By Bill Saunders

Walking is an activity that burns calories and, if you do it enough, just putting one foot in front of the other can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

If you are new to walking for fitness, consider starting with small, attainable goals such as walking briskly 5 to 10 minutes at a time.* Once that seems easy, you can increase the amount of time you walk. Eventually, you can set a goal of at least 10,000 steps a day, five days a week.

Besides a good pair of walking shoes, you may also want to invest in an activity tracker to monitor your progress and help you reach your fitness goals.

Smart activity trackers are the newest fitness devices on the market. Despite their small size (many take the form of a wrist or armband, or are clipped to clothing or carried in a pocket), they can be quite sophisticated. Not only can they track the number of steps you take and the distance you travel, some include heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and calorie counters.

They are easy to use and many sync to an online dashboard and/or smartphone app that lets you view your daily progress and log information such as the foods you eat, your fluid intake and more. Some even host online communities you can join to get support and motivation from others using the same device.

Widely available at sporting goods and other retail stores, and of course, online, basic pedometers that simply count steps tend to be inexpensive, while feature-packed activity trackers are more costly.

No matter the device, make it a habit to wear it daily. You may find that paying attention to how much you are moving (or rather, not moving) motivates you to get up and walk more!

Bill Saunders of Confident Care is an RN with an MBA. For more information, call 305-606-1600.

  • Before starting any new fitness program, consult your physician.

An average goal is about 10,000 steps a day, five days a week.

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