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Exercise

Easy Steps Ensure Walking Success

The coming fall season is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the outdoors and exercise. Walking 30 minutes a day most days of the week is an easy way to enjoy nature and get in shape.

"Walking is a healthy activity and will help you get fit and manage stress," said Dr. Nilesh Shah, medical director of the Summa Center for Sports Health. "Before beginning a walking program, it’s important to know the basics to ensure success and at the same time, prevent injury."

Before you begin, make sure you have proper walking shoes. Walking shoes should be made mostly of leather, which absorbs shock. Allow 1/2 inch from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.

Purchase a pedometer and keep track of your steps/day. Aim to walk for at least 30 minutes or 10,000 steps daily.

Use proper form. Take shorter, quicker steps rather than long strides, which may strain your leg muscles. Additionally, be sure to bend your arms and keep your head up while walking. Good posture is important, so stand up straight with relaxed shoulders.

When walking outside, add variety to your route. Walking on hilly terrain will help to strengthen your leg muscles and increase endurance.

Make walking a social event and invite friends or family to join you. Good conversation will help the time pass quickly.

The Summa Health System is one of the largest organized delivery systems in Ohio.

For more information on Summa Health System, visit www.summahealth.org.


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