Walking Partner Basics
Walking with a partner can help you to achieve your exercise and/or weight loss goals, but it can also enrich your life. Taking long walks with another person provides the opportunity to form deeper bounds and connections. The easiest way to find a walking partner is to ask a current friend or family member to walk with you. However, you can also form new friendships by reaching out to others in your community who might be in need of a walking partner.
There are a few things to consider when committing to a walking partner. Your walking partner is not only a companion, they are also a personal motivator and fitness tracker. You and your walking partner should make a plan of exercise action. How often do you want to walk per week? How much time do you have to walk? How far do you want to walk? What are your health or weight loss goals? Establishing a clear walking regime will help you and your partner to stay on track.
Make sure you find a walking partner who is punctual, positive and pro-active. There will be days when you will have to inspire your partner and days when your partner will do the same for you, but it should never happen on a regular basis. You must both be equally commited to a common goal. Walking with a partner gives you the opportunity to relieve stress and get your blood pumping at the same time. Take things in stride by staying in shape with a walking partner.
Walking For A Good Cause
Many organizations have walk related events to raise money for charities, so there are many opportunities to simultaneously give back and get in shape. Whether it's your first walk or your twentieth, take these preperatory steps before any long distance walking event or race. Train before the day of the event. Most trainers recommend walking 3 to 4 times a day at 15-30 minute intervals. Once a week, push yourself to walk a little farther than the last day. Also try walking a little faster.
While you're training, you want to be wearing the shoes you will wear the day of the walk. It's best you wear sneakers specifically made for walking long distances which will support your feet best and prevent injury. You should wear socks that breathe well such as coolmax or blister resistant socks on the day of the event. Depending on the weather on the event day, you'll want to wear clothing that insulates or cools. Look for clothing materials made of wicking fabrics like polypropylene that pull sweat and wetness away from your body. You should also bring along an outer shell that is wind and water proof. If it's sunny, be sure to wear sunscreen and sunglasses. If it is cold, be sure to wear a hat.
For added support and motivation, find a walking partner or form a group of walkers before the event. Because walking events aren't races, take it easy. If your shins start to hurt, slow down and shorten your stride. Just as a quick reference: 5ks are 3.11 miles and at a moderate pace will take about 1 hour, while 10ks are 6.21 miles and will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes at a moderate pace.
Night Walking Partners
Often, if you work 9 to 5, the only free time you have to walk is at night. But that's not the only reason to choose to walk at night. Walking paths and tracks are often less crowded at nighttime. If you live in a hot climate, walking at night gives you respite from the sun. Fresh air also has the benefit of reviving your body, so walking at night can help you regain the energy you need to finish any chores you have to do before bed.
For safety reasons, it is always better to walk at night with a partner. If you are riding near traffic, you and your walking partner should both wear some sort of reflector on the front and backs of your body. When walking at night, you must be more catious of the things that don't see you coming like cars, dogs and bicyclists. It is also wise to bring one or two safety items, such as a cell phone, small flashlight or pepper spray, in case you should walk into a dangerous situation. Try walking at night, it may just suit you and your walking partner's temperment better than daytime walking.
Lose Weight Walking
Experts suggest that just by taking 10,000 steps per day, individuals can lower their blood pressure and reduce the risk for heart disease. But what about losing weight? Is walking 10,000 steps enough to help you lose that extra belly or thigh fat? Yes, it is! You just need to have the right walking workout in place.
To put things in perspective, 10,000 steps is about equivalent to 4.5 to 5 miles or one hour of fast walking. How do you know if you are walking fast enough? If you are breathing a little heavy, but are still able to hold a conversation with a walking partner then you are probably walking fast enough to burn calories. 60 minutes of walking can burn 300 to 500 calories. Now, you have to find 60 minutes in your day to walk. You don't have to spend an hour every day, but instead can try spreading out your 10,000 steps throughout the day. You can walk to work, walk on your lunch break, walk on your coffee break, walk before you settle in at home, and even walk after dinner. Some experts recommend you try doing 3 short fast paced walks a week with 2 longer moderate-paced ones.
Try different walking techniques that help you burn more calories. You can also walk by putting one foot directly in front of the other like professional walkers do to increase their pace and tone more muscles. Also, pump your arms. If you hold your arms with bent elbows and slightly closed fists, you can also tone away some lose arm fat.