Life today is busier than ever, and it can feel almost impossible to find the time to do the things we know we ought to. Everything from getting to the dentist to getting regular exercise can fall by the wayside as we navigate hectic work, social and school schedules, just trying to stay on top of our daily routine. Wouldn’t it be great, then, to be able to incorporate something healthy for ourselves into our weekly routines, without having to travel too far to accomplish it?
If a bit of relaxation sounds good to you, then you may find it right in your own neighborhood, particularly if you live in one of the many LGI Homes new home communities that include walking trails among their many amenities. Walking, it turns out, is one of the most basic yet effective ways to burn calories, ease stress, and recapture time in the day devoted specifically to you. Whether you walk in silence, cruise to some music, or choose to chat with a friend, taking a foot to one of the beautiful, landscaped walking trails in your community can be one of the easiest ways to do something great for yourself—and it’s all there, right outside your front door!
Ready to give it a try? Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Check with your doctor. You hear it all the time, but it’s true: getting a check-up from a doctor before starting an exercise program may save you difficulties further down the line. Individuals who have been sedentary for over a year, have heart or blood pressure conditions, or experience dizziness or fainting should particularly seek out advice before starting a walking program.
2. Lace up. Make sure that you have a pair of comfortable walking shoes that fit your feet with no slipping, compression or chafing. Typically, exercise shoes will be one to one-and-a-half sizes larger than your usual shoe size, to accommodate for expansion of the feet during your walk.
3. Suit up! Walking, particularly out of doors, gives you a chance to enjoy the vagaries of weather, outside of the climate-controlled environments of our homes and cars. Dressing in layers allows you to remain comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, as you can add or remove clothing as necessary. A good rule of thumb is to dress for weather about ten to fifteen degrees warmer than it is outside, to compensate for the heat you will generate as you exercise.
4. Pay Attention. As you walk, it’s important that you pay attention to any aches, pains or discomforts you may experience. Walking is so second-nature to us that we often don’t realize that through the course of walking’s repetitive motions, we’re causing ourselves pain. Common issues include awkward arm angles (elbows too far out to the side, which can cause shoulder or neck pains), over- or under-pronation (the degree to which the totality of your foot comes into contact with the ground as you walk, which can cause issues with the knees), and walking with clenched fists, which can generate stiffness and fatigue in the arms.
5. Finally, enjoy! There are few things more enjoyable than being able to take a vigorous walk or a leisurely stroll through your neighborhood, without having to navigate the hazards of the street or the bumps and dips of the sidewalk. Landscaped walking trails—like those in many LGI Homes communities—create ideal ways to stay fit, take a break, and enjoy the natural beauty of your community. So have fun!