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Walking is one of the easiest ways to be physically active. You can do it almost anywhere and at any time. Walking is also inexpensive — all you need is a pair of shoes with sturdy heel support. Walking may:
For all of these reasons, people have started walking programs. If you would like to start your own program, read and follow the information provided in this article.
Answer the following questions before you begin a walking program.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please check with your healthcare provider before starting a walking program or other form of physical activity.
Leave time in your busy schedule to follow a walking program that will work for you. Keep the following points in mind as you plan your program:
Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. If you cannot do 30 minutes at a time, try walking for shorter amounts and gradually working up to it.
Keep safety in mind when you plan your route and the time of your walk:
Stretch gently after you warm up your muscles with an easy 5-minute walk, and again after you cool down. Try doing the stretches listed below. Do not bounce or hold your breath when you stretch. Perform slow movements and stretch only as far as you feel comfortable.
Walking correctly is very important:
If you walk less than three times per week, give yourself more than a week before increasing your pace and frequency.
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