How to Build a Walking Regimen
Step 1: You don’t need a gym membership or any fancy kicks to go walking, but you do need some shoes that offer decent arch support, a good amount of cushion, and a flexible sole. In other words, don’t hoof it in your cute ballet flats. Just tie on some comfy shoes and head outside.
Step 2: Get moving. You’ve been walking since you were a babe, so you’re already a pro at it. Start with a 5-minute warm-up at an easy-does-it pace. Then speed up a bit for 2 minutes. Recover at your easy pace for 1 minute. And repeat the sequence five times. Finish up with 5 minutes of strolling, and give yourself a pat on the back.
Step 3: Switch it up. To build your endurance and strength, you’ve got to change your routine. There are all sorts of things you can do each time you hit the pavement: Add a minute to each speedy bout but keep your recovery the same. Add another fast-slow round to the routine. Try a hillier route. Or invent your own intervals by choosing a landmark (e.g., the stop sign, the lamppost, the shirtless guy washing his Camaro) and alternating fast and slow bouts between them. Do whatever makes it fun!
Step 4: Keep it up. As long as you’re moving 30 minutes a day most days a week, your heart will be strong, your muscles will be sculpted, and your energy will be boundless.
- Make sure your shoes are big enough. Your dogs will swell from exercise, so allow a thumb’s width of space between your toe and the tip of your shoe.
- To make each step easier, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and swing your arms front to back, not side to side. You’re speed-walking, not sashaying.
- Push off from the ball of your back foot to add spring to your step. Squeezing your tush while you do so will give you added tone.
- Invite a friend along. Not only will you have more fun, but you’ll also be more likely to stick with it.
- Didn’t even break a sweat? Try alternating running and walking next time.