People keep asking… So I keep telling… In my humble opinion, one of the best exercises for every fitness level is also one of the easiest to do: Walking. Even those at beginning fitness levels can walk just 10 minutes a day to begin their routine and then build up to longer time periods at quicker paces.
All of us can walk around our neighborhoods (while keeping moving when in place, waiting for cross walk signals, etc.) or drive to a local park, hiking trail or even a nearby mall (if it’s raining or snowing). No gym membership required. Which means no excuses. These kind of easy choices allow us all to get moving – with friends or with our MP3 or iPod Players (see below for music ideas). And don’t forget to warm-up first (just as you would for any physical activity).
For tips on picking out safe walking shoes with a great fit: Click Here
For hints on warming up before a Power Walk: Click Here
Now that you’re warmed up, you’re ready to get moving. By following the checklist below, you’ll be off and running (well, walking) in no time at all:
__ Never forget the importance of posture. Hold your head high and keep your neck properly aligned.
__ Look forward and keep eyes focused ahead of you (while watching out for any traffic, bikes or other obstacles).
__ While facing forward, keep your chin parallel to the ground.
__ Pump your arms back and forth in a natural motion (coordinating with your legs) as you walk briskly.
__ Suck in that tummy while you walk. This is very important for overall toning and conditioning. For more tips and reason to “Suck it in”: Click Here
__ While sucking in your tummy, tuck your pelvis under/forward to maintain proper spine alignment.
__ Be careful not to tense up while exerting energy. Make sure your shoulders move naturally and freely.
__ Keep feet parallel to each other (while walking) and keep them approximately shoulder-length apart.
Let the music play (Introducing the Just Stop! Power Walking Playlist)
Since this playlist is so eclectic, you might own a lot of these songs already. If not, visit iTunes, Amazon or another site that sells individual MP3s to add these motivating tracks to you Power Walking Playlist. And, of course, you can feel free to add or substitute your own favorites – the key is picking music that’s uplifting, quick-paced and geared to get you moving.
New Day for You / Basia
Sweet Thing / Keith Urban
Tonight Tonight / Hot Chelle Rae
So What / Pink
I Want You Back / Jackson 5
Part of Me / Katy Perry
Don’t Stop the Music / Rihanna
She’s My Man / Scissor Sisters
Since You Been Gone / Kelly Clarkson
Banjo / Rascal Flatts
You Can’t Fight Fate / Taylor Dayne
S.O.S. / Jordin Sparks
So Magical / Martina McBride
Bonus (Ab Workout):
Slave 4 U / Britney Spears
Do you have a favorite song or playlist that you power walk to? Or walking tips of your own? I’d love for you to share them with me here. Until then? Keep on keepin’ on!