How to
Start Walking
Keep Walking!

A Walking Program to try!

If you're already walking, good for you! You already know that walking is at your doorstep, and it doesn't cost anything! If not, let's get started.

Did you know that walking is probably the safest, easiest, and most convenient form of exercise anywhere in the world?

The walk you get around the house or at work is not the best kind of walking, because you aren't walking fast enough or long enough to get your heart pumping faster.

Walking for exercise means:
at least 20 minutes all at one time
three to four times per week
your heart beats faster
you sweat a little
you breathe harder than usual
you feel like you're working a little
it is easy enough to talk to someone while you're exercising
it's fun

Walking will:
help prevent or delay diabetes
help lower your blood sugar if you have diabetes!
make your heart and lungs strong!
help you lose weight or keep extra weight off!
help lower your blood pressure!
help lower your level of stress!

How to get started walking!

1) Make sure you have a good pair of shoes and socks. Good foot care is very important!

If you have a question about whether exercise is OK for you, ask your doctor.

2) Learn the basic of Warm Up, Walk, Cool Down.

  1. WARM UP by walking slowly for about five minutes. When you feel comfortable, stop and gently stretch your legs. Stretch slowly and don't bounce.

    Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

  2. WALK briskly for the biggest benefits. If you can't or don't feel like walking fast, just moving is good enough to get started!

    Walk tall and swing your arms easily by your sides.

    Walk for ten minutes and increase to 30 minutes over the next few weeks!

    While exercising, you should be able to talk.

    If you are out of breath, slow down so that you can talk easily.

  3. COOL DOWN by walking slowly for five minutes.

    Stretch as soon as you finish walking, while your muscles are still warm.

    This will help prevent stiff muscles the next day.

    Stretch slowly and don't bounce.

    Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Warm Up, Walk, Cool Down!

Walking is a great exercise for everyone!

No one is too big, too small, too young, or too old!

If you're already walking

Great! Good for you!

Add a little pep to your walk!

Take a different walking path!
Ask a friend to go walking with you!
Start a walking group!
Go for a special walk along the river or in the mountains!
Try walking for a longer time!

1. Neck Rolls

Bring your chin to your chest. Slowly turn your head to the right. Bring your right ear to your right shoulder.

Roll your left ear to your left shoulder. Then roll your chin back to your chest. Do this 4 times in both directions.
2. Shoulder Shrugs

Lift your shoulders to your ears. Hold them there to a count of 5. Relax. Repeat 8 times.

3. Calf and Arm Stretches
Stand about 2 feet from the wall. Face the wall and put your hands against it. Make sure your body is straight. Bend your arms. Bring your nose as close to the wall as you can.
Your heels should stay on the floor. Hold your nose close to the wall and count to 10. Do this 4 times.

4. Ankle Circles

Sit on a chair or the floor with your legs uncrossed. Circle your foot 5 times, then relax. Do this in the other direction. Relax. Do the same thing with your other foot.

5. Deep Breathing

Stand or sit straight up. Keep your shoulder down and relaxed. Count to 5 and slowly breathe in while raising your arms to form a "V". Then breathe out to the count of 5 as you lower your arms. Do this 5 times, then shake out your arms.

Source: Exercise, Taking Care of Your Diabetes,
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, July 1992.

Native American Diabetes Project
University of New Mexico
Surge Building, Room 251
2701 Frontier NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131
(505) 277-4462