Starting an exercise program can be as simple as taking a few steps. By this I mean, walking. Physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It begins with making that choice to live a healthier active lifestyle and starts with literally putting your best foot forward. Especially now that summer is here, what better way to start than today.
STEPs to walking your way to a healthier you:
Good walking shoes with proper arch support and firm heel to cushion your feet and absorb shock
Proper workout gear that is appropriate for the weather conditions and time of day you choose to walk. I suggest a cute outfit that makes you feel good. Why not look cute!
Don’t forget to bring some water to stay hydrated. If you need music to help motivate you, bring that too but tune out your phone for emergencies only. This is a wonderful time to disconnect and it’s your time!
Select a location or walking coarse. You can simply start in your neighborhood or go to a park or walking trail. If you are like me, I prefer scenic views either at a park, a bike/running trail or boardwalk at the beach. This will help you stay motivated with the beautiful scenery and exchange a friendly smile and hello with other walkers/runners. Race tracks are also a good option.
Pick a time of day that works best for you. During the sweltering summer months, be sure to start early in the morning or late evening so you don’t get sun burned. For those who work in office corporate buildings, take a walk during your lunch break around the parking lot. I have done that and still do when I travel. Although not as scenic it still works!
Be sure to warm up and stretch your muscles before and after your walk. Allow yourself and your muscles to cool down.
Remember to be realistic with your fitness goals especially if you are just starting out or getting back into a routine. You can initially start with 30 minutes of what I call just a leisure fun walk for a few weeks. If you feel better after that, slowly add 10 minute increments to your routine and maybe pick up the pace a bit. This will ultimately make you feel better but most importantly become a habit.
Track your progress with a fitness journal and a fitness pedometer tracker. There are so many to choose from that tracks your steps, calories, heart rate, etc.
If you don’t enjoy walking by yourself, find a walking buddy. That can be your accountability friend, partner, spouse or YES, your dog! I enjoy long walks with my dog and we both benefit from it.
Keep yourself motivated for every little step you achieve towards your goal.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill
You must have the desire to make that change to be that healthier more vibrant person that you were yesterday. Cheers to a healthier and happier you! Remember to take one STEP at a TIME!