Fitness Ideas

 

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If your family's goal is to get in better shape and/or spend quality time together, walking is a very good way to accomplish your goal.  Below is a 12 week walking schedule you may use to track your walking. Also, it is helpful to use a calendar so you have a visual for staying motivated.  If you are already walking and want to pick up the pace, here are some tips that you may find beneficial.

TIPS FOR WALKING FASTER

1. Use good posture. Walk tall, look forward, (not at the ground) gazing about 20 feet ahead. Your chin should be level and your head up.

2. Keep your chest raised, and shoulders relaxed (shoulders down, back and relaxed).

3. Bend your arms in slightly less than a 90 degree angle. Cup your hands gently. Swing arms front to back (not side to side - do not cross your body.) Do not swing elbows higher than your sternum (breast bone). Swing your arms faster and your feet will follow.

4. Tighten your abs and buttocks.  Flatten your back and tilt your pelvis slightly forward.

5. Pretend you are walking along a straight line. Do not elongate your steps. To go faster -- take smaller, faster steps.

6. Push off with your toes. Focus on landing on your heel, rolling through the step and pushing off with your toes. You should use the natural spring of your calf muscles to propel you forward.

7. Breathe naturally. As you walk, take deep, rhythmic breaths, to get the maximum amount of oxygen through your system. Walk fast enough that your breathing is increased but you are not out of breath.


WALKING DON'TS
Common mistakes made by walkers...

1. Do not over stride

2. Do not use too vigorous arm movements

3. Do not look at the ground

4. Do not hunch your shoulders

5. Do not carry hand weights or place weights on your ankles.


12 WEEK BEGINNER WALKING SCHEDULE

Here is an easy to follow beginner schedule that starts with 15 minute walks and will have you walking 60 minutes in 12 weeks. Warm up and cool down time are included in the scheduled minutes. Be sure you stretch after your walks.

WEEK

SUN

MON

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

1

15 min

15 min

20 min

15 min

20 min

15 min

20 min

2

15 min

20 min

20 min

15 min

20 min

15 min

25 min

3

15 min

25 min

20 min

15 min

25 min

20 min

25 min

4

20 min

30 min

20 min

20 min

25 min

20 min

30 min

5

20 min

30 min

30 min

20 min

30 min

20 min

35 min

6

25 min

30 min

30 min

25 min

30 min

25 min

40 min

7

25 min

30 min

40 min

30 min

30 min

30 min

40 min

8

25 min

30 min

40 min

30 min

40 min

30 min

50 min

9

30 min

40 min

40 min

30 min

40 min

40 min

50 min

10

30 min

40 min

50 min

30 min

50 min

40 min

50 min

11

40 min

40 min

50 min

40 min

50 min

40 min

50 min

12

40 min

40 min

60 min

40 min

60 min

40 min

60 min


Consistency is the key in creating a new habit, so be sure that you get something in at least 5 days a week. The starting day can be changed if needed.  Remember to try to keep your easy and harder days in the same order. If you are overly tired one week, don't increase your time... stick with the previous week’s schedule. 
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