Walk Your Way To Better Fitness
The U.S. Surgeon General says Americans need to exercise more. Fortunately, you don't have to take that kind of advice lying down. Walk your way to better fitness. Walking is gaining popularity with both people trying to lose weight and more hardy exercisers.
One of the attractions of walking is that the risk of injury is extremely low. Another is that you don't have to learn any new skills. You already know how to walk. Here are a few hints, however, to help you walk most effectively for your health and happiness:
National sponsors of the 1996 Walktoberfest include Equal sweetener; Sugar Free-Fat Free JELL-O Brands; Crystal Light Low Calorie Soft Drink; Sugar Free General Foods International Coffees; Sugar Free Kool-Aid; Estee; Luden's; Guilt Free Nonfat Ice Cream; Health Magazine; and People Magazine.
- Do a few stretching exercises before and after you walk. Your muscles will thank you.
- If you're just starting out, walk for a few minutes, until you feel fatigued. Just do it at least three times a week. You'll gradually build up to longer walks. Five minute increments seem to be best. Ultimately you should be able to walk for 45 minutes.
- As your fitness increases, you may want to increase the length of your stride and the number of steps you take a minute, or walk on steeper ground.
- Wear comfortable clothes -- not too tight and not too many layers-and a good pair of walking shoes fitted while wearing exercise socks.
- On days when the weather is bad, try walking around an indoor shopping mall, or see if a nearby gym or YMCA has an indoor track you can use.
- Walk with a companion. You'll not only feel safer, you'll probably have more fun and each of you will feel less likely to cut your walk short.
- Walk in a walkathon. For example, Walktoberfest® which raises funds for the American Diabetes Association, can be a great way to get some exercise, get some fresh air and help a worthy cause. Diabetes affects an estimated 16 million people, half of whom don't even know it. Diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, blindness, nerve damage, foot and leg amputation and death. There is no cure, but Walktoberfest and other fund raisers help the American Diabetes Association seek ways to treat and prevent the disease.
Walktoberfest is held each fall in communities across the country. To learn where and when the nearest Walktoberfest will be held, call 1-800-254-WALK (1-800-254-9255) or reach the American Diabetes Association on the Internet at http://www.diabetes.org.(NAPSI)
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