walking.jpgStart getting fit one step at a time! Before you take on a grueling workout, your journey to a healthier lifestyle has to start slowly. This article will show you a few tricks and tips on how walking could be the start of something big for you. Read on and start shaping up.


Normal walking should be heel first, foot flat, foot off then toe off. Observe how noisy your feet are when you walk. According to Lorena Santiago, licensed physical therapist and fitness coach, people who tread heavily mean aren't using muscles to pull the weight of the leg. To make walking harder and more beneficial to your body, make sure that you minimize the sound or impact of your shoes on the floor as you take your steps. If you don’t walk softly, the impact will be borne by your knees.


Hold your head up, and keep your back straight and your tummy tight. You should be able to breathe with ease even with a tucked tummy. Also make sure that the length of your stride is comfortable.


Make your arms swing in a wider range of motion. Do arm-movement variations, such as raising your arms up and down or doing forward-backward punching motions. Move more of your hips while walking. Do variations, like walking on an incline or increasing speed (brisk walking). Make bobbing movements using more of the calf muscles, or do a march by raising your knees higher as you walk.

Tip: Carry weights. A set of dumbbells or two water bottles (about 2 lbs. each) would be ideal. Try wearing ankle weights as well. These will make you sweat sooner and help the entire body work out too.

(First published in
Good Housekeeping Magazine, Better Body Section as "Rev it Up!" in January-February 2006; adapted for use in Female Network; photo by mikebaird via Flickr Creative Commons)

Want to read more articles about exercise? Try running! Check these out on FN:
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