock absorbency will help protect your back, feet, and posture. You may want to take advantage of the specialists available at athletic shoe stores as they will help assess your gait and give you the guidance you need to find the shoe that fits just right and works in a way that will benefit your body. The last thing that you want is shin splints or a sore back. And as always, check with your doctor before starting on a walking program. He/she might have some shoe recommendations for you as well.
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