Today I walked 12.07 miles, took 25,827 steps and hit another personal goal for the New Year. Two years ago, even four years ago I would’ve never dreamed that I could accomplish this goal. On a good day, if I walked 2-4 miles that was an accomplishment in and of itself but today to hit this milestone is both self-inspiring and amazing.
Those of you who’ve followed my blog since the beginning know I’ve struggled mightily on my anxiety, weight and stress. It’s a very real and very unglamorous part of life, however walking has helped me so much. I have even suffered from less panic attacks then I did since changing my diet. In addition to this, I can better maintain my weight and control how much extra calories/ carbs I burn that allow me to indulge here and there. Finally in addition to my job as a secretary which is so much less stressful then being a preschool teacher, I sleep so much better and through the night. Walking has transformed my body, mind, spirit and endurance so much so that I wanted to share three tips to help jumpstart you on your own journey of walking (if that’s what I’d like to do).
1. Start off small and don’t get discouraged
Beginning my journey I started to feel the burn after 3 miles. I set little goal for myself, my first month I agreed to walk 3 miles a day. As my endurance built I added one extra mile to each day a month. Before I had my treadmill, I was at the mercy of the weather and worked my endurance up to 6 miles a day but after I got that missing piece of the puzzle the sky has been my limit. Building endurance is important especially in the early phases of conditioning your muscles to avoid tears, start off small and at the next month add one extra mile to your routine. Before you know it you’ll be up to ten miles a day which brings me to my next point…
2. Alternate between high intensity days and low intensity days
Your muscles do need time to heal especially after a strenuous walk, jog or run. While walking is so much less strain on your muscles and joints, taking breaks are equally as important to give your body time to recover. If you walk 10-12 miles in one day, aim for 5-6 the next day. Alternating your routine will give your body time to recover between high intensity workouts. Sometimes it’s best to give yourself a full and honest break, if you’re like me and can’t sit still there are other options. For instance, if you have another hobby (like yoga) it’s good to do this on a low intensity day to keep you remaining active but not over exerting yourself, which brings me to my final point to make…
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water should be a part of any great and healthy workout regiment. As a staple I stop every 15-20 minutes to drink 16 ounces of water, not only does this keep my body hydrated it keeps my muscles from cramping up. If dehydration in athletes is a serious thing which leads to muscle injury imagine what it would do to any ordinary person with no to little conditioning. That’s why it’s always important to drink plenty of water to help your body heal.
If you follow these three tips you’ll be off to a great start and able to follow through with your New Years resolution of staying active and fit. You don’t need a local gym, all you really need is a treadmill or a nice day outdoors and the drive to push yourself.
Happy and Healthy New Year to all my readers!
Love you. Mean it.