Quick Guide: walking exercise program

Here’s five of our top tips to help you get even more benefits from regular walking. So lace up, and walk your way to a fitter you.

Start small
Walking newbies should do 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week. Try this:
• A 30-minute walk (with the dog) early morning or late afternoon.
• Two brisk 15-minute loops around your local park.
• A 30-minute walk on the treadmill at gym, or at home.
• A 15-minute walk around the block in the morning and evening.

Watch your posture
Walk better and ache less with these steps:
• Keep your posture upright, with your neck and shoulders relaxed.
• Bend your arms at the elbow, with hands lightly clenched.
• Pull in your abs and tuck in your rear, but keep a natural arch in your back.
• Look straight ahead and not at the floor in front of you.
• Hit the ground with your heel, then roll through to your toe and push off.
• Swing bent arms slightly, but not right across the body.

Plan the distance
Plan your walk before you set out:
• Set yourself a 20-minute walk and split it 50-50 there and back.
• Walk in a 20- to 30-minute crossover loop with your house at the centre. Then, wherever you are, you’re not far from home. Go round the loop twice if you can!
• Walk for about 20 minutes and then, when you head home, try shaving a minute off the time that you took for the outward journey. Make yourself puff a bit!

Let music be your muse
Keep motivation at an all-time high with some fab music on your iPod or phone – studies show it can help increase endurance by up to 15%.

Do it for a cause
What better way to get fit while walking than doing it for a great cause? Get friends and family involved and sign up to a great charity walk or run. Not only will this be a great morning out, it’ll motivate you even more to train for a goal and achieve something great! There are loads of walking and running events happening all over the country.

Check out www.runnersworld.co.za/events or www.racewalk.co.za/

TOP TECH TIP: download the fitness app Endomondo, which not only tracks your time and distance but also shows calories burned. Download the app here. 

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