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Walking Tips For Reluctant Guys

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Did you know that this week is National Men’s Health Week? It might be a good time to schedule an annual exam, or a colonoscopy or to consider joining a gym. Or, if you’ve yet to begin exercising regularly, you might want to celebrate Men’s Health Week by kicking off a walking program.

Having written about walking for health for over 20 years, I’ve learned that many men see walking as wimpy. They are most likely to walk because;

  • Their car breaks down on the highway.
  • They know they can’t swing at the golf ball from their cart.
  • Somebody left the remote way over on the other side of the room.
  • They can’t run anymore because of bad knees or some other health problem.

    Of course, I’m joking, sort of. But when you take a look around your town or neighborhood isn’t it mostly the “fair” sex you see striding about in walking shoes and shorts, arms pumping? And that’s a shame, because a simple exercise like walking can be a very effective anti-aging strategy that protects and preserves your health, boosts your energy and stamina, (and maybe even your sex life) and improves your memory and other critical brain functions – like the ones that help you maneuver your car safely and effectively.

    Here are a few walking tips for reluctant men (or the women who love them)

    1. Shop for Manly Shoes. When the clerk approaches, you don’t have to ask for walking shoes, which seems a lot like asking for geriatric shoes to some men.  In fact, if you’re planning to pick up the pace, some walking shoes are too stiff and clunky. Ask for cross trainers that have a thinner sole and are more flexible. (You should be able to easily bend the heel up towards the toe box.)  Running shoes can work, too, and can be perfect if you are carrying a lot of extra weight. (Gals – take him shopping and make sure he gets cushy walking socks too!)

    2. Plot Your Strategy. Many men like stats. So keep a log of your own. Measure your resting pulse and watch it dip as your fitness improves, tracking your time for a mile, half mile and quarter mile. Track how long it takes for your pulse to drop back to your starting pulse after an interval push. And of course, track your weekly mileage. (Gals – buy him a cool logbook or some show him so great tracking tools on the web)

    3. Buy a cool gadget. Leave the TV remote in the caddy and search the web for an advanced pedometer that can track your steps or miles and your calorie burn. For a bigger price tag but lots of health value, a heart monitor can keep you at the proper pace for improving your fitness without lagging or going overboard. Some of these can hook directly up to your computer for instant downloading into a visual tracking system.
    (Gals –one of these could make a great Father’s Day present!)

    4. Consider taking your walks uphill. Hiking seems a lot more “manly” to a lot of guys. Got hills in your area? Find the trails or roads that lead you up to the top. You’ll get a great workout and work more muscles groups. Add poles, you’ll get an upper body workout, too. No hills? Consider stadium stairs as your personal Mount Everest.
    (Gals. You get the maps. He may never ask and get lost in the process.)

    Of course, some of these tips are for advanced users only. If you haven’t been exercising, talk to your doctor first. Then start slow and increase your speed and distance gradually. In a few weeks, you may be able to keep up with your wife!

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