Okay this is actually the best place to start this blog is in fitness. Before doing any kind of strenuous activity you have to ask yourself if your up to it and if your body can take it. It is advisable to ask a doctor if you are later in years.
However a good walking program NEVER hurt any body at all. Lets start there … if your just starting out you will want to start with relatively short distances and always take into account the return trip home. You can keep the same distance and increase your pace as you go.
As with any exercise you should refrain from eating for at least an hour. Why? Because your digestive system will compete with your muscles and you can cramp up. Just like swimming … Let’s start with a normal walk shall we … and wear loose clothing and comfortable supportive runners/tennis shoes and you might want to bring with you a small bottle of water. Start out slow for the first 5 minutes and then you can increase the pace till you get into the target heart zone. I will talk to you about the target zone a bit later down the page.. It is a good thing to stretch all the muscles after the initial 5 minutes, especially those that you are using. Then continue walking but stepping up your pace if you can breath in and out easily then you are doing good. If you start finding your running out of breath then you are over doing it. Essentially you should be able to breath well, sing a song or talk to a walking partner. It is always nice to get a buddy involved it helps add support and encouragement and you can both do this together or in a group 🙂 You want to elevate your heart rate for at least 10 minutes 3 times a week and is best to alternate days. Mon-Wed-Fri or Tues-Thurs-Sat.
Many people buy these gadgets to keep track of their heart rates, but there is another method that I use and have always used. It is the 10 sec count and you can use the sec hand on a watch or a timer/stop watch. The digital watches have these built in some of them. Some use the 60 sec count, the 10 sec is quicker.
There is a right way and a wrong way to take your heart rate if you are using the carotid artery in the diagram you will want to refrain from crossing your fingers over your throat as beginners sometimes will put their thumb on the side and you will get an inaccurate count. Stay on the same side of your neck. There is the wrist pulse and the easiest is putting your hand right over your heart.
Look at the chart: according to your age and you can see the different zones. Which would be in the Yellow zone above. You want to be with in 60-75% approx to effectively exercise your circulatory system for at least 10 minutes to gain all the advantages that go along with it.
Here is the 10 sec count chart:
Like burning fat even after you have exercised. Take your heart rate just before you stretch and about 1/2 way through the aerobic activity(raising heart rate)Then again when you are finished completing your exercise with a cool down by slowing down your pace and then stretch after wards. Stretching helps to keep you from cramping and stiffening of the muscles. You likely have heard the term “No pain no gain” that is the wrong way to look at fitness.
As you get better and find it easier to breath and become more accustomed as to how you feel when you have accelerated your heart rate and taking your heart rate, you can then increase your aerobic activity to 15 minutes that is max for the benefits. Taking longer walks will do this also until you get to a point where you can speed walk. There is no advantage to be huffing and puffing with your heart bouncing out of your chest. This is actually over doing it. After your cool down you will then want to stretch the muscles that you just worked. I will try to provide some images for that under stretching in the menu. You do not have to go to extremes when stretching just till you feel a slight pull hold for 10 secs and relax.
As we get older it gets more difficult for us to get down on the floor like some of the images in google search where they have their noses to their knees 🙂 This is why I recommend using a wall, chair or countertop for stability. You can even do flexibility exercises in a chair. The more you do these the more mobility and flexibility you will gain. Something else you may want to do is take all your measurements cause you may not see the difference yourself but after 3-6 weeks you definitely will see and feel the benefits. Keep in mind that aerobic activity burns fat and turns it into muscle. So you will tone up loose some weight; lean mass is heavier then fat but for every lb of fat=3500 calories you will gain toned muscle mass and feel much better about yourself and be on a natural high 🙂 You also will burn fat for another 24 to 36 hours, so it is a win win situation all around. 😀