Kickstart your fitness routine with walking

To register for the "Faith Fancher 5K Walk & Fun Run":
>> Register online

Event details:
Saturday, August 16, 2008 9:00 AM
Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park Gazebo
666 Bellevue Ave.
Oakland , CA
"Friends of Faith" website: http://faithfancher.org/

Walking Warm-Ups and Advice from fitness expert Jen Jolly

Issues/Equipment:

  • Good Shoes (Avoid stiff-soled shoes that don't bend. "Walking shoes" have flexible soles and stiff heel counters to prevent side-to-side motion. But for normal terrain, low-heeled shoes that are comfortable, cushioned and lightweight, will do.)
  • Sports socks
  • Layers
  • No cotton
  • Sports Bra
  • Blisters (Mole Skin or bandaids)
  • Chaffing (Vaseline, cooking spray or Body Glide)
  • Water (Camelback)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Specific Walking Stretches/Exercises
  • Shin Splints

  • Heel Walk (helps avoid burning shins). Walk for 30 seconds on your heels only, with your feet flexed and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Repeat three more times.

  • Toe Walk (strengthens calves) Walk on the balls of your feet, heels off the floor, for 30 seconds. Repeat three more times.

  • Calf Stretch -- Stand on your toes on a step or curb. Hold on to something for balance. Remove your left foot and slowly allow the right heel to move down. Hold this position. Be sure to keep you body upright and straight. Release and repeat on the other side.

  • Another calf stretch -- Take a big step forward with your left foot, keeping you right heel on the ground. Hold the position and repeat on the other side. Be sure to keep your body upright and your abs tight, do not arch your back.

  • Shin Stretch -- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Stand with your weight on one leg and straighten it. Place your other foot on the ground, with toes pointed and your toenails toward the floor. With the tops of your toes touching the ground, roll your foot and leg forward, from the ankle. Release and repeat on the other side.

  • Hamstring and Lower Back (Slowly bend forward from your waist with your knees slightly bent. Reach for the floor and hold. Only bend as far as comfortable.)

  • Sitting Quadriceps Stretch (Can do this while walking - for a dynamic stretch)-- Standing up, hold on to a stationary object. Bend your right knee, bringing your foot toward your buttocks. Keeping your left knee slightly bent, grasp your right ankle with the opposite hand. Slowly pull your leg up and back, bringing your foot at high as comfortable. Repeat with other leg. (To protect your knee... think of pulling the quads back rather than pulling the foot toward your buttocks.)

    More advice from Jen Jolly:

  • Shoulder Stretch -- Standing upright, cross left arm over chest. Place your right hand on your upper arm and pull arm in tight to chest. Be sure to keep shoulders down and do not pull at the elbow. Hold, and then repeat stretch with other arm.

  • Neck Relaxer -- Turn and look over your right shoulder and hold. Repeat on the left side. Don't hyper-extend the neck, or tilt it backwards.

    Next, gently drop the head so that the ear goes towards the right shoulder and hold. Return to upright position. Repeat forward and on the left side. Keep the spine in an upright position and don't hyper-extend the neck, jerk, or tilt the head backwards.

  • Foot Pain -- Place your foot on a hard round or cylindrical object such as a rolling pin, rubber ball, golf ball. Press the foot into the bar or ball and roll the foot over the bar or ball. Roll for 30-60 seconds. Repeat five times. Chill the object for pain relief - iced rubber balls or golf balls, or use a hollow rolling pin filled with cold water.

    Walking Fit General Tips
    If you weigh 150 pounds, walking at 3.5 miles an hour on flat terrain burns about 300 calories per hour.

  • Check your posture: Leaning too far forward or backward throws your body off balance, putting undue stress on your lower back. The result? Strain and pain.

  • What to do with your arms: Swing your arms. One good option: bend them at 90 degrees and pump from the shoulder, like race walkers do. Swing them naturally, as if you're reaching for your wallet in your back pocket. On the swing forward, your wrist should be near the center of your chest. Move your arms in opposition to your legs--swing your right arm forward as you step forward with your left leg. Keep your wrists straight, your hands unclenched, and elbows close to your sides. The vigorous arm pumping allows for a quicker pace, and provides a good workout for your upper body. And you'll burn 5 to 10% more calories.

  • If you want to go faster, instead of taking longer steps, take faster steps. Lengthening your stride can increase strain on your feet and legs.

  • Add some interval training. For example, speed up for a minute or two every five minutes. Or alternate one fast mile with two slower miles.

  • Choose varied terrains. Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a track. And walking on soft sand increases caloric expenditure by almost 50 percent, if you can keep up the pace.

  • Walk up and down hills to build strength and stamina and burn more calories. Combine hill walking with your regular flat-terrain walking as a form of interval training. When walking uphill, lean forward slightly -- it's easier on your leg muscles. Walking downhill can be harder on your body, especially the knees, than walking uphill, and may cause muscle soreness, so slow your pace, keep your knees slightly bent, and take shorter steps.

    About Jennifer L. Jolly, TV Host, Corporate Executive, Athlete, Mom
    Jennifer Jolly is a network television fitness show host, nationally syndicated columnist and author who appears daily to more than 49-million people nationwide, sharing her advice on how to stay fit and healthy in the midst of our crazy-busy lives.

    Since 2006, Jennifer has hosted All That's Fit on the Fine Living Television Network, where she offers tips on how to fit exercise and nutrition into a busy lifestyle, and get back into shape without a whole lot of fuss. Jennifer also appears from time to time on ABC7's nationally syndicated talk show View From the Bay, where she researches topics, interviews guests, and presents health, fitness and nutrition news, techniques and trends.

    About "Friends of Faith"
    Friends of Faith, Inc., founded in 1997, is a nonprofit charitable organization of professional women dedicated to fighting the breast cancer epidemic through the power of information and by providing funds to local organizations to help provide direct assistance to underserved and under-insured women in their battle against breast cancer. The organization has raised and donated more than $700,000 for individuals with breast cancer and for grassroots organizations.

    Some of the organizations that have received funding from Friends of Faith, Inc., are:

  • Charlotte Maxwell Clinic
  • Alameda County Medical Center Cancer Navigator Program
  • American Cancer Society
  • Women's Cancer Resource Center Emergency Fund

    The Women's Cancer Resource Center is now the home of the East Bay Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, sponsored by the Friends of Faith. Since February 2003, this program has offered financial assistance to low-income women who are living with breast cancer and who reside in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

    A woman can request up to $600 to help with expenses. The purpose of this program is to lift some of the financial burden low-income women often face while receiving treatment for breast cancer.

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