Benefits of Walking

Safety Tips to Consider

Keep safety in mind when you plan your route and the time of your walk:
 
  • If you walk at dawn, dusk, or night, wear a reflective vest or brightly colored clothing
  • Walk in a group when possible
  • Notify your local police station of your group's walking time and route
  • Do not wear jewelry
  • Do not wear headphones
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
     

How to Stretch

Stretch gently after you warm up your muscles with an easy five-minute walk and again after you cool down. Try doing the following stretches. Do not bounce or hold your breath when you stretch. Perform slow movements and stretch only as far as you feel comfortable.
 
Side Reach
Reach one arm over your head and to the side. Keep your hips steady and your shoulders straight to the side. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
 
Wall Push
Lean your hands on a wall with your feet about three to four feet away from the wall. Bend one knee and point it toward the wall. Keep your back leg straight, with your foot flat and your toes pointed straight ahead. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
 
Knee Pull
Lean your back against a wall. Keep your head, hips, and feet in a straight line. Pull one knee to your chest, hold for 10 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
 
Leg Curl
Pull your right foot to your buttocks with your right hand. Stand straight and keep your knee pointing straight to the ground. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your left foot and hand.
 
Hamstring
Sit on a sturdy bench or hard surface so that your left leg is stretched out on the bench with your toes pointing up. Keep your right foot flat on the floor. Straighten your back, and when you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh, hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your right leg. If you do not yet feel a stretch, lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch.
 
Adapted from National Institutes of Health Weight Control Information Network "Walking: A Step In the Right Direction."
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