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Get Out and Walk! Beginning a Walking Program

Getting Started with a Walking Program

Choose a time during the day that you can fit in a short walk, whether it is in the morning, during lunch, in the evening, or a combination of all three.

After a few walks, increase the amount of time you spend on the walk, your pace, and the number of days you exercise, until you reach a weekly goal of at least 150 minutes; that would be around 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week; that’s really not much!

Some good ways to get started include walking up and down the stairs (instead of taking the elevator), walking a pet, and parking your car further away from where you need to be (e.g., at the office or when shopping).

Measuring Progress

Measuring the amount of time you walk is an important part of improving your fitness. Another important element is how far you’ve walked.  Wearing a pedometer or another step-tracking device like a smartwatch or smartphone can help you track the amount of steps you take each day. Tracking distance will help you get closer to the recommended goal of 10,000 steps daily.

Read more about living a healthy lifestyle.

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Staying Motivated

Walking with a friend or co-worker and perhaps starting a walking group are great motivators; walking with others can be enjoyable and the accountability will keep you enthusiastic.

Other ways to help you sustain this new habit include listening to music, a podcast, or a book while walking.  To truly transform this activity into a habit that’s fun and engaging, start a step challenge with co-workers and/or friends to see who has the most steps each day or week.  The competition can be a big motivator!

Once you start walking regularly, it will become part of your daily routine that you can continue for years to come.

-WakeMed Corporate & Community Health

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