Know your "WHY"
Understanding your true reason behind healthy choices allows you to develop a plan in line with your personal objectives. Find your goal and a recommended walking plan below, courtesy of Dr. Cori Bauer, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Centers of Evanston.
The right equipment
With walking, it's all about the shoes. "Good shoes are part of our foundation," says Dr. Cori. "Too often, we wear them well past their expiration date." Make sure yours are pavement-ready by analyzing their current health. Are there wear patterns on the bottoms? Think of your shoe tread as you would the tires on your car. Worn patches and flat areas mean less support for you. Dr. Cori recommends replacing shoes every 500 miles, or every 3 to 6 months, depending on your usage and weight. Extend shoe life further by only using them for walking and keeping them out of the washer and dryer.
Start out right
As you ramp up physical activity, increase your water intake to make sure your body is ready for exercise. Dr. Cori recommends stretching before and after workouts to decrease your injury risk. And remember that every little bit of movement counts. "If you don't have a fitness foundation, start with just 10 minutes." Dr. Cori says. "Add five minutes a day to each walk to slowly build your endurance and reduce the possibility of soreness." Schedule walks at the beginning or end of your day to make them part of your routine.
Stay on track
You are your best coach when it comes to keeping walks consistent. Train yourself to think of exercise as a privilege, not a chore. "And don't judge yourself against others," Dr. Cori says. "It can be self-defeating to compare yourself to people with different fitness goals and backgrounds." Keep motivation high by making exercise convenient. Break walks up throughout the day if you're short on time, keep workout clothes in your car, and write your walks into your calendar to be sure they're not skipped. Before you know it, your body will crave your new healthy habit!