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Time To Start Moving!

Walking Your Way To Fitness

Walking is an ideal form of exercise for many reasons. You don't need special equipment to do it, it can be done by almost anyone, and you can do it almost anywhere! As an added bonus, there are numerous health benefits from starting a regular walking program:

Good for your heart: Walking regularly can result in a reduction of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both of which contribute to heart disease.
Improves balance: This can help lower your risk of falls. This risk increases as we get older.
Strengthens bones and joints: Walking is easier on your joints than running or aerobics (which are high impact activities). It also reduces your risk for osteoporosis.
Weight control, more energy, better sleep: All benefits of a regular physical activity program.

If you are new to exercise, there are some important health tips which will get you started on the right foot:
  • Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. He or she may require a physical exam or special instructions based on your medical history.

  • Don't overdo this program if you are a beginning exerciser. Let your body adjust to the new activity.

  • For the first few weeks, do not push too hard. Your breathing should be elevated, but you should not be gasping for air. A good rule of thumb is the "talk test"- if you cannot answer a question, you are walking too fast. If you can have a full conversation you are walking too slow.

  • Walking shouldn't hurt. If it does, see your family physician.

  • Wear a watch so you can monitor the time spent walking. You can also wear a pedometer to keep track of distance. Pedometers can be found at most major retailers (Target, Wal Mart, etc.) for as little as $5.00
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About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. As a certified personal trainer, she also holds a certification in prenatal and postpartum exercise. Jen has two children and enjoys running marathons.

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