Tips for the aspiring walker
While walking is easier on your body than running, experts advise beginners that it's better to be safe than sorry.
"You can put a lot of pressure and wear on your joints," said Dr. Michael Reyes, an orthopedic surgeon at Straub Clinic & Hospital, "especially if you're predisposed to joint problems."
Ask your doctor: Before you start any exercise program, including walking, you should consult your physician. "Especially if you've been sedentary for a long time," Reyes added.
Get good shoes: There isn't any "right" shoe. But walkers and runners should use shoes that provide proper support, flexibility and cushioning.
Hydrate: Experts advise anyone exercising to drink water before, during and after workouts. "The policy is you can never really go overboard on water," Reyes said.
Start slow: Though ideally you would want to walk for 45 minutes, three days a week, Reyes suggests you start off slow, maybe half an hour twice a week. Start on paved, even surfaces before trekking up hills or on sand. "You want to go slow and work your way up in terms of how many times a week and for how long," Reyes said. You should be able to carry on a conversation while walking briskly.
Know when to stop: Even with walking you can sustain injuries. Tendinitis, muscles sprains and shin splints are common. Notify your doctor about any pains or injuries.