Step 1: Determine the time and the days exercising for an hour can be done. Routine exercise helps the body adapt and gives the individual an actual framework to plan their day. It is critical to schedule “rest” days each week so the body can renew strength.
Step 2: Don’t put the cart before the horse. The first rule of any exercise involving impact is to get the body in muscular condition. The specific muscles used for both walking and running need to be strengthened. They include: hamstrings, ankles, quadriceps, core, back muscles and arms. Strong muscles surrounding the bones not only protect the bones, but add to bone density and lessen the impact on smaller muscle groups. A good posture from core and back exercises prevents incorrect form during the “faster moving moments”.
Step 3: Stride rite! The longer stride of brisk walking or running comes from practicing stretching exercises. An agile walker and runner have a wider stride length which adds to gait efficiency, plus has increased muscle group balance. Equal impact from balanced muscle groups prevent overuse injuries which can occur on the front of the body such as shin splints or as bursitis on the left or right side of the body.
Step 4: Practice the form and technique of brisk walking or running by doing leg lifts and arm lunges each day. Correct posture, forward arm movement and foot strike will result in increased leg and arm efficiency so wasteful movements
are eliminated during the walk.
Now it’s time “move” and implement the ingredients of an aerobic physical fitness plan: Duration, Frequency, Resistance, and Intensity. Get your calendar out and make two goals: A one month goal, and a long term 3 month goal. Here are the basic fitness ingredients which should be part of your beginner walk to run program.
* The first month should concentrate on building both distance and frequency of the cardio walk. Typically, one day a week double the average daily distance. Thus, cardio walking for one hour 3 times per week would have one other day where a two hour walk would be done. Then each week, you can add 10% of your distance time or miles walked per day for gradual muscular adaptation. If the body seems overtired, then change the frequency, or amount of cardio walking days.
* The second month should include a bit of resistance to increase leg strength and gait efficiency. Pick one day per week and do a workout on hills (parking garage), stair master or elliptical trainer. Another day of the week adds some aerobic intensity (speed). For example, cardio walk one direction and turn around and return the same direction but a few minutes faster.
* During third month have fun and take part in the distance events picked out. If it is the same distance goal such as a 5K you did in the first month of training then try to go a bit faster with the second 5K attempt.
The schedule below shows a one month fitness plan of cardio walking with intensity (speed). Notice that each week the actual mile goal time is lowered, necessitating a faster gait. As shown below the schedule, daily stretching and muscular conditioning exercises are advised to incorporate within the overall fitness plan.