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Walking tips

Do you think there is no science behind walking? Maybe you can benefit by taking advantage of a good walk.  This advice will help you achieve it, while you make your routine enjoyable.  Remember that consistency is the key to success!

  • Start slowly and progress gradually.
  • Wear appropriate shoes while walking. Choose a shoe designed for walking. Experts suggest there be a thumb's-width distance between the end of the toe and the shoe. Pick one that fits snugly at the heel but has "wiggle room" in the toes.
  • Listen to your feet. Exercising when your body is telling you to rest, can do more harm than good in the long run.
  • Have a plan for special circumstances, such as travelling. Maintain your walking routine, no matter where you are.
  • If you have diabetes, take extra care. Check your feet daily for blisters, redness, or possible injuries. If you notice any problems, including numb feet or toes, tingling, or swelling, get checked by your physician.  Also be sure you have had a snack before you walk, and bring something with you to eat, in case you experience low blood sugar.
  • Find new places to walk. Get a local map and put one end of a short string at your house. Mark off one mile and five miles on the string. Use the marks to draw circles around your house. Select your walking distance. Use the circles to find places like parks, paths, and tracks.
  • Walk Tall. Think about elongating your spine, and look forward, keeping your shoulders back.
  •  Take faster, not longer, steps. To pick up your pace, step faster and let your stride length develop naturally. If you take 130 steps per minute, you'll be walking at a pace of about four miles per hour. This gives your cardio-respiratory system a great workout.
  •  Bend your arms. For a speed boost, bend your elbows to 90 degrees and let your hands swing in an arc from your waistband to chest height.
  • Push off with your toes. Land on your heel. Roll your foot from heel to toe. Push off forcefully with your toes.
  • Take to the hills. For a more strenuous workout don’t use hand or ankle weights. They may lead to injury. Instead, walk some hills. Even a moderate grade can significantly boost your energy expenditure.
  • Continue to track your daily steps and/or mileage. Keep notes on how you feel, how your body is improving, and/or other changes you are making to improve your health.
  • Use the talk test. If you can carry on a conversation while walking briskly, you are setting a good pace. If you are breathless and unable to talk while walking, you are going faster than you need to. Activity should be done at a comfortable level. It should fall somewhere between fairly light and somewhat hard.

NOTE: If you are in very poor physical condition, or at any point you feel that you are progressing too quickly, slow down a bit and try smaller increases. If you have any health concerns, seek your physician's advice prior to starting or changing your exercise routine.


  • Walking one mile is equivalent (approximately) to burning 100 calories.
  • Exercising on a treadmill, bicycle or elliptical rider long enough to burn 100 calories is like walking 2000 steps.
  • To burn the equivalent of walking 10,000 steps, exercise long enough to burn 500 calories.
  • The average person's stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. It takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps to equal close to 5 miles.
  • A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
  • Two thousand steps is approximately 1 mile


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