Start a Daily Walking Program
Walking can be an important contributor to overall joint health, aerobic fitness, and weight loss. But sometimes pain can be a barrier. Whether you plan to walk outside or on a treadmill in your home or gym, you can use the following suggestions as your guide to develop a daily walking program.
Guidelines for Walking
Walk at a pace that is challenging but allows you to pass the talk test:
You should be able to walk and talk comfortably at the same time while breathing through your nose.
If you cannot talk comfortably while walking without feeling out-of-breath, slow down to a point where you can.
Take stairs and hills slowly enough to pass the talk test.
Space your activities throughout the day. Rest before and after more strenuous activity such as bathing and showering.
Always wait at least 1 to 1.5 hours after a meal before you do your exercise walk.
If you walk with another person, be sure you walk at your pace and comfort level.
How to Start Your Daily Walking Program
Ask yourself how long it takes to feel discomfort when walking. That is your current maximum. If you don’t know, pick a duration you know won’t cause discomfort, for example 5 minutes.
Go for a walk, but stop 1 minute before you reach your maximum.
Walk at a mildly challenging pace that allows you to pass the talk test (talking comfortably while walking without feeling out-of-breath).
Increase your walks by 30 seconds per day. It’s okay to break up your walk into several sessions per day until you can walk continuously for 30 minutes.
When you are able to walk continuously for 30 minutes, walk once per day (or more, if you’d like).
Progress your 30 minute walk by increasing your speed (still passing the talk test). Progress your speed to a level you can maintain at least 4 days a week, or every other day.
Always make sure you begin your 30 minute walk with an easy 5 minute warm-up stroll and end with a slow, cool-down stroll. Avoid sudden sprints or stops. Your Hinge Health exercises are a great warm-up or cool-down activity before or after walking.
If you feel you are able to increase walking to 40 minutes or longer, do so gradually as instructed above.
During extreme weather, consider controlled environments such as a shopping mall for walking, or walk early in the morning or later afternoon on hot days.
Do not hold your breath at any time. Try to breathe normally through any exertion during walking, climbing hills and stairs and exercise.
If you need help starting a walking program, reach out to your coach for support and accountability!
Walking is a great way to improve your overall joint health and aerobic fitness, and can help you lose weight.
You can use the talk test to find a beginning walking pace that’s right for you.
Start your walking program gradually with a duration that lets you walk without feeling discomfort and progressing slowly to 30 minutes a day or more.