Walking is a weapon that rivals and sometimes surpasses running. Those who exhibit diligence in fitness reap the benefits of running. Anyone, however, can take up the activity of walking around the neighborhood for an immediate advantage. It also takes very little equipment to start the sport. A good pair of walking sneakers is often the only thing you need to begin your journey towards better health through walking.
With so many benefits attached to the activity, many beginners to fitness consider a walking program before any other type of exercise routine. Here are a few suggestions for a regimen.
You do not want to begin your regimen on a high note if it has been years since you last walked, ran, or crawled. It is best to start the first week with an easy walk that consists of zero hills. Dedicate the first five of your 20-minute walk to a leisure stride. The purpose of such start is to get your body prepared for what is to come with proper blood circulation. Stretch for two minutes before engaging in an easy walk for ten minutes. Your cool down should be similar to your startup: leisurely.
The second week of your walking program will almost be identical to the first with the exception being a brisk walk replacing the easy-going routine that you carried when starting out. You want the pace of your walk to be more intentional going into the second week, which is why you may consider investing in a device that keeps track of your speed and strides. The beginning of every workout in week two should be identical to that of week one with you beginning with a warm-up for ten minutes and stretching in preparation for the brisk routine.
Week three of your walking program should come with increased times and goals for further improvement. Your leisure walk should extend to 15 minutes with a two-minute stretch coming before the brisk walking routine. The central part of your workout should also be 15 minutes for a total of 30 minutes’ worth of exercise.
Four weeks of consistent walking probably means that your heart is ready for something different. Such is the reason why you change things up and start your 15-minute brisk walking session right after beginning the routine with your slow walking. Stretching is for the end of the exercise in week four.
You may consider week five of your walking routine as the dead zone. You are not changing anything during these five days, but instead working to improve your times. The session should begin with your leisure walking and go right at a brisk pace. Don’t forget to stretch it out at the end of your 30-minute routine.
The sixth week of walking is the finish line for beginners. Here is the time where you can put your efforts to the test and show yourself how much you have grown. Integrating power interval sessions is the best way to keep your heart rate high and burn more fat. You may consider power walking for 30 seconds during the interval and then taking things down to a comfortable walk for 60 seconds. Alternating between the two speeds four to six times during the 20-minute segment is the best way to get the most out of your power intervals. In total, your week six workouts should come to around 35 minutes with the natural walking segment taking all of 15 minutes.
You should always consult your physician before starting any new workout regimen if you have health concerns such as heart problems or diabetes. Those over the age of 40 may also want to err on the safe side by talking with their doctors before beginning a walking plan. Those who consistently walk five days out of the week for at least 30 minutes often experience the most exceptional results.
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