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Wonders of Walking Blog

Featuring Judy Heller

8-Tips to make the most of your Walking
Below is a list of tips to make your walking experience enjoyable, productive and safe.


1. Have a goal in mind
Whether you are walking to improve fitness; for stress relief; weight loss; to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer or diabetes; or because of arthritis or osteoporosis, it all adds up to improving the quality of your life.


2. Make a plan
Schedule a time to walk, plan your route; and decide how long you will walk. Stick to your plan.


3. Be safe
Walk with a buddy. Avoid paths with uneven pavements/sidewalks. Observe all traffic laws. If you walk in the dark, wear light-colored or reflective clothing, vests, arm bands and/or hats. Whenever you share the road with traffic, walk facing oncoming traffic. Consider carrying a cell phone, personal identification, and even taxi fare with you.


4. Wear proper clothing and shoes
Wear proper shoes (fit, relatively flat, and flexible). Keep an extra pair of walking shoes at work, so that lack of appropriate footwear won't be an excuse not to go for a walk! Dress in layers, and don't forget to use sunscreen (all year), sunglasses and a hat.


5. Drink water
When you exercise, you need extra water to maintain normal body temperature and cool your muscles. Drink before, during, and after your walk.


6. Learn to walk properly - Yes, there is a proper technique!
• Keep your head level and with erect upper back.


• Walk so that the heel of your foot touches the ground first, then roll your weight forward off your toes.


• Swing your arms from the shoulder as you walk; bending your arm at the elbow to 90 degrees increases the intensity of your walking.


• After warm up, start and finish with a few minutes of gentle stretching.


• Think of your walk as having three parts: start with 5 minutes of slow walking, then increase your pace (walking uphill requires more effort) for middle portion, and end with 5 minutes of slower walking. Warming up gradually increases your heart rate and improves blood flow to your muscles. Cooling down allows the heart rate and muscles to return to normal.


• Do a "Talk Test" you should be able to maintain a conversation with your buddy without getting winded. When walking alone, talk to yourself. If you can't talk, slow down a bit. If you can carry on a monolog, speed it up.


7. Motivate yourself
Using a pedometer (measures your walking distance) or stepometer (counting your steps) offers a way to track your progress. Plan a healthy reward for yourself when you reach a certain goal: a new pair of walking shoes, a CD of upbeat music for walking, a T-shirt with attitude. Use your imagination.


8. Find a buddy
Walking with a buddy is more fun and a great motivator. Perhaps there are WOW Walk Club members near you. If you own a dog, they can make a great walking buddy.
Enjoy yourself!
Adding a spring to your step, a smile on your face and a positive attitude will lead to success!


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Walking: Our Default Gait. Setting Expectations and Goals for 2020
by Judy Heller, January 25, 2020

Happy New Year! Thanks for taking time to read the WOW blog. I welcome your input and look forward to learning more about you. What we share in common is walking, being serious about heath and a proactive participant in life. It is quite amazing we are embarking upon the year 2020. Ready or not here we come.

Walking is movement; it is our default gait which allows us to move across the earth’s surface by placing one foot in front of the other. It is a natural connecter to self, health, fitness and competition. It can be meditative, joyful, an easy or hard effort. It simply is.

To some, walking may sound humdrum because that is a definition of ‘pedestrian’: Going on foot. Ordinary and dull.  As I find walking a most profound activity, I have never understood that definition. It prevents people from experiencing its physical, mental and spiritual benefits. It is not dull, ordinary or boring. It is not stressful like running, and when enjoyed regularly at a good pace, it is great for your body regardless of age.

We know walking is one of the best exercises — incredibly using almost all 650 muscles and 203 bones in the body. Walking requires no special equipment, and just about anyone can do it. We know this, because you feel the difference and studies tell us so.

As we are transitioning to 2020 revisiting the months (January – December) sort of like a do-over. Are you taking time to reflect on your year? Are you one who plans? Set goals? How did you do? What did you learn? Now is the time to keep that which works, discard what isn’t and think outside the box.

“Why stay within the boundaries as the boundlessness is so near,” ~~ Deepak Chopra.

As you become aware, regroup and reenergized the next steps include planning (preparation) devising realistic targets or goal, implementing an plan, moving forward by taking action. By all means include a Plan B and C, as life does intervene and disrupt the best of intentions.

I like challenging myself; I want to raise the bar; maintain a level of fitness that allows me to do what I want or ability to train for an event within a realistic time frame. I want to fuel my body with all that nature offers as whole foods, minimal or no oils and no animal products. I enjoy learning whether through continuing ed courses &/or my clients. I look forward to upcoming longer days, warmer temperatures and walks for fun, health, fitness & competition.

How about you? Ponder over these questions and feel free to comment with your response in the box below or on our Facebook page.

Will you take time to review where you are and where you want to be?

What do you want for your life?

What do you want today?

What healthy habits have you achieved?

Which unhealthy habits have dropped?

How does walking add to your well-being?

Most importantly, are you celebrating your accomplishments?

 

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