What Is Needed To Walk
FIRST THINGS FIRST – The three main things you need to begin a walking program (or any exercise program for that matter) are:
Common Sense; and
Equipment (some required, some optional).
COMMITMENT– You may ask, Commitment to what?
- Commitment to the ideals of a serious walker (honesty, integrity, joy for life, etc.);
- Commitment to get up each and every day with the intent to walk;
- Commitment to go forth each and every day and walk
- Commitment to want to improve your life and a willingness to put forth the effort necessary to do so; and lastly
- Commitment toward making the world a better place for all of us to live.
You didn’t realize walking was so serious, did you ?
Think about it. We’re not going to eliminate obesity unless we take it seriously, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
COMMON SENSE – Some examples of using Common Sense are:
- Don’t walk at dangerous times, such as too late at night or too early in the morning.
- Don’t walk in unsafe areas or on unsafe roads (walk in pedestrian friendly areas).
- Don’t overdo it. It took me more than a year to build up to walking 5 hours per day. I started out walking 30 minutes per day for 4 or 5 days a week. Give it time. You have the rest of your life to improve.
- Don’t go petting strange dogs and strange animals. You might get bit (or worse).
- Wear appropriate clothing (light clothing at night is excellent because it makes it easier for you to be seen).
- Get your doctor’s approval.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a healthy diet.
REMEMBER – THESE ARE EXAMPLES!!! THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN ALL-INCLUSIVE LIST.
BASIC EQUIPMENT LIST
Shoes – While you can start out walking with just about any decent shoe, I recommend you consider using better walking shoes as your walking gets more serious.
My personal experience is that I don’t always buy the most expensive shoe, but I buy a good one. Then I replace that good shoe fairly often. That way, I may never be walking with the most expensive shoe, but I’m always walking with a pretty good shoe that’s in pretty good shape.
These days, my personal favorites are the Vibram Fivefinger Shoes and the Adidas Adipure Trainers. They’re totally different toe shoes and they’re not for everyone (however, they are for me).
Shorts / Pants – Depending on the time of year, you will want shorts or long pants for your walks. If you’re in a hot climate (such as Arizona in the summer), then I recommend loose fitting shorts. If you’re in a cold climate (such as Boston in the winter), then I obviously recommend you get some pretty sturdy pants to keep yourself warm.
Shirts – Same thing as shorts / pants. It depends on your climate and the time of year. Some people also like being exposed to the sun and others do not. This is all a matter of personal preference. There are light weight shirts that will block out quite a bit of sun, as well as heavy ones that will do the same.
Hat – Depending on the time of year, you will probably need a hat to either block out the sun or to keep your head warm. Either way, a hat is highly recommended.
Water – Perhaps the most important thing you can bring is water. Depending on your climate, you will need to bring varying amounts of water to stay hydrated. Water is key. If you don’t drink water while walking, you can become very ill. I always recommend you drink BEFORE you are thirsty. If you wait until you’re thirsty, then you’ve probably waited too long.
Sunglasses – Depending on the time of year, sunglasses can come in very handy.
Timepiece / Watch – You need something, if you want to keep track of how long you’ve been walking. You might decide to wear a watch or your cell phone might even have a timer. You might even decide to not wear a watch and simply look at the clock at home when you leave and return. It’s all up to you.
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT LIST
Pedometer – Pedometers are used to keep track of your mileage and your number of steps. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be purchased for as little as $2 to $3 or you can buy very expensive ones that will do just about everything except your personal income taxes.
MP3 / Music Player – I love bringing along some type of music or audiobooks while walking. Personally I prefer non-fiction audiobook of an educational nature. I think walking is a perfect opportunity to learn. Others like to bring music. Others prefer silence. It’s totally up to you!
Cell Phone – Personally, I like to carry my cell phone while walking. First of all, I think for safety reasons it’s a good thing to have. Secondly, depending on your cell phone, it can do all kinds of really neat things. My Blackberry allows me to send and receive emails, send and receive text messages, take phone calls, listen to music, listen to audiobooks, keep track of my time, and keep track of my mileage (with GPS software installed). In short, it does just about everything.
Dogs – Your dog(s) can make an excellent companion while you’re out walking. Unfortunately I’m not able to take my dogs as they’re “low mileage” dogs. They don’t have the stamina to walk with me for hours at a time. Some dogs can handle it and some can’t. If you do bring your dog, make sure you bring along plenty of water for them!
Friends / Spouses / Children – Walking can be a family activity. Share it with your friends, spouses and children. It’s a great time to share your thoughts.
Handheld GPS Device – Handheld GPS devices can be excellent, especially if you are walking in unfamiliar areas or if you like to geocache while you’re out walking. Personally I use GPS software on my Blackberry. It’s not as accurate as a handheld GPS, but it works for most of my uses and it keeps me from having to carry an extra device.
Camera – You never know what you’re going to run into while walking, so it’s nice to have your camera with you.
Audio Recorder – An audio recorder is a nice thing to have in order to capture ideas that WILL come to you while you’re out walking.
Sunscreen – Some people like to use sunscreen. It’s entirely up to you and it depends quite a bit upon where you are doing your walking.
Reflective Devices – Some people who walk at night or early in the morning like to wear reflective vests and reflective bands around their wrists and ankles. Light clothing is excellent for these times and it makes it easier for you to be seen.
Flashlight – You may want to take a flashlight along with you if you walk when it’s dark.
Pepper Spray – If you think you might need some personal protection, then by all means take along a can of pepper spray or other appropriate protective devises (after making sure it is legal in your area to do so and that you have complied with all applicable laws).
Walking Stick – Some people like to carry along a walking stick, especially if you are going to be walking in rocky areas with lots of steeps inclines and declines. Walking sticks are also useful in case you need to protect yourself from wild animals.
Until next time, may you find your path by walking it . . .
About The Author
Stanley F. Bronstein
Attorney, CPA and Author
President and Member Board of Directors
As his 50th birthday grew nearer, Stanley decided enough was enough. He was tired of living a life of obesity.
Since February 2009, Stanley has dropped from a weight of 320 pounds to the mid-190s. He has gone from a life of inactivity to walking a half-marathon daily and full marathons on many weekends.
His latest book in what he calls his “iWarriorWalk Pathfinder Series” is designed to help people ask (and answer) key questions about themselves. Stanley believes that the only way We The People of the United States are going to solve our problems (especially the growing problem of obesity) is by asking the right questions and by coming up with appropriate answers.
Through Foundation EON, he hopes to help you (and America) do just that.
For more information on Stanley, visit SuperChangeYourLife.com