Walking for exercise

Whether indoors or outdoors, on equipment or a path, walking is the most convenient way to get in shape. Walking is low-impact, non-jarring, does not require practice or experience and can provide a social outlet or solitary relaxing time.

Tips to walking

Technique-Always maintain proper posture and body alignment. Head should stay in a natural extension of the spine with chin parallel to the ground and eyes focused on the horizon. The chest is lifted with shoulders back and relaxed, and arms swinging naturally at your sides. Maintain a natural stride and walk with a rolling heel-to toe food action.

Rehydrate-Always replenish your body with fluids depleted by aerobic activity. AFAA recommends drinking 8-10 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of activity. Water is the preferred drink for exercise sessions lasting one hour or less. For activities exceeding one hour, consider rehydrating sport drinks to replenish lost electrolytes.

Clothing-Choose loose fitting garments that allow your body's heat to evaporate. Consider the new sport fibers that whisk away moisture, preventing chafing of the skin. Wear reflective clothing at night.

Shoes-Select a lighter weight walking shoe. Look for extra shock absorption in the heel and ball of the shoe. Shock absorption is crucial to avoid heel pain, plantar fasciitis and burning or tenderness in the ball of the foot. Make sure you select a good walking shoe that addresses any special needs for your feet or legs.

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