Walk Your Way to Fitness

Learn how to walk your way to fitness, includes information on exercise wear, walking speed and distance for health benefits and walking goals.

| September/October 1982

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    Good walking form is the key to maximum fitness benefit. Notice the arm position, which helps achieve a stronger stride.
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    Try to push off the ball of the big toe with each step.
  • Walk your way to fitness 3
    Try to push off the ball of the big toe with each step.

  • Walk your way to fitness 1
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  • Walk your way to fitness 3

If you detest running, yet feel physically negligent whenever you spot a jogger, don't despair, you can learn how to walk your way to fitness. 

I decided to give up running at 3:00 a.m. one typically sleepless summer night after a particularly grueling road race. No longer — I vowed, head buried in the pillow and muscles still bunched and aching — would I punish my body in that manner.

Following that resolution, I did a bit of research and found that I wasn't alone. Apparently, some nine out of ten people who begin a running exercise program drop out within a year. Unfortunately — along with giving up the sport — many also abandon hope of losing weight, staying in shape, or improving their cardiovascular performance. However, there's no need to relinquish the dream of "fitness forever" just because running isn't for you. There's a safe, effective, and enjoyable alternative to jogging: learn how to walk your way to fitness! 

Walking: An Ideal Exercise

Almost anyone — from toddler to great-grandparent — can improve his or her health with a walking program. After all, this basic exercise is generally recommended for coronary patients and is often the first activity suggested for those who've experienced surgery or childbirth.

Furthermore — while doctors often have varying opinions about the benefits and long-term effects of jogging and running — there is universal agreement on the positive results of walking.

Better yet, you'll begin to feel physical progress after only six to eight weeks of a "shank's mare" program. You can expect to lose weight, improve the muscle tone throughout your body, experience lowered blood pressure, enjoy better rest, and benefit from an overall sense of well-being . . . a feeling that you can bet you'll never gain by riding an armchair toward the eleven o'clock news!

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