Something seeming simple can make a big difference – here’s how to make a plan and stick with it!
- Start slowly and set a short-term goal. For example, walk for 5 or 10 minutes every day.
- Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk every day. Try for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. You also may want to swim, bike, or do other activities.
- If finding enough time is a problem, it is fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
- To get the heart-healthy benefits of walking, you need to walk briskly enough to increase your heart rate and breathing, but not so fast that you cannot talk comfortably.
- Wear comfortable shoes t hat fit well and provide good support for your feet and ankles.
Staying with your plan
- After you’ve made walking a habit, set a longer-term goal. You may want to set a goal of walking briskly for longer or walking farther. Experts say to do 2½ hours of moderate activity a week. A faster heartbeat is what defines moderate-level activity.
- To stay motivated, walk with friends, coworkers, or pets.
- Use a phone app or activity tracking device to track your steps each day. Discounts on devices can be found at www.ngoodhealth.com. Set a goal of 7,500 steps and receive one N Good Health point towards step 4 each day you log it in your account. Once this is comfortable, set a higher goal and aim for 10,000 steps a day.
- If the weather keeps you from walking outside, go for walks at the mall with a friend.
Fitting a walk into your workday
- Park several blocks away from work, or get off the bus a few stops early.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator, at least for a few floors.
- Suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.
- Use the restroom that is the farthest from your desk or workstation.
- Use your morning and afternoon breaks to take quick 15-minute walks.
- Know your surroundings. Walk in a well-lighted, safe place. If it is dark, walk with a partner. Wear light-colored clothing or buy a vest or jacket that reflects light.
- Carry a cell phone for emergencies.
- Drink plenty of water. Take a water bottle with you when you walk if it is hot out.
- Be careful not to slip on wet or icy ground. You can buy “grippers” for your shoes to help keep you from slipping.
- Pay attention to your walking surface. Use sidewalks and paths.
- If you have breathing problems like asthma or COPD, ask your doctor when it is safe for you to walk outdoors. Cold, dry air, smog, pollen, or other things in the air could cause breathing problems
Benefits of Walking
- Burns calories
- Strengthens the heart
- Can help lower blood sugar
- Supports joints
- Boosts immune function
- Increases energy levels
- Improves mood
- Can extend your life
- Clears your mind
- Improves circulation
- Builds bone strength
- Better sleep
- Reduces risk for disease
We hope these tips have helped- happy walking & let us know how we can help you reach your goals!