When I first started walking for health benefits, I researched was given some health tips by my primary care physician and I did some of my own research as well. Here are some walking tips that have helped get me going:
- Walk with a purpose - I walked three times a week for 30 minutes each session with a desire to walk more often with a desire to run eventually.
- Wear proper footwear - When I first started my walking regimen I wore my everyday shoes because I didn't think anything of it but my feet began to hurt. I then took a paycheck to invest into some supportive walking shoes that helped to relieve my foot pain. These are the shoes that I'm wearing right now.
- Group up! The group mindset is great for encouragement. I first started walking by myself but then I began to find walking groups like The BS Run and it was great to find like minded people for encouragement and support. By walking and participating in a group, I created new goals that I wanted to reach
- Stay motivated – I stay motivated by wearing a pedometer when I’m walking. Each walking session, I try to walk a little faster to compare my steps against a previous session. I keep a journal of steps taken per every walking session. One other way I stay motivated is by signing up for the American Diabetes Association “Step Out” event that helps to fundraiser for diabetes research. It’s a great event that provides encouragement, support and the ability to network with people that are facing similar trials.
- Have a goal in mind – Any goal in mind is going to be a great form of encouragement. My goals have been to lose 20 lb and move up to jogging and eventually running. My biggest goal is to partake in a half-marathon sometime soon.
Walking is a great source of exercise and a great way to introduce activity to someone that has been living a sedentary lifestyle. Although I've been walking for quite some time now, I still have to look back to where I started in my exercise routine and remind myself that it takes a step at a time to get to where I eventually want to be; it’s a process for shaping and molding myself into a final product.
Below, I've gone ahead and included a few walks from diabetes organizations that I've participated in and I hope that it can be used as a reference to provide encouragement to others to start walking as a form of exercise. Feel free to share your own experiences about walking or exercising including the difficulties you faced and the joy that you've come to associate with taking care of your health through exercise!
American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Walk to Cure Diabetes
Canadian Diabetes Association Community Walking Events