The American Heart Association recommends at least 30-45 minutes of exercise of moderate intensity. The goal is to increase your heart rate to at least 80% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). The MHR is calculated from the formula 220-age.
So, how do you start regular walking if you have never walked before?
Exercises like running can be very bad for the joints if one is overweight and also not trained well. Swimming is one of the best exercises for the overweight, however not everyone has access to swimming pools.
So the easiest one to carry one and perform is WALKING!
Walking can be performed at any time or place and even when you are travelling!
But what do you do if you have never exercised before?
Take it easy! You can do it! Read ahead!
Here are some general guidelines:
1. Start walking at a leisurely pace for at least 10-15 minutes in a day.
In case you feel tired or breathless, slow down. Its recommended to start any exercise gradually so that you minimize injuries. Do not overtrain.
If you have never walked before, walk for a minute and then take a break for 4 minutes. Repeat this for 30 minutes.
2. One may experience muscle cramps or joint pain in the initial few days if one has never exercised before. Do not get disheartened! Take it easy if you experience some! Apply some local ointment or take hot fomentation (with a hot water bag/ or a hot shower). Do some stretching exercise to relax your muscles. The aches and pains usually disappear in one or two weeks time.
3. Continue Walk and Rest repeats till you can do it for at least 30 minutes.
4. Now to proceed to walking continuously for 30 minutes. This can be gradual and you need not rush into it. I would recommend the following to achieve this:
Lets break the 30 minutes into 5 minute intervals:
Week 1: Walk for 1 minute, Rest for 4 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.
Week 2: Walk for 2 minutes, Rest for 3 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.
Week 3: Walk for 3 minutes, Rest for 2 minutes, Repeat this for 30 minutes.
Week 4. Walk for 4 minutes, Rest for 1 minute, Repeat this for 30 minutes.
Week 5: Walk for 5 minutes, with no rest intervals, That’s continuous walking for 30 minutes! Congratulations! Sounds Easy!
So in just 5 weeks you will be able to go from No Walking to Walking for 30 minutes a day!
5. The important thing is to continue it for life and not give it up after few days.
Sounds Easy! I hope Everyone of us carries on Walking! Walking for Life!