Start Walking

Walking is man’s best medicine

- Hippocrates

No matter what level of fitness you have or are striving to have, walking should be the foundation of your fitness plan. Walking can come in the form of parking farther away from the office (1 minute each way adds up!). Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is always a good choice. You can walk at lunchtime; You can walk your pet; you can walk just about anytime and anywhere with just comfortable clothes and good shoes. As you start to walk longer or start jogging, you'll want to make sure that you have the right shoe for you.

Walking affords many of the same benefits of its more strenuous brother – running. You’ll notice better muscle definition, stronger back muscles, reduced appetite, increased aerobic capacity, lower blood pressure, etc…

Another way to enjoy walking is by taking up the hobby of hiking. Hiking is a great way to enjoy nature and get some terrific exercise. Be careful when choosing hiking shoes, though, as you’ll probably want more ankle support than typical walking / running shoes provide.

A good place to start walking or jogging is at your local high school or community track. At the track, you can listen to music and not worry about traffic and street crossings. Below is a standard 400-meter track layout. The straight-aways and curves are each 100-meters each.


If going to the track is new to you, here's a few tips to help you get started...

Standard 1/4 mile Track:

  1. One loop around Lane 1 on a standard track is 440 yards or 400 meters (4 laps = 1 mile).
  2. Each straight away and curve is 100 meters
  3. If you’re running an interval or sprint, run in Lane 1. If you’re jogging or walking chose one of the outside lanes as a courtesy to the other runners.
  4. Runners typically run counter-clockwise around the track.
  5. While it can be dangerous to run on roads with headphones, headphones can help pass the time while you ‘go around in circles’ on the track! ;-).

Walking is a great way to burn some extra calories and enhance your fitness plan. Walking with others is a fun way to get some exercise - take advantage of that positive-peer-pressure motivation factor!

Related pages:

Join a Walking Group!

10,000 Steps a Day


Navigation Tools: Compass, Maps, GPS, etc...

Reduce Your Hiking Pack Weight

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