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Walk It Off! Walking Program

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Outdoor Walking Routine

At the Track:
 
On most tracks, four laps equals 1 mile.  Walking a track, you will want to count laps rather than minutes as on a treadmill.  Since there is no actual speed to abide by, use your heart rate as a guide on how much you are exerting yourself.  Rule of thumb:  You should be breathing semi-heavily, able to talk but not sing at about 70% of your heart rate.
 

Lap                   Pace
1                  Warm-Up - Comfortable speed
2-3               Fast Walk
4                  Take Slower Longer Strides
5                  Fast Walk/Jog
6                  Medium Speed/Longer Strides
7                  Fast Walk 1/4 track, lunge-walk* 1/4 track, repeat
8                  Medium Walk
9                  Slow it for a cool down
10                Walk backwards
Do a few slow squat walks now and then, dropping the back knee to the ground, then pressing up with the front leg.  This will work your butt and hamstring muscles well.

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If you have the option of bleacher, take a few walks up and back down them.  The upward walk will work your lower body and your cardiovascular system.  The downward walk will serve as a great cool down and promotes healthy circulation to the legs and feet.

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On the Trail
 
If you have a hilly or winding trail, use the following plan.  You will want to count minutes and walk or hike for 30-40 minutes.  The more you encounter different surfaces, the more you will work all leg and butt muscles.  Be sure to climb up or over obstacles and tighten your leg and butt muscles when doing so. 

Since no two trails are alike, use this routine as a rough guide:
  • Warm up at a moderate pace for 3-5 minutes
  • Fast walk with smaller strides on flat surfaces to get your heart pumping
  • Also use the grapevine (walk sideways crossing over and behind foot for 20 paces.  Do other side.
  • Semi-hilly - use steady, fast-paced hiking
  • On hills, take long strides and work your butt muscles
    • Next hill...Run or fast walk up it
    • Or...walk it backwards (look for obstacles first)
  • Cool down for 3-5 minutes with a medium, then casual walking pace

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If you local park has a walking track, by all means...USE IT!   Make it your goal to get around it once, then twice, then maybe more, depending on its length.  Getting out in the fresh air can enchance the enjoyment of your walks.

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