Expert Author Kasia Lanucha

For people who have led sedentary lifestyles and wish to start a new exercise program, walking is the best exercise program currently available. As long as you can put one foot in front of the other, you are able to start a walking program. It is important, however, to always first check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Once you have received the go-ahead it is best to plan out your walking program.

Here are a few tips to help you start and keep up a consistent walking program.

Most people make the mistake of doing too much when they initially start out. When you start exercising the first time you should keep your goals focused on achieving consistency. With consistency you will get long-term results. It is more a matter of changing your habits so that walking becomes a natural part of your lifestyle.

Start out your walking program by walking for 10 minutes per day at whatever pace feels most comfortable for you. Try to do this earlier in the day so that your body has some time to unwind over the course of the day. Exercising regularly later in the evening may prevent you from sleeping as your body is still too stimulated by the exercise you've just completed.

A good way to start your exercise program is to walk 10 minutes per day three times a week. The day of rest between days and the two-day break over the weekend will allow your body to adapt to the stresses of the exercise.

On week two maintain the same schedule but increase the duration of the exercise by 5 minutes to 15 minutes and continue in this way increasing by 5 minutes every week so that by the fifth week you are walking for half an hour a day, three times a week.

Upon completion of the fifth week of the program you have two options. If moderation is to your liking then just continue walking 30 minutes three times a week and that will be enough to keep up a basic level of fitness. If you would like to build up to walking for an hour three times a week you should follow the next program. After completion of the fifth week on the sixth week walk as you please but do not feel the need to follow a schedule. This is a week of rest.

Then, the following week start by walking 15 minutes per day three times a week and build up incrementally, adding 5 minutes per week until by the fifth week you have reached 35 minutes. This will signal the end of the second cycle and again you take a pause for one week and start the following week at 20 minutes and continue on for five weeks until you reach 40 minutes. In this way after seven cycles you will have reached one hour of walking. At this point keep up the schedule for the future. By cycling in this way you will build up strength in a natural and gradual way.



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