Walking Programme

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May is National Walking Month... Get involved!


Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise and doing it regularly brings many benefits. These include:

  • Everyone can do it!
  • It improves your breathing and circulation.
  • It shapes up your hips and thighs.
  • It keeps bones strong, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  • It burns extra calories to speed up your weight loss.
  • It gets you out in the sunlight to increase vitamin D absorption – another bone booster.

All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing and the will to succeed.

It’s best to begin slowly and gradually. Learning the basics in safe surroundings and perhaps with a mate. Walking with a friend is a great motivator, making it much more enjoyable and increasing your chances of keeping it up in the long term. Start by underestimating rather than overestimating your capabilities: you’ll soon learn how far you can walk before you start to feel tired. Don’t push yourself too hard on distance and terrain: the idea is to enjoy yourself, and if you end up too stiff and sore it might put you off going out again. Remember the best activity for you is one that you will still be doing in a year’s time.

First try out short walks along level paths where you can easily cut your walk short if you get tired. Is there a canal towpath or a riverside walk near by? If not is there a low-level walk near the town centre?

Most women can walk 3km/2 miles in an hour, but allow plenty of extra time to take rests along the route, and to enjoy your surroundings. As you gain experience you may find that you walk a little faster. You'll also find you walk faster on smooth surfaces such as smooth paths and good tracks, while more difficult surfaces such as mud, sand, uneven ground and going uphill will slow you down. Choose somewhere that is convenient and suitable for you even if it is just taking a quick trip round the block.

  • As with any other physical exercise, you will need to replace fluids lost through exertion: still water (tap or mineral) is by far the best for this.
  • Always walk more slowly for the first few minutes to warm up the muscles, including the heart.
  • Gently roll your shoulders forward and back before you start to really stride out.
  • Always slow down for the last couple of minutes and then stretch the legs.

To find out if there are walks local to you click here

 

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