If you've been considering a walking program, or if you have recently begun walking, congratulations on taking the first step toward a healthier life! A regular walking program can benefit your health in many ways. From weight management to better sleep, there are many benefits you will feel - and see - from a regular exercise program. You can even track your progress here with our online tracking tool.
Take Things One Step at a Time
If you've never been physically active, have an underlying health condition, or if it has been a long time since you were active, check with your doctor to be sure you are healthy enough to begin a regular walking program. Symptoms such as chest pains, loss of balance and loss of consciousness can indicate a serious health problem, especially after exerting yourself during physical activity.
If you have symptoms that could be due to a chronic disease, you should have these symptoms evaluated, whether you are active or inactive. If you plan to start a new activity program, take the opportunity to get these symptoms evaluated. Symptoms of particular importance to evaluate include chest pain (especially chest pain that is brought on by exertion), loss of balance (especially loss of balance leading to a fall), dizziness and passing out (loss of consciousness).
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Begin by choosing moderate-intensity activities you enjoy so you will be more likely to stick with them.
- Gradually build up the time spent doing the activity by adding a few minutes every few days or so until you can comfortably perform a minimum recommended amount of activity (30 minutes per day).
- As your routine becomes easier, either increase the amounts of time or increase the intensity of your workout.
- Participate in a variety of activities to stay interested and to get more health benefits.
- Reward and acknowledge your efforts.
Medical Evaluation Information Source: CDC
Still Not Sure?
It's understandable to be hesitant to try something new, or if you wonder how it will affect you or how you will make time. You can work to overcome reasons to be active with these recommendations from the CDC.