What you need to start a walking for fitness program
Shoes and layers are the most important thing and you really don’t need to buy anything to get started. Provided you already have a pair of comfortable and well fitting walking shoes.
Shoes that are too big can trip you up and shoes that are too small will give you calluses, blisters, and can be hard on your hips.
Understandably you may want to buy some stuff for walking. There are some really nice looking walking outfits. I mean they are fully functional – but nice looking too. But I will re-state you need nothing to get started provided your shoes are good enough to not hurt your feet.
When you start a walking program dress so you can comfortably strip down. Even if you did go and spend a bundle at the running store you will still need to dress in loose layers so you can strip one layer at a time as you warm up.
As you get more advanced in your walking you may want to invest in a quality shoe based on your foot needs. I was born with nearly flat feet and as a result am a pronator. It took a couple of years for me to find the right combination of orthotic and footwear.
The first thing I did was buy an Adidas ‘motion control’ shoe. After that I was fitted for orthotics and stepped down to a cross trainer. Now I have found the best fit (for me) is the Asics Kayano, which is a stability shoe and I replace the factory insole with the ‘Superfeet’ insole.
My orthotics have been collecting dust for a while now.
I buy a new pair of Kayano’s every six months for fitness and keep the old pair for yard work. Good shoes can be expensive dependent on the needs of your feet, legs and hips.
The Asics are classified as a running shoe and are very light and supportive.
If you are looking for a walking shoe consider seeing a specialist if you are not sure what ones you want or believe you have special needs.
In the cool mornings and for the cooler seasons it is a good idea to wear a hat during your walking for fitness program. If you don’t believe me try going out one morning with a hat and then next without. You will see a huge difference in your ability to warmup and maintain your body heat.
On sunny days you might want to ensure you have sunglasses and sunblock. I prefer to limit my sun exposure instead of wearing sunblock because when you wear sunblock you inhibit your ability to manufacture vitamin D.
If you are really in the zone and want to journal everything you can buy a really nice journal. You can also just download a sample page and punch holes in it and keep your records in a binder.
A heart monitor is another great gadget for keeping track of your progress. You can use it to record your resting heart rate over time so you can see how well your cardio is improving your health. You can also use the heart rate monitor to maintain a certain heart rate while you are exercising and optimize your weight loss and fitness goals.
I like using a heart rate monitor and find many uses for them. The one I currently use is a Timex.
Walking fitness is so simple to do and you can do it for whatever length of time you have. If you have only 5 minutes then it will still benefit you to walk for those five minutes.
I prefer to measure in time but then I also like to monitor my progress by including distance.
By keeping a journal of your time and distance you can see how well your efficiency increases. Time how long it takes you to walk a mile once a week and you can see how much faster you are getting by journaling your activities.
In the beginning concentrate on keeping your body in good posture and walking at a comfortable pace. You may have been walking most of your life but if walking for fitness is new then there may be some adjustments you will have to make before you begin to increase your speed.