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Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Weight Loss & Fitness Channel > Fitness

Walking for fitness, A Beginning Program
by Kevin Doberstein

Warm temperatures, sunshine, summery breezes just incite you to start something active outside. Maybe that walking program you were thinking about all winter. Here is a beginning-walking program you can follow to help you along. First we will start with some pointers.

Don't use a 6-lane highway as you're walking path. Try tofind a safe area to walk if you can.

Use a pair of comfortable shoes preferably with a cushioned sole. Better yet, if you are serious about walking, buy yourself a topnotch pair of walking shoes.

Wear clothing you feel comfortable walking in. Preferably bright upper body clothing if you walk along more heavily traveled roads.

Start gradually with your walking to avoid getting stiff and sore. Give your muscles a chance to get use to it.

Use some light stretching after you are done walking to help bring some elasticity back into your muscles.

If it is hot outside, make sure to drink enough water to keep hydrated.

Walk with good posture by keeping your head up and shoulders back and not slouched ahead.

To reduce getting hit by a car try not wearing headphones.

A Beginning Schedule
This is an 8-week beginner's schedule. By the 8th week your total time will be 30 minutes. When you finish each week you can progress to the next level. Each walking session starts with a 5-minute warm-up. The aerobic stage starts by increasing the walking speed. A rule of thumb to judge if you are going fast enough is you find yourself swinging your arms with each stride. Next slow down to relax your body and cool off for 5 minutes. If you think you are not ready to progress to the next week, stay at the same level until you feel you are ready.

Week One: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 5 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Two: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 7 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Three: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 9 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Four: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 11 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Five: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 13 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Six: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 15 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Seven: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 18 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

Week Eight: Warm up 5 minutes, aerobic stage 20 minutes, Cool down 5 minutes

After week eight; Congratulations. You are ready to move up to the advanced level. Your next goal is eventually 30 minutes at aerobic stage.

Jeopardizing your health is the last thing Nature Boy wants. Please check with your doctor before starting a walking program. We want to make this a healthy start to a better lifestyle.

Kevin Doberstein has been a natural bodybuilder for the past 25 years and 15 years as a gym owner in Northern Wisconsin. Kevin enjoys walking on the Ice Age Trail in northern Wisconsin with Charliee the Wonder Dog. You can visit his site and join his newsletter at www.nature-boy-bodybuilding.com. You can contact him about articles or bodybuilding at natureboy_bodybuilding@hotmail.com.

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