From Zero to Hero: Start Getting Fit by Walking
If you haven’t been working out for a long time – or haven’t worked out ever – signing up for gym classes or planning to get into running might not be very good idea. Many people quit after the first two to three months because they found the effort these activities required were too much for their bodies to handle. They get scared by the pain and sore muscles and eventually go back to their old routine.
If this is the case, consider walking. It’s free, anyone can do it anywhere, it’s easy on the joints, and there are no fancy equipment required. Done consistently walking has been proven to be just as effective as swimming, cycling, and running, in helping people lose weight.
Here are a few tips to help you get started into walking.
Tip #1: Get your doctor’s okay.
It may look easy, but walking can actually strain your muscles, joints, and heart, especially if you haven’t had any physical activity in a while. To be safe, get clearance from your doctor first.
When your doctor gives the go signal and you start walking, always pay attention to what your body tells you. Nausea, chest pain, and headaches are signs that you’re overdoing it.
Tip #2: Shop for the Right Gear.
Visit a specialty shoe store (like RUNNR Store) where the staff have been trained to help you select the pair that fits your foot type. Add half an inch to your regular size, as feet tend to swell after exercise.
Look for tops and bottoms that keep sweat away from the skin so you’ll stay dry and chafe-free. Ladies, invest in quality sports bras with the right amount of support to help you move comfortably.
Tip#3: Protect your Skin.
Walking, sweat, and fabrics can leave blisters on your skin. Apply petroleum jelly on your neck, thighs, arms, chest, and anywhere else that’s prone to irritation and paltos before you head out.
Tip #4: Allow your body to adjust to the new routine.
Ideally, you should be able to walk 30-60 minutes a day, most days of the week. But you don’t have to accomplish that right now. Start with 10-minute sessions a day, then increase that by 5 minutes each week. This will help your body adapt and reduce the risk of injuries.
Tip #5: Soothe muscle aches.
Muscle aches after introducing a new fitness activity into your routine is normal. Applying ice packs will help relieve minor muscle aches.
Take a day off when the pain alters your gait or limits your movements. If the pain persists even after a few days of rest, seek the advice of a doctor or physical therapist.
Tip #6: Monitor your progress
It doesn’t have to be detailed – just note how far you’ve walked for the day, how long it took you to finish it, and the incline level if you’ve been walking on a treadmill. Over time you’ll see improvements (sipag at tiwala lang!) and this will keep you motivated to continue what you’ve started.
Tip #7: Keep it fun!
People stick to a fitness activity if it remains fun. Come up with a playlist of workout songs to keep you going, wear porma workout outfits, walk with a friend, change your walking route every 2-3 weeks, or download apps that help you track the number of steps you’ve completed. This will keep walking fresh and enjoyable each time.
Remember, there’s nothing to be ashamed about walking – everyone has to start somewhere in order to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. More importantly, you are still ahead of those lying in bed or napping on the couch but are still wondering why they haven’t lost weight at all.