Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure. It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. It doesn't take a lot of effort to become physically active. Consider these tips to stay motivated with a walking plan:
· Ask other people to walk with you. Find a partner or a group. When you know someone else is waiting for you, it keeps you going.
· Wear comfortable shoes and socks to help cushion your feet.
· Wear clothes that are right for the season. Try using layers of clothing in the cold weather to keep you warm, and cotton clothes in the summer to keep you cool.
· Drink plenty of water. It doesn't have to be that fancy bottled stuff — get your own container and keep it filled with plenty of regular water. Carry it with you if you can.
· Don't forget to stretch before you walk. Try to start off slowly.
· Be safe — pay attention to your surroundings.
· Walk in a safe place that has plenty of lights in the evening. Try walking around a local school's parking lot, or going to the mall.
· Try to walk at least three times a week. It may seem like a lot at first, but you will gradually build up.
· Try to think of your walk in three parts. Imagine a warm-up period at the beginning, then challenge yourself with a brisk pace in the middle, and finally picture a cool down. You can feel success when you finish each part.
Source: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The NHLBI does not recommend or endorse any company advertised on this site.