Want to get outdoors, improve your health and socialise with friends? It might be time to put on your walking shoes.

Incorporate walking into your daily exercise and health plan to:

  • Help control weight
  • Lower your risk for certain diseases
  • Build bone density

Get moving with these 6 exercise and health tips:

1. Make it fun. 

Find a partner. Your walking partner should be able to match your speed.

2. Find proper footgear. 

Wear shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel and thick, flexible soles.

3. Wear clothes that will keep you dry and comfortable.

 Look for synthetic fabrics that absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.

4. Divide your walk into sections. 

Warm up by walking slowly for five minutes. Then, increase your speed and do a fast walk. Finally, cool down by walking slowly again for five minutes. Do light stretching after your warm-up and cool-down.

5. Try to walk as often as possible. 

To avoid stiff or sore muscles and joints, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going farther, and walking for longer periods of time. Aim for 30 minutes of walking a day on most, if not all, days of the week.

6. Set goals and rewards.

 A goal might be participating in a fun walk or walking continuously for 30 minutes. Reward yourself when you meet a goal, but not with high-calorie foods.

Posted on 25 January, 2010 by News USA