8 Essential Walking Exercise Tips

Walk your way to a fitter you with these tips.
Walking is a great yet low-impact form of exercise to keep fit and stay healthy. Check out these tips to making the most of your workout.

Walking tips

  1. Remember to stretch before your walk. Stretching reduces your risk of injury.
  2. Roll from heel to toe and push off with your toes, rotating your hips forward and back as you walk. Keep your arms relaxed, swinging back and forth and close to your body to maintain efficiency. Keep your torso upright and your head facing straight.
  3. Take short, fast strides instead of long ones to reduce stress joints.
  4. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that's right for you. Check the soles of your shoes -- if the inner edges of your shoes have worn out, you probably have flat feet; if the outer edges show wear, you may have a high arch. If you have flat feet, purchase shoes with sturdy midsoles and full-length arch supports to decrease walking pressure. If you have high arches, buy flexible shoes with cushioned midsoles that do not limit motion. If you have a neutral foot, you can wear any type of shoe that feels comfortable.
  5. Treadmill yield the same benefits as outdoor walking. Set the elevation to 1 percent to mimic outdoor walking.
  6. No time to squeeze in a 30-minute workout everyday? Try splitting up your walking exercise into three 10-minute sessions -- the "accumulated" workouts throughout the day give you almost the same health benefits and calorie burn.
  7. Try interval walking to burn extra fat and calories and lose weight. Interval walking involves alternating bursts of intense power-walking with bursts of normal walking. An easy way to incorporate interval training is to add one or two 5-minute high-intensity power-walking in your walking routine.
  8. Try getting your spouse or friend to join you in the walk. You can motivate one another and chat while walking.
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