As many of you are aware, I am a big time walker.  This is my major form of exercise.  Nothing feels better than a good workout first thing in the morning.  I'm out at 5:00 a.m., and then again at 5:00 p.m.    When I first joined Backstreet Lite about two years ago, I was very sedentary.  I did not do exercise at all.  I felt there was just no time for it.  I started out by walking every night after work.  Just a mile or less to get me started.  Once I participated in my first challenge, I decided to start walking in the mornings and at night.  I've been doing this for well over a year and a half now.  It's never easy to get started on something new, but if you keep at it, you will find that you feel so much better for having done it.

The most important thing to remember when starting out is to work your way up to a goal.  The ultimate goal is to be able to walk comfortably for 30 to 60 minutes.  This will be the point where you reap the health benefits of walking.   Walking a half-hour a day or 3 hours per week is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.  Walking 7 hours a week is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer and Type II diabetes. 

Probably the best thing you can do for yourself if you are going to start walking is to invest in a pair of good walking shoes.  Always consider fit (your shoes must fit well, but leave enough room so your feet can expand while walking); flex (good walking shoes are flexible, as your foot rolls through each step); flat (there should be little difference in height between the heal and the ball of the foot).  A well-fit pair of running shoes is probably the best answer for many walkers. 

Walking at this time of year can be a problem for anyone.  Layers of clothing are best when walking in any climate.  You can remove a jacket or sweater if it gets too warm.  Personally, I like walking in the cooler weather as opposed to the heat of summer.  The only problem I'm having now is the icy conditions.  It just takes a little more time to get my 2 miles in on my morning walk now. 

In my search of the web for sites about walking for fitness, I've discovered a program called Webwalking USA.  This is a virtual tour of the US.  You start on the East Coast and work your way to California.  I've decided to start this program and see how long it takes me to complete it.  If anyone is interested in joining me, let me know.  I think this would be a fun program to try.  You just log your miles as you walk and chart your way across the country.  There are milestones where you can see highlights of each segment of the trail.  The link for this site is at the bottom of this article.

Next time, I'll talk about stretching, posture and warning signs.  If anyone has any questions, please let me know.
My Favorite Links:
Web Walking USA
General Walking
My Info:
Name: Pam
Email: pbeck3@rochester.rr.com