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Walk Your Way to Wellness
It's one of the easiest ways to get you started on a fitness routine, and it's also one of the cheapest. We're talking about walking.
Of course, everybody takes one foot in front of the other to get to where he's going. But walking ain't just one of the marvelous functions of the human body, it's also a great weight-bearing exercise. Walking keeps your heart and lungs in good shape, strengthens bones and muscles, and trims off body fat.
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of walking, you'd have to do it briskly for at least half an hour on most days of the week. Brisk walking is a moderate activity with little health risk, but get your doctor's okay before you incorporate it into your daily routine just to be safe. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes with the appropriate support as well.
How do you make brisk walking a part of your every day? Here are some suggestions:
#1 Start with 10-minute walks. At the start, break down your 30-minute target into three 10-minute walks. In this way, you don't get all flustered and discouraged on your first try. You'll know that you're walking briskly if you can still talk while doing so.
#2 Walk your way everywhere. Use your two feet whenever and wherever you can. If your office is just a few minutes away from home, ditch the cab and walk. If your office is like two hours away from home, park your car two blocks away from your office and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs whenever you can. Incorporate walking as you do your errands on weekends.
#3 Make your walks interesting. Walk at different times of the day. You'll realize that your neighborhood takes on different characters at different times of the day. Take different routes. By taking another street while going to work, you might discover a new shop or restaurant which you would have never known about had you always taken the same old route.
#4 Monitor your progress. Nowadays there's an app for everything, and indeed, there are apps like MapMyWalk to help you plan, track, analyze, and even share your fitness journey. It's a free app which allows you record your walking routine and gives you walking trails to choose from, whether you're in the Philippines or in other countries round the world. And because getting fit ain't just about being faithful to a physical routine, it also has a food tracker to keep you updated on everything you eat. Remember that a fitness program consists of the appropriate diet alongside physical activity.
#5 Walk the dog. Your dog needs regular exercise as much as you do. So if you've got one at home, then take him to your daily jaunts. If you don't have one, then you can always offer to walk the dog of your relatives or neighbors. It would be advisable to keep your dog on a leash and of course, bring plastic bags so you can clean up after him in case he gets into an “accident.”
#6 Walk with loved ones. What would make walking a more enjoyable routine is taking your loved ones with you. Get everybody up early in the morning for a walk around the neighborhood before you starting the daily grind. Ask them to walk with you at night, after dinner to go over the events of the day. Take the stroller and walk baby to the park. Drive the family to a nature park, and make a day out discovering its many secrets.
#7 Level up. As your body gets used to your walking routine, you have to increase the intensity of your workout. Increase the difficulty level of your walking jaunts by doing so with hand weights. You may also go for longer and longer walks or for faster and faster ones.
FRESHEN UP! If you're going to do some walking before work, you've got to be prepared. It wouldn't do well for you to report for walk all sweaty. Bring a change of clothes. Wear breathable, fast-drying workout clothes made from synthetic fabrics. Freshen up with body wipes or towelettes. Give your hair a spritz of reviving mist. If you want to smell all fresh and clean, you can go for the woodsy fragrance of Diptyque Philosykos Eau de Parfum which mixes fig leaves with cedar, the spring notes of Jo Malone London French Lime Blossom Cologne which is a play on fresh herbs and citrus blossoms, or the lemon, orange, and mandarin trifecta of Clean Shower Fresh.