all of these reasons, people have started walking programs. If
you would like to start your own program, read and follow the
information provided in this pamphlet.
Answer the following questions before you begin a walking program.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please check with your health care provider before starting a walking program or other form of physical activity.
L eave time in your busy schedule to follow a walking program that will work for you. Keep the following points in mind as you plan your program:
Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. If you cannot do 30 minutes at a time, try walking for shorter amounts and gradually working up to it.
Keep safety in mind when you plan your route and the time of your walk.
S tretch gently after you warm up your muscles with an easy 5-minute walk, and again after you cool down. Try doing the stretches listed below. Do not bounce or hold your breath when you stretch. Perform slow movements and stretch only as far as you feel comfortable.
Reach one arm over your head and to the side. Keep your hips steady and your shoulders straight to the side. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Lean your hands on a wall with your feet about 3 to 4 feet away from the wall. Bend one knee and point it toward the wall. Keep your back leg straight with your foot flat and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Lean your back against a wall. Keep your head, hips, and feet in a straight line. Pull one knee to your chest, hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Pull your right foot to your buttocks with your right hand. Stand straight and keep your knee pointing straight to the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your left foot and hand.
Sit on a sturdy bench or hard surface so that your left leg is stretched out on the bench with your toes pointing up. Keep your right foot flat on the floor. Straighten your back, and if you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh, hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your right leg. [If you do not yet feel a stretch, lean forward from your hips until you do feel a stretch.]
Walking correctly is very important.
Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back.
Walk so that the heel of your foot touches the ground first. Roll your weight forward.
Walk with your toes pointed forward.
If you walk less than three times per week, give yourself more than a week before increasing your pac and frequency.
Weight-control Information Network
The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is
a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the
National Institutes of Health, which is the Federal
Governments lead agency responsible for biomedical
research on nutrition and obesity.
Publications produced by WIN are reviewed by both
NIDDK scientists and outside experts.
This publication is not copyrighted. WIN encourages
users of this brochure to duplicate and distribute as
many copies as desired.