Walk your way to better health
Brought to you by the Women's Heart Secrets Program, Kim Beyer, BS, Exercise Specialist
Have you ever struggled with figuring out what type of exercise is right for you? Walking is great exercise for many reasons: no equipment is needed except a pair of good walking shoes, you don’t need any specific skills, and it doesn’t cost anything to go for a walk outside. Now is the perfect time to start walking.
When beginning a walking program you want to start out gradually and increase the duration of your walks before increasing the intensity, or speed, of your walking. For example, start walking 10 minutes two times per day and increase the time to 15 minutes two times per day. Continue to gradually increase the minutes you walk until you reach your desired amount of time.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, everyone should be exercising 30 to 60 minutes five to six times per week.
With all of the health benefits of walking, everyone should want to start! Some of these benefits include:
A pedometer, worn around your waist, is a great tool to motivate you and help you track how many steps you are taking during the day. For the healthy person, a good goal is to complete 10,000 steps per day. You can get your 10,000 steps through your normal, daily activity in addition to daily walks. There are roughly 2,000 steps in a mile.
When you start an exercise program, you will see benefits. They might not be immediately visible, but with consistency in your exercise program, you will reap benefits. Just remember that any increased activity is going to improve your health, so pat yourself on your back for your achievements and continue to progress toward your personal health goals!
“Walking can provide health benefits and be something you enjoy,” said Beyer. “But before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your healthcare provider."
If you have any questions or would like more information about exercise, please contact Women’s Heart Secrets at (414) 291-1550 or visit www.heartsecrets.org.