Before You Walk
As with any fitness or exercise program, please consult your healthcare provider before beginning this walking
intervention or any other program.
Think about Play-Doh. Straight out of the can, it crumbles and resists any attempts to change its form. But warm it up in
your hands first and it becomes pliable, smooth putty that can be rolled and molded to your whim. OK, muscles aren't
Play-Doh, but if you get the idea of how valuable a little warm up can be to that all-American kiddie putty, you'll get
the gist of what Judy R. Sotosky, a physical therapist in Virginia Beach, Va., wants you to understand about exercise and
warm ups: Don't do one without doing the other first.
What are the benefits of a warm up?
Many trainees wonder how important stretching and warming-up is prior to (or after) a workout. Recent research sheds some
light on that subject with regards to two different variables:
- assistance in reducing injuries
- reduction in muscle soreness
- contribution to performance during the walking session
- increases blood flow through active tissues to increase metabolism
Below is a suggested warm-up routine
- BREATHING - Lift arms up and inhale, bring arms down and exhale.
- SHOULDER FLEXION - both arms raised overhead then relaxed to sides (like a touchdown signal) – 7 reps
- SHOULDER ABDUCTION - both arms at sides, raise outward and upward over head then relax to sides (jumping jacks without the jump) – 7 reps
- SHOULDER SHRUGS - 7 reps
- PINCH SHOULDER BLADES TOGETHER - 7 reps
- ELBOW FLEXION/EXTENSION - bend and straighten elbows fully (muscle man) – 7 reps
- SHOULDER CIRCLES - armas at sides rotate shoulders in circles – 7 reps forward, 7 back
- PALMS UP/PALMS DOWN - 7 reps
- WRISTS UP/WRISTS DOWN - 7 reps
- BEND WRIST - to little finger side then thumb side – 10 reps
- SPREAD FINGERS - squeeze together – 10 reps
- BEND FINGERS - at outermost joints keeeping base joints straight, as in a hook – 10 reps
- PICKING FRUIT - fully extend arms, grasp fruit and pull down- 10 reps
- ARM CIRCLES - put arms out to sides and circle, varying the size (S, M, L)- 10 reps each
- WINDMILLS - sit on the edge of chair, spread legs, hold arms out to sides. Reach right arm to left foot and left arm to right foot- 10 reps