Tips to keep you going
- add variety by changing your route
- take a personal radio, cassette or CD player to listen to
- dress in layers so that you can adjust for weather conditions
- walk inside if the weather is bad (too hot, too cold, too wet, too icy)
- wear a hat and sunscreen in the summer
- carry a water bottle
- record on a calendar how long you walked and the approximate distance (register yourself in our walking club). This will help to remind you to get at least 3 days in per week and maintain your progress
- join a walking club in your community
- plan to participate in a fun walk such as "Beat Beethoven", "Terry Fox Run" or "Mother-Daughter Walk".
Suggestions for increasing difficulty
- add timed intervals of moderate to face pace (i.e. 30 seconds fast- 1 minute moderate)
- as you become stronger take fewer breaks
- increase the time of your brisk walk, provided you have the time
- find a route that includes some hills
Comfort and Safety tips
- if you have been inactive, take our PAR-Q test and/or check with your doctor before beginning any exercise
- if you cannot walk and talk without becoming breathless, then slow down
- listen to your body. If you feel pain, dizziness, nausea, or sick in any way, stop exercising. If the symptoms do not subside, consult your doctor
- do proper warm up and cool down exercises. See our "stretches" for some safe strecthes
- drink small amounts of water before, during and after your walk, particularly in warm weather when you are sweating heavily
- walk with a friend for pleasure and safety
- if walking alone, tell someone your route and expected time of return
- Walk during the day or on well lit streets
- Always walk facing the traffic
- If you miss more then a week, resume your physical activity program at one-half to two-thirds of your normal level and build up gradually
- the most critical period to sticking with a physical activity program is the first two to four weeks. Plan to maintain your walking program at least a month to give yourself a fair chance of "sticking with it"
- most people notice favourable changes in about four to eight weeks, if not right away
- make specific plans to walk and write them down. Include when, where, with whom, how long, how hard and how often
- add activity to your life. Walk during coffee breaks. Park in the far corners of parking lots and enjoy the walk to where you are going.
- Walk with a friend or dog, and you will be encouraged to walk even on those days when you feel "lazy". Encourage family members to walk with you.
- Try a daily positive walking affirmation to repeat to yourself such as "Walking makes me look great and feel great".
- Keep an exercise log and plot your progress (sign up for our walking club)
- Vary your walking route, the setting you walk in, or your walking partner to add variety and interest
- If you slip off the program, forgive yourself and begin again. Don't give up and avoid the all or none pitfall.
- Reward yourself. Each month, particularly for the first 6 months, reward yourself for sticking with your walking program goals
- Take a mental vacation. Use your walking time to think about pleasant things. Avoid using the time to ponder family problems or bills. It is essential to feel good about what you are doing