Turn Walking Into Your Favorite Sport

Who says sports can only be about competing with another team or another individual?  Sports are what each individual makes of them.  If you’re determined to develop a healthy walking regime, turn this into a sport simply by competing with yourself.  You are a worthy opponent! Walking is a form of transportation, relaxation, exercise and athleticism.  Give yourself the challenge of ramping up your walking regime out of your comfort zone. The first step in starting any new sport or exercise regime is to consult with your doctor.

Invest in a pair of quality walking shoes and you’re off! Enlist a friend or family member, or simply carve this time out for yourself.  Begin by walking at least thirty minutes every other day if you’ve been a couch potato for the six months. At this stage, don’t concern yourself with speed or distance, the goal is to develop a habit of walking. The more you walk, the more you’ll enjoy it and your body will begin to crave the benefits. One of the keys to success is variety.  Continue to vary your walking venues from the neighborhood, to a treadmill, a local park or a gym.

After you have developed the habit of walking thirty minute every other day, aim for accomplished a preset distance. Any number of Apps and online sites can help with this. Shoot for walking two miles every other day. While this may lengthen the duration of your walk in the beginning, soon you’ll be walking fifteen minute miles and be back to your thirty minute walks.  Once you’ve reached a comfort level with this distance and duration, begin to focus on speed.  Ramp up your pace for one minute, every five minutes. You should not be able to carry on a conversation at this intensity. This will serve to up your heart rate and increase your caloric burn.  For added fun, plot your route to incorporate hills. This is the ultimate challenge.

No doubt after less than two months of your new walking regime you’re beginning to feel more fit, agile and stronger. The benefits continue for a lifetime. Happy walking!

Andrew Faulkner

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