A good daily walk will help you maintain a healthy weight while helping you lose fat so you are leaner. It helps prevent certain diseases, improve cardio fitness, strengthen bones and muscles, improving muscle endurance, helps you sleep better, improve your mood, balance, and coordination, strengthens your immune system while reducing your stress levels.
In addition, it is important to maintain good form while walking. Hold your head up so you are looking outward, not at the ground. Relax your neck, shoulders, and back rather than holding them stiffly. Make sure you swing your slightly bent arms freely and tighten your stomach muscles slightly while your back is straight, not arched. Finally, make sure your step is smooth so the weight rolls from heel to toe.
Wear shoes with proper arch supports, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. Wear lose fitting clothings that is appropriate for the weather and think about layering so if it warms up, you can remove a layer or two or add them back on. Don't forget the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses as part of your regular wear. Remember, you can burn on cloudy days.
If you walk outdoors, choose your path carefully. You want to avoid paths with cracked cement, pot holes, uneven ground, or low hanging tree limbs because you don't want to hurt yourself. Once you start walking, look at walking in an area with hills so you go up and down but not everyone has that ability. You want to walk faster and further which comes about by walking regularly. If you do not want to walk briskly all the time, think about alternating periods of brisk walking with sections of leisurely walking. This is a type of interval training which helps improve your cardiovascular health while helping you burn more calories than walking at one pace.
Try to walk at the same time everyday and aim for at least 30 minutes each time you walk. You use the same amount of energy whether you walk in the early morning or late evening but try to be consistent. Think about using a pedometer when you walk so you know how far you've gone. This is important if you keep a log of your daily exercise. I have exercise listed on my daily schedule and I list what I did and how long I spend doing it. Today, I did a 25 minute kettlebell workout followed by a 20 minute cardio dance.
In addition, set a goal for the distance you plan to walk. The goal doesn't have to be 1.5 miles. The goal could be as simple as walk to the gas station up the hill which for me is about 1.5 miles away. I prefer setting places as my goal rather than miles because it works better with my mind. Do not push your walk so fast you can't talk. You want to go fast enough to talk but still feel a bit breathless.
To increase the intensity of your walk, you can go up hills, carry hand weights, increase the pace so you walk faster, or increase the distance you walk during the same time period, or make the time you walk further. When you start walking, walk slowly so you can warm your muscles up before increasing your speed. At the end, slow down and stretch your muscles out while they are warm.
In addition, you want to change up your routes so you don't get bored. Think about taking the dog with you when you walk, find a friend, or join a walking club. Take advantage of various parks, walking routes, and other public areas to walk at. This way you see new things and when you walk, you notice so much more than you might when you drive. Just remember, if you end up having to skip a day, don't berate yourself over it, things happen. Start back in the next day. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.