If you are just getting started with your fitness program and looking for an aerobic exercise that’s easy to do, try walking for 30 minutes. This is the simplest form of cardio that you can do, unless of course, you have a physical problem that prevents it. All you need to get started is a good pair of shoes and a safe place to walk.
Walking is something that you can begin slowly and learn to enjoy. Find a place to walk that is safe, bring along pepper spray if you need to, and try not to walk alone after dark. Ask a friend to join you, but keep the pace up. If your friend walks faster, challenge yourself to match her pace. You may lag behind in the beginning but if you keep at it faithfully, you’ll be stepping up your game in no time at all.
Begin by walking one way for 15 minutes, at that point, turn around and return to your starting point. That should equal 30 minutes of walking. Now, after a week or so, you will build up strength and start to walk faster. After the first 15 minutes you will find that you are walking further than you did previously. This is great—you will begin to reap the benefits of a cardio or aerobic fitness program.
While I believe it’s essential to get outside and explore nature in order to maximize the benefits of walking, you may prefer to get your walking exercise from a treadmill. Although you can’t experience the true sights and sounds of the great outdoors, you can simulate different terrains on some treadmills. This helps to keep it interesting, because after all you are walking in place for miles at a time, so you need to create some kind of distraction to keep you from getting bored out of your mind.
The great thing about treadmills is that you can set the equipment to continue for 30 minutes so that you can be sure that you are spending the recommended time engaged in aerobic activity.
Don’t forget about your dog, if you have one. Most dogs love to go for a walk. They help to keep you safe and are also great motivators to keep you committed to your program. Once Fido gets used to the outings, he’ll be looking at you with those sad dog eyes, tapping at his leash and prompting you to get those sneakers on and get moving.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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