Starting a walking program doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. I’m a big fan of simplicity when it comes to exercising for heart health, because keeping it simple means there’s a higher chance you’ll stick to it! While one giant 3 hour hike in the mountains over the weekend is fun and great exercise, to lower blood pressure long term with walking: it’s important to walk at least 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. There are still benefits to walking less than 30 minutes, but at least 30 is ideal.
3 Tips to Start Walking for Lower Blood Pressure
1. Invest in a Fitness or Activity Monitor: This could be a watch that monitors distance walked, measures your heart rate, among other features. If that’s out of your price range, a simple pedometer will do too! These devices help track your progress. They are great motivational tools to encourage you to stay consistent with daily walking. If it integrates with a cellphone app, you can also easily view how much walking you’ve accomplished each week.
2. Always Wear Proper Shoes: Good walking shoes are super important! Definitely avoid flip flops or high heels. You’re laughing, but I’ve seen people trip over their flip flops while walking their dog. Better safe than sorry! Proper shoewear allows you to walk with good posture and alignment all the way from your feet up to your neck!
3. Start with a Short Walk and Build Up: If you are usually a pretty sedentary person, (meaning you don’t get a lot of physical activity), don’t feel pressure to dive right into 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week. Work up to it! Let’s say you start walking for 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week to ease in and then slowly increase until you meet your goals. Ramping up exercise allows your body to adjust to this increase in activity with a lower risk of injury. Also, if you don’t feel good when you exercise, such as you experience shortness of breath or pain, please seek medical care. Don’t just push on!
Congratulations on starting a walking program! I’m cheering you on!
This morning I dragged myself out of bed and went for a brisk 35 minute walk. It takes a lot for me to be motivated, but afterwards I feel good because I’ve taken steps in the right direction of a more heart healthy life. Thanks for joining me!
Do you walk for exercise? Would love to hear about your experience!
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Categories: Exercise and Physical Activity