Get Started on a Summer Walking Program

While walking, think about your posture:  Head up, eyes forward, pull the abdominal muscles in and press the shoulders down.
Q: What's the best way to start a summer walking program?

A: Sometimes it's hard to know where to start when it comes to figuring out a summer shape-up plan.

But the truth is, walking is one of the easiest and best forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of workout shoes, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, and a positive attitude.

To get started, just walk out the door. Walk for five minutes, and then come back. That's it.

Do this for one whole week. Walk around your block. Walk around your complex, walk around the park. If that was easy, add five minutes to your walks next week. Set a goal. Figure out how long you want to walk and how far you want to walk.

I suggest three miles or 45 minutes. While walking, keep your posture in mind. Head up and eyes forward. Pull the abdominal muscles in and press the shoulders down.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after. After your walk, stretch it out. Stretching will make you feel great and reduce your risk for injury.

The main thing to focus on when starting an exercise program is developing the habit of doing it. Walking daily will help you reach your goal.

Fitness Tip
Another way to stay motivated with your walking program is to use a pedometer. This little gadget sits on your waist and counts your steps. An active person may reach 10,000 steps per day.

Can you guess how many steps you take each day? To buy a pedometer, visit your local sporting goods store.

About the Trainer
Kathy Kaehler, NBC's
Today show fitness expert, who has worked with Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Cindy Crawford and Michelle Pfeiffer, is ready to help you with your workout. Just e-mail her at If she answers your question in her column, she will send you her fitness tips newsletter for free.

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