Cardio Walking

Beginning treadmillers should walk at a comfortable pace for three to five minutes, then walk fifteen minutes at a faster pace by taking longer strides, gradually working your way up to 4 miles an hour, followed by a five minute cool-down. Advanced treadmillers should warm up, repeat the second phase of the workout, and then raise the angle of incline to ten percent for fifteen minutes, with a five minute cool-down.

You probably already have great walking form but if you to check it, stand with your feet together and lean forward from the ankles. Wherever your foot falls determines your proper stride length. Take another stride and keep your supporting leg straight as your body passes over it. Try to keep your rear foot on the ground as long as possible before pushing off. Roll from the heel of your foot, through the arch, and onto the ball before "toeing off." Bend your elbows at ninety degrees and swing your arms back-and-forth just below chest level, without crossing the midline of your body. Lean forward from the ankles instead of the waist. Stand tall and keep your head up with your eyes focused several feet ahead. Relax your shoulders and hands, but keep your stomach in and your chin parallel to the ground. Stay loose.

Buying a good pair of exercise shoes is a wise investment. Years ago when you felt a hole in your canvas tennis shoes (with gum rubber soles) you bought a new pair for four dollars. Contemporary athletic shoes are more comfortable, durable, complicated, and expensive. Invest in a good pair of walking or jogging shoes depending on your foot type. If you are big (you know who you are), be sure your shoes have thick heels to absorb impact. Your heel should be hugged by the shoe. The heel counter that fits around the outside of the heel should be firm. Bend them at the ball of the foot to test their flexibility.

Walking shoes have a slightly lower heel and a stiffer heel counter than jogging shoes. Determine your foot type and let your salesperson help you to choose the right shoe. Your decision should be based on how much you walk, what surface you train on, and what foot problems you may have. A pronated foot leans inward with each step.

The inside of the foot touches the ground first and the foot appears to roll outward.A walker with neutral feet finds his toes and heel are aligned with the ground and lower leg. A supinated foot tilts outward with each step. The outer side of the foot touches the ground first and the foot rolls inward. Examine your shoes for wear and decide whether you are a pronator, supinator, or vegitator. If you have pain in your heel, or the begninnings of plantar fascitis try Toppsole Prothotics.

Measure both feet properly to fit your shoes. Your feet swell as the day progresses, so purchase your shoes later in the day. Wear the same type of socks you use for your walking. New shoes don't have to be broken-in. They should feel good immediately. After six months or three hundred miles check the outer sole for wear. More than five hundred miles and your midsoles are shot. If duct tape is the primary forefoot cushion, it's time to rob your piggy bank. Name brands can wear out as fast as generics.

If your arthritis acts up you might try Aquajogging at an indoor pool. The aquatic medium supports the body, taking pressure off joints and bones in the back and legs. Aqua-running is excellent for overweight individuals too. Running in water dissipates heat more readily so there is less perceived effort. To raise your intensity, run faster or lift your knees higher. The land-running movements are exaggerated by pumping the arms and legs through a full range of motion. It's easy to slow down and inadvertently slack off, so try and keep the same pace as you do on dry land. Florida State University researchers monitored aqua-runners and treadmill runners and found that there were no significant differences in maximum aerobic capacity, anaerobic threshold, or running efficiency after six weeks of training. The researchers concluded that water running is an effective substitute to land running for the maintenance of cardiovascular fitness. In addition, running in water is beneficial to those who are rehabilitating an injury.