Make Every Step Count

We all know the health benefits of walking at least 10,000 steps a day, but did you know that amping up your walking routine – i.e. walking for fitness – is also one of the most effective low-impact aerobic routines you can do?

Don’t let the term “low-impact” fool you. Low impact – defined by most trainers as exercise with motions where one foot stays on the ground at all times – aerobic exercise gives you a calorie-burning workout. Walking is a stress-free, fun, convenient, and cost-effective form of exercise. It’s also easy to do, you don’t need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere.

You’ll get some health benefits by going out and walking at any pace, any distance, whenever you can catch time away from your work or other obligations. But you can attain a much higher level of conditioning if you actually TRAIN to improve your aerobic fitness. Your aerobic capacity by walking farther and faster is going to increase your health and longevity, as well.

To get aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly – fast enough to make your pulse and breathing increase, but not so fast that you can’t talk comfortably. Also, tweaking your walking routine can really heat things up: hit the hills and add some weights (dumbbells or weighted ankle or wrist straps) to really get that heart rate up!

Are you ready to start walking but don’t know where to begin? We’ll lead the way. Here are some tips to get you started, followed by an excellent 45-minute fat-blasting routine that focuses on keeping a rhythm as you walk. Once you’ve mastered these, check out “Fitness Magazine,” which has a number of great walking workouts.

  1. If you’re new to walking, start off with slow, short sessions and build your way up gradually. Don’t worry about speed in the beginning. After you’ve been walking for several weeks, you can slowly start picking up your pace.
  2. Start out slow and easy. Just walk out the door. For most people, this means head out the door, walk for 10 minutes, and walk back. That’s it? Yes. Do this every day for a week. If this was easy for you, add five minutes to your walks next week (total walking time 25 minutes). Keep adding five minutes until you’re walking as long as desired.
  3. Some may want to start walking daily during lunch or after work. Others start more gradually, with a 10- to 30-minute walk every other day. You can add up exercise time over the course of a day or week. Walking 10 minutes, three times a day is roughly equivalent to walking 30 minutes, once a day. Build up your walking routine and aim for at least 2 ½ hours a week of brisk walking.
  4. Try this fat-blasting walk routine:

Fitness Walking Chart


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