Center for Health Promotion

Walking Works!

Did you know that you are more likely to stick with walking than any other exercise? That’s great news for five important reasons:

  • It’s efficient. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can improve your circulation, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and help you lose weight.
  • It’s free. The only thing you need to start is a pair of supportive walking shoes. Remember to purchase new walking/running shoes every 6 months as they break down and don't offer much support after that period of time.
  • It’s simple. There’s no equipment required, nothing complicated to learn, and you can do it right here on campus.
  • It’s easy to fit it in to your day. Use the stairs instead of the elevator when running errands on campus. Take a break and take a walk. Work it in during your lunchtime.
  • It’s customizable. By changing up the time, distance, pace and route, you can create the right walking program for you.

Walk right:

  • Try to keep your arms relaxed at your sides, at about a 90-degree angle. Your arms are there to use. Let them fall into a natural stride with your legs. Use handrails on stairs if necessary.
  • Focus on pressing your shoulders down (our tendency is to let them creep up to our ears), and stand tall and straight.
  • Keep your head neutral and your gaze straight ahead.
  • Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in and taut as you walk. Imagine using them to hold your spine straight.
  • Focus on landing evenly on the heel of your foot, rolling forward to the ball of your foot and then pushing off with your big toe.
  • As you begin to quicken your pace, focus on taking more steps per minute (rather than simply taking larger strides, which can strain your muscles).

***Walking is safe for most people, but check with your healthcare provider if you’ve experienced chest pain in the past month or have a chronic condition.