Health officials recommend that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days, and that children are active for at least 60 minutes every day. You can reach these daily goals all at once or in several shorter periods throughout the day. Keep in mind that any physical activity is better than none, and getting started is the most important step.
Walking is one of the easiest, most accessible, and most beneficial forms of exercise. It offers a wide range of health benefits, encourages weight loss, requires minimal joint stress, and can be done by people of all ages. All you need is a pair of good shoes, some comfortable clothing, and a path to get started on your own walking journey.
- Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Start small. If you aren't very active right now, start with a short, leisurely walk, and when you're ready, work your way up to longer times, more frequent walks, and a faster pace.
- Schedule your walk just like you would an appointment so nothing can make you skip it.
- Pick a walking buddy. Walking with a friend can keep you accountable, make the walk more enjoyable, and help you carve out time to catch up with your friends. Or, if you prefer to walk solo, your walks can also be useful time to clear your mind and relieve stress.
- Wear loose fitting garments and appropriate shoes.
- Keep track of when and for how long you walk. You can even use a pedometer to track your steps or a wearable fitness tracker to log your activity. Celebrate progress and small successes on the way to your long-term goal of better health.