However, if you have any significant cardiac or pulmonary conditions, consult your physician prior to starting any workout program. Before beginning a program make sure you have comfortable shoes, breathable clothing, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. Hydration is always important, but especially with increased temperatures and activity.
Starting a walking program can seem challenging, but just getting started is half the battle. Here are a few easy steps to get a program started.
4 Easy Steps to Creating a Walking Program
1) Warm up: Do a few exercises/stretches to get the blood flowing and to help prevent injury. Overhead reach, toe taps, ankle circles, and arm circles are a great start.
2) Start walking: Begin slowly and build your pace to a challenging, yet maintainable, speed.
3) Cool down: Slow you pace and bring your heart rate and breathing back to a normal rate.
4) Stretch: Stretching after a workout can reduce soreness and tightness.
Once you get your program started, you can gradually build it up. Start with timed walk you can tolerate without getting over-fatigued or sore. An example may be only 10 minutes to start. Then every few days or week added time to your program.
This may only consist of a few minutes each time you increase, but over a few weeks will build your walking time to your goal. Example: Day 1 -10 minutes, Day 3 - 15 minutes, 1 week - 20 minutes, and so on until 30 minutes, or your desired goal, is reached. If you take longer to meet you goals, that is not a problem! Everyone starts at different activity levels and tolerance. If at any time you have chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain, or feel overly tired, stop and consult a physician.
Stretching is a great way to end a workout. It is important when stretching to not bounce, which can cause injury. Static, prolonged holds of 30 seconds or more will help gain flexibility and decrease discomfort from tight muscles. If a particular stretch is painful, do not complete the activity. Pain does not always equal gain and can cause increased discomfort.
If you or a loved one experiences an injury this season or any time, consider Concordia Outpatient Therapy Services. With a prescription from your doctor for physical therapy, we can help with any strengthening, balance, orthopedic, neurological or other recovery needs. You can contact us at 724-352-4535 or visit www.concordiacabot.org and learn more about Outpatient Physical Therapy in Cabot.
Concordia Outpatient Physical Therapy
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