Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to stay physically fit. It's also a versatile form of exercise that can be done indoors (many malls and public buildings offer walking routes) or outdoors, and you can tailor the intensity of your exercise based upon your individual abilities and goals. Whether you'd like to begin walking for exercise, for weight loss, or if you're already established in the habit, these tips can help you get the greatest benefits from your workout. "Power walking," or walking rapidly with exaggerated swinging of the arms, burns even more calories.
Before starting a walking program, check with your
doctor if you have a chronic medical condition or if you have had a
recent injury. But don't assume that you aren't able to start exercise walking
if you do have medical issues. Exercise walking can help control disease
and relieve symptoms in people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and many people with arthritis or other
musculoskeletal problems will experience symptom relief from a medically supervised exercise walking routine. Exercise is an important part of all weight-loss programs that will help with many chronic medical conditions.
in good shoes. Since these are the only
expense and equipment you'll need, pay attention to the fit and quality of your shoes. Shoes should fit when you try
them on without any areas of pinching or pressure that could cause blisters or
calluses. Wear the type of socks you'll wear when walking when you purchase your
shoes, and remember that you'll likely need a larger-sized shoe than you
normally wear if you plan to wear thick socks. Shoes should have good arch
support and a slightly elevated heel with stiff material to support the heel
when walking and prevent wobbling. Trekking poles or other accessories may also help, depending upon the climate and terrain where you'll be walking.
Always warm up by walking at a slow or
normal walking pace for five minutes before picking up the tempo of your
Pay attention to your heart rate and breathing. Walk at a pace that challenges you and elevates your heart rate, but don't overdo. You should be
able to talk and carry on a conversation while you are exercising; if you can't,
you may be working too hard.
good walking posture. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
recommends maintaining the following posture when exercise walking: Swing your
arms. Keep your head up, back straight, and abdomen flat. Point your toes
straight ahead. Take long strides, but don't strain.
Consider getting a pedometer to track the distance you've walked or the number
of steps you've taken. Watching your improvement over time is a terrific source
Tracking your steps on smart phone apps or Fitbits can provide additional motivators.
Be sure to carry water if you're walking long distances or are
exercising in hot weather. In very hot weather, you may need fitnessdrinks or
other sources of electrolytes as well. Be mindful of the sugar and calorie content of some of these drinks.
In the heat of summer, don't forget to
wear a hat with a brim and to apply sunscreen to exposed areas.
route if you're getting bored. To increase your fitness, add a route with some
hills or changes in terrain. Or alternate routes on different days of the week. Keep your workout interesting. Many people walk with a buddy or in groups for support and motivation. While lots of walkers swear by their iPods to keep them going, others prefer to pay extra attention to the sights and sounds around them. Find the solution that keeps you moving.