Friday, April 25, 2008

Walking For Life!

Table of Contents

Why Walking is Healthy

Walking and Metabolic Fitness

Dog Lovers and Walking

Warming Up and Cooling Down

Fitness Exercises and Walking

Walking in the Snow

The Benefits of using Poles

Walking in Snowshoes

Cross Country Walking on Skis

How to Set Goals and Meet Them

Why Keeping a Log is Important

Walking for the Ages

Using a Pedometer

Clothing - Dress for Walking

Building Motivation



Why Walking is Healthy


Healthy Walk…Healthy Life


Are you still in doubt? Well you should not be anymore! Walking is definitely good for the body, reiterating all the doctors have been saying; walking is a good form of exercise. As one doctor implied, it is an activity that is near perfection and the good thing about it? It’s totally free! All you have to invest is your two legs and a good pair of shoes or slippers.


Workers, students, children and adults are encouraged to walk. Among employees, walking is a great way of including a simple exercise in their daily routine. For employers’ part, walking can help cut expenses because it can save parking space for cars.


According to a survey conducted in Britain, 2.6 million people or 10.8% are walking from work. Students and children are persuaded to walk not only for health purposes but to increase their self-confidence and independence.


As defined, healthy walk is a regular brisk walk (more than just a simple stroll) done purposefully to improve one’s health. It can include semi structured or structured walking activities done regularly and as a part of a person’s exercise regime. Walking is more preferred than jogging or running that creates a lot of stress to ankles, hip, knees and joints. To stress it out, walking have numerous benefits for your body like:


A. Walking is good for your health. Numerous studies prove that regular walking can lower blood pressure. It reduces coronary heart diseases, colon cancer, diabetes and body fats and cholesterol (by about 7 lbs. per year). Walking also prevents obesity and control the weight of the body thus reduces the risk of falls. It can also improve the individual’s appetite and helps reduce stress. Overall, walking as an exercise can enhance the mental well being of an individual.


B. Walking can help you stay fit. In general, brisk walking is the best kind of regular walking. Like an aerobic exercise, doing regular brisk walking can give tremendous effects on cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the body. Fitness will still vary on one’s age but generally, a regular 10-minute brisk walking can really increase fitness.

A certain study in Loughbrough University revealed that there are same results of fitness among women who do 30 minute walk for 5 days and those who have 10 minute walk. Adding to that, those who have short walks have decrease their weight more than those engaging in long walks.


C. Walking can extend your life! The Department of Health in the United States noted that regular walking could decrease the mortality rate of both younger and older adults. This is due to a fact that walking can really prevent certain diseases and also the risk of injuries due to unfit body. It has found out that regular walking for 20 to 25 miles can extend your life by approximately 1.5 – 2 minutes.


D. Walking can help in reducing your weight. Weight control can be possible if there is a balance between the calories intake and usage in physical activities. One mile of healthy walking can burn up to 420kL or 100kcal of energy. Walking for two miles per day can further decrease the body’s weight by 1lb. Regular walking can also modify the metabolism of fats so that fats, instead of sugar is burnt up; this can thus help in weight reduction.


E. Walking can help in regaining your health after illness. Nowadays, physicians are advising ill people to engage in gentle walking. It will always be good to consult with your physician about walking because there are times when certain activities (like walking) that can increase heart rate are prohibited.


F. Walking can help you achieve a healthy mind. Walking in a pleasant and people friendly environment with other people can be a way of relaxation. It can even help you gain friends and contacts, that you can meet, interact, talk to and play. It can further prevent anxiety and depression. Walking can also improve your self-esteem and mood.


Walking can really help you whether your purpose is to recover from illness, to stay fit or to improve your health and well-being. Walking is something which you can enjoy doing with your children or other family members. It is an exercise that can be practiced by any individual regardless of gender, age, income bracket and lifestyle. So start walking today and maintain that healthy life you desire!


Walking and Metabolic Fitness


What Walking Can Do to Your Metabolic Fitness


We all know that taking that brisk walk for 15-30 minutes a day will do you good. However, a lot of us have not thought about making walking a daily habit. What we do not know is that walking can actually improve our metabolic fitness tremendously.


Our metabolism is like the clockwork in our system. It determines the speed upon which our body assimilates the nutrients that we take in through food and the speed upon which we burn all the excess amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Therefore, the speed of our metabolism determines our weight. The faster the metabolism of an individual, the faster she will burn calories and the faster all the processes in our body are taking place.


Once we have developed the habit of taking walks daily, we are actually improving our metabolic fitness. We could lose weight if we do brisk walking instead of slow walking. Brisk walking is not as strenuous as running yet it gives us a lot of advantages in terms of losing weight and improving our metabolic rate.


It is important though, just like in any other form of exercise, that brisk walking is accompanied by a well-balanced diet, staying within our daily caloric needs. If we are eating more, brisk walking is not enough. Other forms of exercise should be incorporated too.


Before starting on your program, it would help if you had a goal in mind. First, your goal, like losing weight, should be realistic enough. That means it should be achievable and would not be too much that it would cause disappointment or too low so that seeing the change is not so obvious.


It should also be measurable. This means that you ser a certain number of miles of walking each day or setting a 30-minute brisk walk should be enough. You should also think how many pounds you actually want to lose. It is important then to keep track of your progress by weighing yourself daily and recording each measurement.


To enhance your metabolic fitness, it would be good to do an incremental addition to your walking, like increasing the number of miles or the number of minutes of brisk walking. Increments should not be more than 10-15% weekly so that injuries to muscles and other body parts should be avoided.


It has been found that increasing the metabolic rate of an individual has markedly improved the circulation, blood pressure and the health of the heart. Cardiac output is increased and weight loss steadily increased as well. The percentage of body fat has also been found to decrease. Even the waist circumference has been markedly decreased.


The increase in the presence of high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) in the body has heightened the ability of the body to remove low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). With the change in appetite that accompanies increased metabolic fitness, the general health of the walker has also improved.


Another added point to improving metabolic fitness is the enhancement of the individual’s psychological well-being. What’s more is that, with continued weight loss, people into brisk walking, have taken dieting and exercise more seriously, being bent on maintaining the new profile. With the new body image, eating behavior and energy levels have improved tremendously, and appreciation a better self is immeasurable.


Walking has been a popular option for sometime because of the steady increase in obese patients. The benefits one gets from this non-strenuous, low-impact exercise are countless so that more and more obese patients have taken walking seriously. Obese patients are now less prone to common problems like heart disease, hypertension and even diabetes.


Not only the obese benefit from walking. Geriatric patients, as a whole, are also delighted with the effects walking has done to their bodies. Aside from it being quite exhilarating, it also proved to be one social activity. They take joy from just walking in parks and being able to mingle with people from all walks of life. Somehow, they have also improved their body image.


Walking may not seem to be interesting to some, but getting the hang of it will bring numerous benefits to your well-being. Find every opportunity to walk. Instead of taking the car, why not walk to your destination. Make sure you do it briskly to reap the full benefit of this wonderful exercise.


Dog Lovers and Walking


How to Stay Fit while Walking your Dog


Dogs are great pets! They, like other animals can be great stress relievers. They can improve your mood and can shave off loneliness. They also give unconditional love and support. Apart from all these, dogs give encouragement for you to stay out of your house and exercise. Walking with your pet also adds security from potential attackers; it does not only provides you enjoyment and companionship but also improve your health.


A study in Canada presented that dog lovers walk for 500 hours a week compared to those without pets who only averaged 1 1/2 hours. If you’re a dog lover, spending time with your dog is very ideal. Here are some useful tips before walking with your dog.


Choose a dog that will match your lifestyle and be sure that the dog is trained. Your dog should have a good level of obedience for your walk to be fun. It would cause a lot of problem in your part if your dog will be speeding faster than you can run! Use a dog collar to control your dog and to avoid it to go away. Collars, embedded microchips or tattoos are also useful identification when dogs get lost.


Check on the places you plan to walk. Some places would not allow dogs in the vicinity so it’s always safe to check first. Parks, sidewalks and paths off the road are ideal places to walk with the dog. There are available books you can explore to guide you on walking to different places with your dog.


The preparedness of your dog is also essential. Ensure your pet’s health and desire to walk with you. Consulting a veterinarian to make sure that the dog is in good condition without any medical problems is a good move. Avoid walking in direct or extreme heat and stop to rest once in a while. Keep in mind that dogs cannot sweat; it’s therefore necessary to keep them in shady areas to let them to rest.


Carry essential things such as water and pooper scooper. You should bring fresh water which you and your pet can drink and separate water for washing your hands.


With all these tips lies the main purpose of your walk. It’s for your own sake for you to stay fit and healthy. The dog is just an added salvo, a motivation to walk an extra distance. What then are the benefits of dog walking to your health? Here are some which researchers pointed out:


1. Dog lovers who walk their dog are observed to be more friendly and approachable. Because socialization is apparent while walking, the tendency for dog owners to mingle with other owners is increased. Having a dog is a good starting point to open up a conversation about pet caring, grooming, etc.


2. Because walking is a certified health booster, having a dog as a companion will increase your enthusiasm about exercising and thus will enhance your walking capability. Dog can keep you walking extra miles and this will persuade you to walk for longer miles at a longer time. Skipping walking will almost be impossible because of your duty to your dog and with the dog’s commitment and faithfulness to the exercise program. A certain study by R. Johnson revealed that owners are persuaded to walk with their dogs to keep their pet healthy not being aware however that their health is kept good as well.


3. Walking with the dogs can shave off excess pounds on your body. A study in University of Missouri revealed that approximately 14 lbs. per year are lost for dog walkers. Disabled participants on the other hand who initially walks for 10 minutes a day have increased their walks to 20 minutes. For 50 weeks they have lost a total of 14 pounds on the average.


Dog walking can really make you stay fit. It almost matched the diet program prescribed by many dieticians. Those who started with 20 minute walking added more activities into their lives. Some even adopted dogs or volunteered to dog walking at various dog shelters.


Dog walking is basically hitting two birds with one stone. Following certain guidelines in dog walking can be essential to achieve a pleasurable time. A walk with your dog will not only improve your bonding but can also reduce anxiety from every day’s stress. In the process, you are not only keeping your dog healthy and fit but yourself as well.


Warming Up and Cooling Down


Why it is Important to Warm Up and Cool Down During Exercise


We all do some form of exercise in our daily lives. We may not be aware of it but our bodies are whispering to us to do some form of rigid exercise to hone and tone our bodies. That is why, even if we are not health buffs, we sometimes get the urge to get up and move our bodies.


However, it should not be as simple as that. We should always consider doing our warm ups and cool downs. A lot of us know that warming up before rigid exercise is necessary to prevent injuries related to exercise. But what we don’t realize is that cooling down after exercise is just as important.


What happens if we don’t warm up and cool down? The neglect of these two important phases of exercise has contributed to many injuries like muscle stiffness due to muscular micro-tear, ligament and tendon stretching or tears and many others. Getting into an injury during exercise will pull us back down the ladder of fitness. It will delay our weight loss and other goals when we exercise.


What are examples of warm up exercises? A simple stretching exercise for all the muscles and joints of the body for approximately 10-15 minutes will do the trick. Around five minutes of jogging will also be good to increase the temperature of the body.


What benefits do we get from warming up? Warming up increases the speed by which each warmed muscle contracts and relaxes. It also tends to decrease the tendency of stiffening the muscles. Movements also seem to be less strenuous due to less friction between muscle parts. There is also an improved utilization of oxygen by all parts of the body because of the improved circulation.


Nerve conduction and metabolic rate is also enhanced with warm up exercises. The increase in muscular temperature has also contributed to the increase in the metabolic rate of each part facilitating weight loss. Flexibility for all sorts of movement is also improved.


What are cooling down exercises? Exercises done to cool down after strenuous exercise is done to slowly return the body processes to normal. And, doing another five minutes of jogging or ten minutes of stretching all body parts could do this. Stretching is more preferable to jogging because this enables the muscles to get back to a relaxed state.


What do we get out of cooling down? First and foremost, cooling down will enhance the body’s ability to get rid of waste products accumulated during exercise like lactic acid. The dizziness we feel after exercise is prevented when we do cool down. The heart rate is slowly returned to normal.


The importance of these phases in exercise should not be taken for granted. It will give our bodies the chance to prepare for the next stage. Body parts are not strained into a stage that may cause injury if not well prepared. These exercises markedly improve the circulation to the different parts of the body, thereby, increasing the supply of oxygen to all parts, which is necessary for their proper functioning. The heart is also primed for an increase in activity.


The main purpose, therefore, of these exercises is for the training program to be not only effective, but also safe. Even if you are not an athlete or doing a rigid exercise program, you should always do your warm up and cool down exercises. It could easily be incorporated into your exercise regimen.


How do you know if you have warmed up enough? Developing a slight sweat is a good sign that you have warmed up enough to go to the next stage. It is important that stretching is done at the last stage of exercise. Although is has been found not to prevent the onset of muscle soreness, it has more benefits that makes it a necessary part of the exercise program.


The safety considerations during exercise is just too much for you to take warming up and cooling down lightly. You should always make it a part of your program if you want to ensure the prevention of injury and the effectiveness of your training. You are assured of the desired outcome if you incorporate these stages to your exercise program.


Fitness Exercises and Walking


Walking Exercises, Perfect for Fitness


There are many trends that people adhere to. This includes fashion, gadgets, technology, food and even lifestyle. Whatever is in the fad, people will try it out for themselves.


All sorts of fad have come out and brought delight to many individuals. Of the many trends people adhere to today, health consciousness is the best thing to have come so far.


Many people nowadays are conscious of their health and fitness. They know that they are not getting any younger in every day that passes by. Thus, taking care of their health is the best thing that happened so far among these trends.


Various kinds of diet and exercise regimes have come out. Different books, videos and sessions are out there to give guidance.


However, there is no need to get confused out of all these choices. There is one thing that you can do to achieve fitness in a very whole some way.


Walking Exercises for Fitness


Walking is a good way to exercise and become fit. This is especially useful for people who are just starting to explore their health options. Someone who had long been a couch potato cannot simply convert into being a triathlete.


As such, a great way to start moving and burn some calories is to do fitness walking. It is easy to start with walking exercises because any one can do this.


One can easily establish goals and achieve them easily. This will be a good starting point to advance into higher levels and challenges.


Fitness walking and exercises can also give you enough freedom. You can easily do this indoors. Going to the gym or having a treadmill in your household will let you do so anytime of the day even if the weather gets bad.


Walking exercises can also be done outdoors. This is a great choice as it lets you explore the beauty of nature as you do the fitness exercises. You get to see the surroundings and meet other people who also do their own walking.


As time passes by, you will surely notice the improvement in your condition and skills as well.


How to Do Walking Exercises for Fitness


Here are some tips that can help you in executing your walking exercises and find your way to being fit and healthy.


1. Walking Plan


Come up with a walking plan. Have a schedule of the days that you plan to do your exercise and the length of time you plan to do it.


Make sure that you fix it according to what your abilities will allow and to what extent you can challenge yourself.


It is also best to consult first a physician and get a good advice on what is best for your condition. There might be some limitations that you need to be aware of, like lung or heart problems.


2. Slowly But Surely


You might get too excited by the activity. However, if you are only starting with the fitness exercises, make sure that you take it easy first. Do not overdo it or you might end up hurting yourself.


There will be plenty of opportunities to train your self. Once you developed a good stamina, then start exploring the more difficult challenges.


3. Keep Track of the Distance


It is good to keep a record of the miles and distances you are able to cover in a given schedule. This will help you see how well you improve at a given time. This can also give an overview of your improvement.


Once you get to cover more distance at a given time, then it shows you can take on the next level. You can even increase the time you spend for walking.


You can also take the training to the next level. Include some challenging movements like jogging a bit, climbing uphill or speeding some more.


4. Prepare Well


It is also best to prepare properly for every walking exercise that you will do. Make sure you do some stretching and bending to avoid any unnecessary injuries.


5. Right Footwear


Never underestimate the role of your footwear in walking exercises. You can make use of a good pair of running shoes that will keep your feet comfortable as you cover miles of distance during your walk.



Walking in the Snow

Walking in the Snow


Walking is a good exercise. This is a good way to go fit and stay fit because a good health is essential to any person. People of all ages must be certain of this condition.


When a person walks everyday, it keeps the regular circulation of the blood in the body.


However, if walking for fitness is really your aim your ordinary walks will not suffice. After doing the same thing for a certain period, your body will reach a plateau. If this happens then you will not be doing any change to your body.


It is best to take your walking exercises a notch higher. Come up with a serious walking plan that will take you to the next fitness level.


There are various walking plans that you can do to be able to achieve your goal of fitness. Walking exercises can take on different levels to satisfy the needs of your body.


Some people will go to the gym and take on a treadmill for different levels of walking exercises. Others go to mountains for hiking and climbing exercises. There are people who will go all the way and take on a snowy trail.


Walking in the Snow


Most people would forego their walking exercises when wintertime comes. They think it is best for them to take a rest first when the snow covers every place.


Instead of being confined to such view, it may be better to explore the opportunity of walking in the snow. This can provide a better challenge to your walking exercises. Some people would even explore the snowy mountains just to accomplish this.


Skiing is not the only thing you can do in snowy grounds. Walking and hiking in the snow are really good options to those who really want to explore the environment during their fitness exercises.


A walk in the snow or a winter hike is actually a fun thing to do. When winter comes, the familiar trails that you used to hike on will be more interesting and fun.


The surfaces will not be as easy as it used to be. The layers of snow will give you more challenge in walking. Furthermore the scenery will be given more character by layers of snow draped all over.


Just keep in mind to be appropriately clothed. It is best to be kept comfortable and warm by the layers of clothing that you will wear.


Be sure to have the right underwear clothing when you do your walk in the snow. This is to ensure that your skin will not be irritated when you sweat during your walking exercises.


Wear also the right kind of hiking boots. You will have more difficulty in treading the layers of snow. As such, the right kind of boots will keep you capable. It shall also protect you from unnecessary injuries like falling on slippery grounds.


It is also a good idea to bring along a pack with you. A thermos with hot chocolate can be a good break after some time of workout.

Benefits of Walking in the Snow


There are many particular benefits that you can achieve by walking in the snow.


1. Compared to ordinary walking the heart rate can be increased by 13% faster when you do the exercises in the snow.


2. If done properly, walking in the snow can help you burn calories faster. It can help you lose as much as 400 calories in an hour of exercise.


3. The exercise is also helpful in giving you a better endurance. You can even achieve stability and balance that can be helpful when you venture in other things like climbing hills and mountain slopes.


4. Walking is also a sure way of exercising your limbs with less probability of injury compared to other sports. With just the right equipment and preparation, you can do walking exercises in the snow without danger.



Walking in the snow is a good exercise for you and your friends. This is a fun and exciting fitness exercise that will allow you to explore nature as you workout your body. Walk in the snow and get a refreshed mind, body and spirit.


The Benefits of using Poles


Walk with Benefits, Walk Using Poles


Walking is a good way to get fit. It encourages you to explore the outdoors as you train your body to become healthier and more capable of handling physical challenges. These are two of the main reasons why many people do enjoy walking as their physical exercise.


Just going out on a hiking trail, you can easily find people either alone or in groups enjoy their walk as they explore the outdoors. Some would even venture to climb the mountains and reach the summits.


Of course, it is worthy to point out that this is not all about leisure walk. Walking, as a fitness exercise is not the usual walking you do when you tour the mall.


To get the benefits of the physical activities, it must be done in a way that will train the legs and the body. You must take the extra lengths to properly work out your body and achieve a fitter disposition.


Walking on Hiking or Mountain Trails


There is a big difference when you do your walking exercises in the urban areas or in the treadmill compared to when you do it in the actual hiking trails.


When you walk in the treadmill or in the paved roads, there will be not much difficulty. All you do is to walk continuously. The surface will remain smooth and plain.


The challenge is there in the mountains. The hiking trails will have different levels of difficulty. It is not always a straight path. There will be some grassy, rough and lumpy terrains. Some can be elevated while others will slope down.


As such, you are challenged to make use of good control in your body movements and proper balancing with your limbs. With such exercise, you can definitely get the right training for the whole body.


However, given the challenges that can be encountered in the real hiking in the mountains, it will really be quite a difficult hurdle to achieve good balance at all times. As such, there is a tool to help you get the right balance.


The Walking Pole or Stick


Most people hiking in the mountain trails will be seen with a walking stick or pole at hand. These are long poles that hikers use to maintain their balance as they do the important duties in their trip outdoors.


Considering that there are many rough paths to overcome, having three or four legs will actually be helpful compared to when you only have two. Thus, the extra legs provided by the walking poles will definitely help.


The Benefits of Walking Poles


The mountain hikers and climbers in taking difficult terrains often use walking sticks or poles. There are many benefits from using a walking pole on hiking trips.


The pole can help in achieving balance when the surfaces tend to get slippery or difficult to set foot on. Areas that are muddy, sandy or that have shale materials can be a really difficult challenge.


With the walking stick, it is easier to dig into these surfaces. This is like a third leg to avoid slipping. This is one benefit that cannot be denied.


The pole can also be used to help prop up yourself when you feel like resting after a long walk you have taken. It can also be especially useful when you need a lever when going uphill.


There is also a special use for the pole when you have to do some camping. This can help prop up any blankets when you need to make a tent. The sticks can also be used to set aside tall grasses that can get in your way.


To truly benefit from the walking stick, it is best to get something that is of the proper height. A measurement of four to five feet would be good enough, but this still has to depend further on your height.


It can be made of different kinds of wood. To truly benefit from the use of the walking pole, make sure that this has the right strap or handle. This way, you will not have difficulty in using it.


There are many ways by which you can benefit from the walking pole or stick. Just make sure you have the right kind with you to aid you in your walking exercise.


Walking in Snowshoes


Fitness Walking in Snow with the Snowshoes


Everybody wants to be fit. It is always a good thing to prioritize the health of the person. People of all ages can really benefit from some good fitness exercises to keep their physical condition healthy.


Most people will seek for various ways to keep fit. They would do daily exercises to maintain a good physical condition. When it comes to fitness training, one must choose the kind of activity that can be regularly done.


Walking exercises is a good choice for most individuals. Any one knows how to walk. This is not a difficult thing to do. However, to make walking exercises effective, it should be more than just the ordinary walk.


Ordinary walk will simply keep your body and blood circulation at a good level. However, for the purpose of burning calories, this kind of activity will simply be stuck in a plateau.


Walking exercises must be a notch higher than the usual thing you do. There must be some sort of a walking plan that will take on different levels to challenge your present physical abilities.


Fitness Walking


Fitness walking can benefit your health by encouraging your body to move and workout. This means that you are exerting all your efforts to burn calories and fat and even lose weight.


Some people rely on the treadmill to do their walking exercises. They can easily manipulate the elevation aspect as well the level of speed and difficulty that can challenge their walking.


However, nothing compares to doing the walking exercises in the outdoors. The natural environment can give a good setting for people to explore and appreciate.


Walking and hiking in mountain trails will give more opportunity for you to experience the real outdoors as you strive to get fit. These are perfect choices if you really want to make the most out of the opportunity.


Some people even venture the snowy mountains to have a more challenging walk.


Walking in the Snow


Snow is more often associated with sports like skiing and snowboarding. However, for most people who do not feel like going all out with these extreme sports, then walking in the snow is something they will appreciate.


Walking in the snow lets you enjoy the surrounding draped with the layers of snow as you workout the body. As such, you get to exercise your body as you refresh your mind and spirit.


Thus, venturing in this activity is a good choice. All you need to do is to keep at hand the right equipment and gear to keep the whole walking adventure a safe activity.


Walking with Snowshoes


Snowshoes are the right footwear when you do your walking exercises in the snow. This will keep you from sinking each time you take a step in the snowy ground and keep your walk as long as you want.


Snowshoes are able to maintain your balance and control because it can properly apportion the weight of your whole body in to a wider area. This way, not all weight will be pushing you down to sink into the snow.


The snowshoes have been around for over 6000 years already. This is one of the earliest ways for people to travel. Today, this is mainly used for people into recreational sports and exercises.


The traditional kind of snowshoes is constructed out of heavy hardwood with leather lacings.


The modern type is recognizable by its light metal material like alloy, plastic or aluminum. The modern snowshoes are smaller than the traditional and they can be easily maneuvered.


Most of the racing and gliding snowshoes today are actually the modern snowshoes that enable people to move in deep layers of snow.


Today, millions of people in American alone are using snowshoes. The snowshoes are perfect for recreational sports like mountaineering, backpacking and even walking. With this at hand you can easily enjoy the outdoors and recreation with your family.


You can easily purchase a pair of snowshoes that will fit your comfort and needs.


There are materials today that are made of rubber and lightweight aluminum. Some are constructed of durable plastic that is perfect for easier movement. Some are designed especially for women and kids.

Walking in the snow is a good way to stay fit. Use the snowshoes and you can have good recreational time as you take on your fitness exercises.


Cross Country Walking on Skis


Cross Country Walking with the Right Skis


Many people are interested in getting fit and healthy. It really pays to have good body and a long life to enjoy the many pleasures and wonders the world has to offer.


It is not surprising that people today are exploring the many ways they can to become fit. They train and exercise regularly to achieve the desired results in their body.


This is good because becoming healthy goes beyond the usual physical aspect. It also encourages a more confident and positive outlook in life. Developing such can help any person live a fuller life.


Walking for Fitness

Many people are exploring their fitness possibilities by doing walking exercises. Walking is a good choice. It is one activity that any person can do. It can also suit anybody, beginners and experts alike.


Walking is a good choice for people who have health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. This is a good choice to slowly recover their physical skills.


This is also perfect for busy persons. It can be done just about anywhere like in the neighborhood, park, and gym or around the block. Thus, there is no need to get out of your way just to do the daily exercises.


It can be done anytime of the day. You can do it at early morning or in the late afternoon. You can enjoy the evening as you do walking exercises.


Also, as long as you have a treadmill at home, you can do the training even if the weather outside is bad. Thus, nothing will stop you from achieving your fitness goals.


Walking is also perfect as it can provide venue for people who want to do more advanced trainings.


Walking in the Snow


Some people will think that an unfavorable weather like the snow falling and covering the grounds will serve as a big obstacle to their goals. However, this should not always be the case.


Sometimes, the snowy setting can even be the challenge that you are looking for. This means that the walking exercises will take on a higher notch and bring out the potentials you have.


Of course, walking on snow will be entirely different from walking in the ordinary sunny days. It means that you have to properly adjust to the setting. Your equipments, garments and gears must properly suit the situation.


Cross-Country Walking on Skis


When it comes to walking in the snow, one great challenge that attracts many people is doing the cross-country walking on skis.


Instead of the usual walk with your snow boots on, it will be more challenging to walk on skis. The skis will provide a bigger challenge in training your body.


However, there is no need to worry that this means more inconvenience and discomfort as you travel. Walking on skis can actually make you more capable of traversing the snowy terrains and cover a long distance.


The real advantage of the skis is that it can actually allow you to do more than just walking. Since you are going to aim for the cross-country level, then the skis will make you more flexible in the snowy terrains.


You can easily walk with the skis when the snowy grounds are still advisable for walking. When the grounds change and become steeper slopes, then the skis will still be in handy for gliding.


The endeavor to take the cross-country walking will also take a lot of your time and effort. Thus, it is best that you are physically prepared for this. Make sure you have enough training in walking before venturing here.


Keep in mind also that you need the right endurance and stamina to make cross-country walking a worthwhile venture. Do not stress out yourself if you are not yet prepared.


It is also best to bring along a number of companions when you go cross-country skiing. It always pays to have enough company especially during emergency situations. You also need the guidance of an experienced guide.


Cross-country walking on skis will definitely prove a great challenge in your physical fitness endeavors. Furthermore, it provides a refreshing change of scenery as you take your hiking out in the snowy terrains.


Just make sure you make yourself physically prepared. Bring also the necessary equipments at hand and tag along the right companion for the trip. Then, you will definitely enjoy your cross-country walking.


How to Set Goals and Meet Them


How to Achieve Fitness Goals


There are many things that people desire in their lifetime. There is such a thing as success, happiness or love life. It all depends on the priority of the individual.


Today, people recognize that a healthy body is the only way by which they can enjoy all the other blessings in their life. Just imagine having all the money and achievement in the world will be futile if you are sick and bed-ridden.


Thus, it is a good thing to aim for a healthy body. Setting such healthy goals and meeting them at the same time will be a good reward to your self and to your family.


Fitness goal is definitely a good thing to focus on. This means that you might be able to become a better version of yourself.


A fit and healthy body can give you a longer lifetime. This will train you to develop a more wholesome lifestyle, thereby encouraging a well-rounded existence and avoiding health problems.


Setting and meeting healthy goals will also let you live your life to the fullest. You can grow old without having any regrets that you were not able to do things when you were able and younger.


As such, make fitness your goal.


How to Set Fitness Goals and Meeting Them


Given the good things about health and fitness, it is only normal for you to aim for such. However, most people may not find this trait to come naturally to them. Thus, it will be helpful to consider things that can help you meet your goal.


Here are some points to consider.


1. Fitness Workout Plan


Coming up with a good fitness plan will definitely help you in setting goals and meeting them. First thing for you to do is to write down the goals to make clear to yourself. This will help you in concretizing an objective.


Then, think of the activities that will help you achieve the aim. Your fitness goals will be best achieved by doing training and exercises like walking, jogging or going to the gym.


Make a schedule for these activities. Organize them well so they will not interfere with your regular activities. It is not enough that you think of what exercises to do. You must set aside enough time for you to actually execute the plans.


Keep in hand this workout plan and you can easily lay down the steps towards your goal.


2. Encourage Yourself


It also pays to do affirmations. Encourage yourself that you can do the things you aim for. It also helps to have a positive outlook in what you do.


You can make use of a mantra that will push you to achieve your goals. You can also surround yourself with notes that will remind you of your fitness endeavors.



3. Reward System


A rewards system will also be helpful in encouraging yourself. This will psyche your mind that there is a good thing that lies ahead every time you achieve the small steps towards your goal.


For example, you may aim to cover a certain distance in your 30-minute walk. Once you achieve this goal and perform it with ease, then you might consider treating yourself to some pampering.


4. Company of Friends



It also pays to have some people to support you in your goal. Finding friends to keep you company will definitely be helpful in giving you more reason to work out.


This will make your exercise more fun. You will definitely look forward to every opportunity you will get to walk or run with your friends.



5. Personal Trainer


Many people today are also getting their personal trainers. This helps them by having someone professional to guide them to the right path to health and fitness.


Getting a personal trainer will ensure that you get the right help when you make decisions in your workout plans. The trainer can also monitor your improvements and thereby know when to take your fitness goals a notch higher.


Setting fitness goals and meeting them will definitely benefit you in the long run. Just seriously consider the points given above and combine them with your determination. You will surely achieve what you aim for.


Why Keeping a Log is Important


The Importance of Keeping a Log for Fitness Walking


For people on a budget and with a tight working schedule, walking is the only exercise option that’s suitable for them. Walking can be done at any place and time without costing you a penny. You don’t even have to go out if you don’t want to. But like all things in this world, walking has its downside as well.


Walking your way to physical fitness is a gradual process. This type of exercise doesn’t produce instant results and that’s why many people find it hard to stick to walking. It’s effective, but you have to be patient. And that’s why keeping a log is very important for fitness walkers.


The Benefits of Keeping a Log for Fitness Walkers


Keeping Track – It’s hard to keep track of what you have and haven’t done in terms of walking without keeping a log. Even the best memories are still liable to be erroneous or inaccurate so it’s best to list down everything you need to remember on your log.


Source of Motivation – Why do people keep diaries? They do so not only for a love for writing but also to be able to remember the past and see how they’ve grown. The same thing goes for fitness walkers. Keeping a log allows them to see how much they’ve grown and what they’ve accomplished since they’ve taken up walking as a form of exercise. Seeing their achievements on paper motivates them to do better because the numbers are proof that they’re indeed reaching their goals.


Means of Social Interaction – You can also choose to keep a log online. If you do so, it can be a means of meeting other fitness walkers like you. Keeping a log allows you to meet new friends and get advice from people who have similar interests with yours.


Two Choices for Keeping a Log

MANUAL – If you’re fond of writing and keeping scrapbooks, a handwritten log is probably more suitable for you. Having an actual log to keep track of the important statistics in your fitness walking bout will allow you to update your notes easily and immediately as long as you have your notebook and pen with you. A manual log can also present a worthy challenge to your imagination as you think of more ways to make it more interesting. Costs of keeping an actual log are minimal as well.


As for the downside of keeping a log manually, you’ll have to rely on your own computations to ensure that you’ve calculated such things as the amount of calories burned correctly.


ONLINE – As mentioned earlier on, you also have the choice of keeping an online log, but this may require you to pay annual fees. It also requires you to have an Internet connection. Having an online log is more convenient, however, than keeping a manual one because the system will automatically compute important statistics for you. You’ll only have to input simple data such as your weight and the amount of time you’ve spent exercising.


Helpful Tips for Keeping a Log for Fitness Walking

It’s best to keep your fitness log small enough that it wouldn’t take up much space in your exercise bag but large enough to allow you to write in comfort. Decorate the front and back covers if you wish.


At the front or back cover of your log, write down important formulas so that you can check them readily enough if you’ve forgotten how to compute for something.


At the first page of your log, write down your goals for fitness walking. Whenever you’ve accomplished something, reward yourself accordingly. Paste photos of your rewards to provide additional motivation for yourself.


Always list down the place, time, and date of each instance you’ve indulged in fitness walking. Take note of what you’ve worn and what you’ve felt before, during, and after walking. Write down comments about the weather and environment as well.


Whenever you find useful articles about fitness walking or anything related to health and fitness that you deem helpful, paste a copy on your fitness log.


If you have companions for fitness walking, ask them to write a motivational message for you on your log.


And lastly, if you really want this to be effective, make sure that you use it consistently.


Walking for the Ages

Walking for the Ages


Walking and age always seemed to correlate, but did you ever wonder just what could it be that links walking and a person’s age?


When People Start to Walk

Walking is a skill that babies learn gradually and usually by themselves. Approximately 50% of them learn how to walk when they reach their first birthday, but generally, it’s a skill that can be mastered anywhere between 9 to 16 months.


Factors that Affect Walking

There are a number of factors that affect how early or late a baby learns how to walk, and though you might find this surprising, these factors continue to impede or facilitate a person’s ability to walk at whatever age.


Muscle Strength – Babies with adequate muscle strength, especially in their legs, will be able to grasp the rudiments of walking more quickly than others. At the same time, adults with greater muscle strength will find walking exercises easier to accomplish than the rest of his peers.


Balance – Walking is also a matter of balance, and babies will have to learn how to balance themselves first before they can make a shaky step forward. As people age, finding one’s balance gets easier and easier although this skill will gradually decline as well when they hit their fifties or sixties. This is why elderly people are also encouraged to hone their balancing skills together with walking for exercise since the two goes hand in hand. For balancing exercises, elderly people can practice standing on one foot for several minutes.


Temperament – Studies reveal that temperament is actually one of the strongest factors that affect a baby’s ability to walk. Babies who are less precocious tend to have a cautious attitude towards everything, and this prevents them from learning how to walk quickly but suffering from trial-by error. Babies who are somewhat hyperactive on the other hand are more likely to be excited at the prospect of walking once they’ve discovered their ability to stand on their own two feet.


As people age, temperament continues to affect a person’s willingness and skills in walking. Walking is mostly an exercise done in solitude so if you’re not fond of being alone a lot, walking may not be the most suitable exercise for you. On the other hand, walking is perhaps the most perfect type of exercise for people who don’t mind having alone time once in a while.


Body Type – Babies with leaner bodies generally learn how to walk earlier than babies with a heavier built. And this factor continues to affect the relation between people and walking even as they age. Obviously, barring difference in attitude, it’s easier for slim people than those who are overweight to take up walking as a form of exercise.


Fitness Walking Tips for All Ages


It’s important to establish goals when you take up any form of exercise because this will motivate you to continually do your best. Be sure however that you have realistic expectations from fitness walking as yearning for the impossible can only produce the opposite result.


Take things one at a time. No matter how young or old you are, if it’s your first time to commit to exercising regularly, don’t subject your body to a grueling beating immediately. Start slowly and with something that would cause you to have a heart attack right after.


Fitness walking, to be effective, must also be accompanied with the right diet. Consult a nutritionist to know what a healthy diet constitutes for your age and physical condition. Be sure that you’re not walking on an empty stomach because this will only prevent you from enjoying maximum benefits from exercising.


Keep a log for fitness walking. This will enable you to see how far you’ve gone and motivate you to continue doing better.


Wear the appropriate clothes for the weather and location. Elderly people might be required to wear additional safety gear to reduce chances of incurring physical injury if they get involved in an accident.


Fitness walking is different from plain walking. Keep your back straight while walking and allow your arms to sway naturally as you move. Take comfortable strides.


And lastly, make sure that you perform the necessary stretching exercises before you start walking and end with the proper cooling down technique.


Using a Pedometer


Using a Pedometer for Fitness Walking


If faithfully keeping a log still doesn’t seem to be enough motivation to keep you walking, perhaps you should consider using a pedometer as well.


What is a Pedometer?

A pedometer is similar to the weight and size of a beeper and is a piece of fitness equipment that can count the number of steps you’ve taken for a period of time by sensing body movement and measuring a person’s average step or stride length. This is usually attached to a person’s belt or worn around your neck. Pedometers are also known as step counters.


There are other features that pedometers offer such as calorie and distance counter but studies have revealed these high-end models as to be generally accurate. Other models are also able to retain data for a week and serve as a clock, timer, and speed estimator. They’re very much expensive as well so you’re better off with a pedometer.


Pedometers are able to measure and count steps by various methods such as hairspring or coiled spring mechanisms or piezo-electric accelerometers.


The Benefits of Using a Pedometer for Fitness Walking

Automatic Counting – Instead of having to take note of the amount of distance you’ve covered, you can simply enjoy walking and know that there’s this tiny thing on your body that’s doing the counting for you.


Walking throughout the Day – Distance and time is hard to compute if you really have no specific time and place to solely dedicate to fitness walking. With a pedometer, however, the simple act of walking from one room to another can be accurately measured. You’ll only have to activate it when you’re walking then deactivate it when you’re performing other activities. That way, all the walking you’ve done for the day will be taken into account.


Configuring or Calibrating Your Pedometer

For a pedometer to work effectively, you need to configure it according to your step or stride length. Although this term is used interchangeably in most situations, it’s better that you subject the pedometer to several tests to determine exactly what they’re referring to.


A step length is basically the distance between the end of one foot from another or how much distance you’ve covered in one step. A stride length on the other hand is the amount of distance you’ve covered in two steps.


If your tests reveal half or double the results you expect, you might have configured it incorrectly.


The Importance of Positioning


Although fitness walkers sometimes wear pedometers around the neck, clipping or attaching it to your waistband or belt is still better. This position allows the pedometer to have more accurate readings. Secondly, make sure that your pedometer is attached correctly and not in an inverted position. Keeping it inside your pocket will lead to inaccurate results as well.


How Many Steps Do You Need for Each Day?


Your pedometer must tally at least ten thousand steps a day for you to ensure that you’re physically fit. This figure will also decrease the risk of contracting any serious or life-threatening disease in the long-term future.


If, however, you’re using walking to lose weight, your pedometer must tally at least twelve to fifteen thousand steps a day. Changes may be visible after a few months only.


And lastly, if you wish to use fitness walking for pedometer, your pedometer must tally approximately three thousand steps for one day, but these steps must be done in a faster sequence than usual.


Buying and Maintenance Tips for Pedometers Used for Fitness Walking


Avoid purchasing a secondhand pedometer, as this device is easily broken. It’s also difficult to determine the level of damage it has sustained and if you do find out that it’s broken, your warranty period may have already expired.


Using a pedometer doesn’t mean you can throw away your fitness walking log already. Using them together is better.


Subject your pedometer to a performance test once in a while to determine if it’s still working.


If you’re in the habit of walking even in rainy weather, it might not be advisable to use a pedometer at these instances.


When in use, make sure that you avoid exerting any strong amount of force and weight on them.


Lastly, store them in protective covering when not in use. Keep them in a dry and safe place away from the reach of children.


Clothing - Dress for Walking


Tips for Clothing – How to Dress for Walking


Learn how to dress appropriately and effectively for fitness walking. In this type of exercise, wearing the proper outfit can make your time more productive but more pleasant as well.


Tips on How to Dress for Fitness Walking from Head to Toe


UNDERSTAND WHAT THE SEASONS DICTATE


There are two types of seasons that you have to be attuned to when dressing for fitness walking.


Firstly, take note of the season or the weather. Fall and winter naturally call for more layers and clothes while summer and spring allows you to wear lighter and fewer clothes. Secondly, take note of what the latest fashion season dictates for fitness walking. Are jogging pants in or out? Lastly, make sure that your choice of clothing is a decision based on fashion and practicality. Don’t overlook common sense just to be fashionable, but don’t let your practical side turn you into a walking fashion disaster as well.


HEADGEAR IS IMPORTANT


You may think that headgear is only important when you’re walking during the colder parts of the year. That, however, is an erroneous assumption. Keeping your head and face protected during summer and spring is equally important. A hat, cap, or even a visor will literally work in keeping your head cool and reduce the chances of you suffering from heat stroke. It will prevent ultraviolet rays from reaching you as well. Lastly, consider wearing a pair of shades if the blazing sun makes it hard for you to see where you’re going.


WHAT TO WEAR ON TOP


If you don’t want to sweat and smell during your walking exercise, choose clothes that are dry-fit. These clothes will ensure that you won’t be suffering from any embarrassing wet spots especially under your arms. Choose darker shades for added protection against wet spots.


If, however, you wish to increase the amount of water your body is losing through sweating, choose clothes made from wool or other similar fabrics. Zip yourself up in a jacket as well.


Layering is important whether you’re walking on January or August. Your bout of fitness walking must start with you feeling cool and refreshed. You can then add or remove layers to adjust to your subsequent body temperature and weather changes.


Loose clothing is preferable because it allows you more ease and freedom in movement, but tight clothing is fine if you don’t find it uncomfortable.



WHAT TO WEAR BELOW

Jogging pants or shorts are both preferable although one over the other is better depending on the weather and how comfortable you feel with how much of your legs are showing. Keep in mind however that wearing shorts or skirts increase the risk of getting your legs wounded or scratched if you’ve the misfortune of tripping or getting involved in an accident.


COVERING UP


A windbreaker jacket is always good at anytime of the day to give you adequate protection whenever a gust of strong wind comes forth.


There are jackets specifically made for walking, and if you have the budget for it, purchase one for yourself because they’ll give you more benefits than other types of jackets.


PROTECTING YOUR FEET


Be careful with your choice of socks. This is unfortunately one of the most overlooked parts of walking gear as many people are unaware of the integral role it plays. If you’ve got the right pair of socks, your feet have better chances of staying dry and away from wounds and blisters. It’s best to purchase socks that are specifically made for athletic or sport use. These socks provide just the right amount of heat while preventing your feet from sweating too much.


Shoes are important more than ever in fitness walking.


Firstly, you need to use a pair of shoes that are just the right size…or maybe half a size bigger. Anything smaller will cause your feet to ache and suffer from other possibly painful medications while anything bigger can cause you to trip on your feet.


Running shoes are always best, but you might have to wear rubber covering over them during the winter. Shoes that allow your heels to be in a slightly higher position are actually better than those with flat soles.


The key to choosing the right outfit for fitness walking is choosing what’s safe and comfortable. Remember that and you’ll be fine!





Building Motivation


10 Tips on Building Motivation for Walking


If neither time nor money is preventing you from walking for exercise then maybe all you need is an ounce more of motivation to accomplish your goal for the season.


Tip #1 Keep a Fitness Walking Journal

Some people find it extremely satisfying to see their progress across the pages of their fitness walking journal. If you log in your notes faithfully, you’ll be amazed at the speed of your success in a short period of time. Seeing how much weight you’ve lost at just a short amount of time will surely motivate you to walk longer and faster.


Tip #2 Make It a Date

Fitness walking doesn’t have to be a solitary event. This exercise slash pastime can be enjoyed with your partner or date. If you’re planning to ask someone out, why not make it into an exercise date instead? Walking together in a park will allow you more time to get to know each other than having to try making conversation in a noisy bar.


Tip #3 Walking with Friends

Similarly speaking, if you know anyone among your relatives and friends who would be interested in getting fit or losing weight, why not invite them to join you in an hour’s worth of walking? You’ll realize that there’s a world of difference between walking alone and walking with someone else.


Tip #4 Music is a Great Companion

If there’s really no one in your circle of acquaintances who’s willing to accompany you in your ten thousand steps to physical fitness then so be it. There’s always your iPod or Zune to rely on, anyway. Build your music library and start walking to the latest beat. If you happen to dance along the way then that’s your prerogative.


Tip #5 Join a Walking Club

Yes, walking clubs do exist. If there’s no walking club in your school or office, you might find an ad posted about it in your community hall. If you still come up with nothing, search online for the nearest walking club in your vicinity. Joining a walking club will allow you to meet new friends and have lots of people to hang out with every time you feel like walking. Walking clubs usually offer various privileges to their members as well.


Tip #6 Join Charity Walking Events

There’s probably nothing more motivating than knowing that you’re walking for a cause. By joining such events, you’ll be able to take things literally one step further because you know that each step you make is helping someone have a better quality of life. And don’t worry, there are numerous charity walking events being held every year so you definitely won’t be running out of events to join. But if ever you do, you could always organize one yourself. It’s for a worthy cause anyway.


Tip #7 Join Walking Competitions

If walking for a charitable purpose isn’t working for you then you can always consider walking for pride and success. Imagine how it would feel like knowing that you’re the toughest and fastest walker in a competition involving two hundred contestants? Imagine how it would feel knowing that you’ve successfully completed an endurance event. If the prospect of losing weight is not enough to keep you motivated for walking, maybe the prospect of winning first place and getting your photo splashed on a newspaper is.


Tip #8 Walking to Show Off

Buy a new pair of shoes. Buy a new walking outfit. Buy whatever it is that you can use for fitness walking then show it off promptly. Try it and you’ll see how good it feels walking with something that everyone would like to get his or her hands on. Try exercising with a new pair of shoes knowing that everybody would want to be in your shoes…literally and figuratively.


Tip #9 A Change of Direction

Instead of walking at the same place over and over, why not change locations once in a while to prevent yourself from getting bored? Fitness walking doesn’t have to be restricted to one place so do change scenes if and when you get bored. With new scenery to take in, you might not notice that you’re sweating all the while.


Tip #10 Challenge Yourself

And lastly, consider changing the level of challenge of fitness walking. Deliberately look for an uphill course or something similar if that’s what it takes to motivate yourself.


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