Warming Up

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Warming Up

Don't do a lot of stretching before you walk. Stretching is most effective at the end of your walking workout. Some easy walking, with or without using your poles, is the best way to warm up, and also to cool down at the end if you have done some vigorous walking. You can, however, do some mobility exercises before you walk to get your joints moving. Try the ones described below. Do what is comfortable for you, and avoid anything that causes pain. Do a few repetitions of each.

For these, hold your poles horizontal with both hands, one on each end, straight in front of you.

Partial squats. Go down as far as is comfortable for you, keeping your knees over your toes.

Overhead raise. Keeping your arms straight, raise the poles from straight in front of you to overhead and back down.

Twist. Turn as far as you can comfortably at the waist, to one side and then the other. Turn at your waist, so that your hips stay facing forward. Turn your head at the same time, to give your neck some exercise.

For these, hold your poles with tips on the ground, in walking position. Use them for balance, not to support your weight.

Bend your knee as though you were trying to kick yourself in the butt. Keep your knees together. Do a few kicks with one leg, then a few with the other.

Swing your leg back a few inches, set it down, and repeat.

Raise your heel, leaving the ball of your foot on the ground. Alternate feet with this one.

Now go for a walk and have fun.



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