Healthy Living: Start a Walking Program to fit YOUR schedule!

Spring is a great time to start a walking program! The Heart of New Ulm recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Walking is a low-cost, simple form of exercise and can be done anywhere. There's no need for a gym membership or any advanced training, you can safely reduce stress and improve your heart health by heading outside!

Walk during a break at work, before breakfast, after dinner or on vacation. Walking is a great opportunity to catch up with friends or family, be sure to walk at a pace where conversation is possible but not too easy! Put walking dates in your calendar, just as you would a dentist appointment or important meeting and stick to it! Be accountable and write your time (and distance if interested) in a calendar or logbook and challenge yourself to increase duration and distance.

Tips to make walking a part of your lifestyle:

 

Be realistic: if this is a new program, start with two days each week, adding another day every two weeks until you are walking five to seven days each week. Walk for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time each time you hit the pavement. Start where you are and increase the number of minutes and intensity slowly.

Get ready: take a cell phone for safety, water to drink for thirst, wear light and comfortable clothing, supportive shoes and walk on the sidewalk or against traffic. Make sure to maintain good posture while walking.

Find inspiration: stay motivated by listening to your favorite songs on a music player or iPod, find a reliable walking companion and set rewards for when you reach goals.