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Beginner Walking Program


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Walking is a great way of starting off a lifetime fitness program. Walking is a natural, injury-free, and easy activity for beginners, and it's something you can always go back to when out of shape, recovering from illness, away from home, or coming back from an injury.

Walking is a good aerobic activity for improving your health and reducing your body-fat levels, but if you want to improve your fitness in areas such as strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, coordination balance, reaction time, mobility, muscle tone, agility, body shape, or cardiovascular endurance, you will need to exert yourself a little harder, and try other forms of exercise.

For most people, this means going to an organised exercise class. These classes may be aerobic training or circuit-training classes in a fitness centre, or exercise classes at the local community hall or primary school, or classes run by "weight" reduction organizations.

Everyone has to be a beginner at some time, so each centre or organization should run classes especially to help beginners make a fresh start to exercise.

When you first enrol, you should be asked to fill out a screening questionnaire, which will check on any injury or illness that may affect the success of an exercise program. Be honest, because the information will make the program more successful for you. Some centres also offer a fitness evaluation so you can compare your progress in 12 weeks' time.

Beginners have difficulty getting started because all fitness activities have an element of skill. These basic skills have to be mastered before you can start to do enough exercise to gain fitness benefits. Most people think of sports when they think of skilled activities, but even the most basic exercise-class activities need coordination, balance, suppleness and a basic level of strength and endurance.

So a beginners' exercise class should be a class where the basic "aerobics" skills are taught, as well as providing the basic fitness needed to survive in other aerobics classes.

If casual visits are permitted, the instructor should teach the basic moves and combinations in each and every class. It's only if the class is part of a 6 to 12-week program that the instructor can presume that you know the exercises and moves taught in previous weeks.

The form of all participants should be corrected. The instructor should instruct, not just look glamorous, being merely a demonstrator. Your should be able to clearly see the instructor, so that you can follow the movements, and changes in exercises.

You should be able to hear the instructor. The music should be turned down so that it doesn't drown out the instructor's advice on form, movements safety and general advice on technique, intensity and control. You will also need to hear the names given to some of the exercises, to be ready to make a change.

The instructor should be teaching you control. As you exercise regularly (at least three times per week), you will find you get better control of your body and the exercise classes get easier and easier. If you have an instructor that doesn't teach you control, you will always find the classes hard. Keep in mind that the instructor is not there to demonstrate his or her own fitness but to teach you how to get your own body fitter.

Don't be shy in a beginners' class; stand near the instructor. Everyone else is busy trying to concentrate on their own problems. If you stay down the back, you'll never be able to follow what's going on.

The fitness centres should think of the problems of the beginner exerciser. Ask the reception staff what clothes should be suitable; whether the intensity of the exercise is low (low-impact, slow-speed, easy moves); and whether the class is always for total beginners. If you are a bit unsure, look for a beginners' program that progresses over 12 weeks, with different information presented every week.

The most important advice is "Don't give up!" Group classes are fun, motivating and effective, but you need to keep going for at least a couple of weeks to get into the swing of this style of exercise. When you're feeling discouraged, remember that even the instructor was a beginner once.

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The weight loss formulas, menus and exercise tips and programs presented on this website are intended as a guideline. Consult your physician before starting this or any weight loss/exercise program. Our programs are intended for use by adults only, and should not be used by infants, prepubescent children, or pregnant/lactating women.

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Individual weight loss will vary and depends on your metabolism and body composition. If you are under the care of a physician for a health problem which requires a special diet you should not be on this plan.