University of Illinois Extension

HOT Project: Healthy Outcomes for Teens

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/hot

Take a Walk

The American Diabetes Association suggests walking as a good form of exercise for people who have diabetes and have not been very active before. It may be hard to start, but each step counts!

Activity goals are 60 minutes of activity on most days.

You don't need to start there. Starting with just 15 minutes of walking each day may be a way to slowly build up your endurance. Make a goal to walk for 15 minutes after school each day, and then try to work up to 30 minutes most days of the week. Once you've met your goal, increase your total amount of physical activity to 60 plus minutes per day. Remember, you could be active in the morning for 30 minutes then active in the afternoon for 30 minutes you do not need to do all 60 minutes at once.

One easy way to track how far you have walked is by using a pedometer. A pedometer tracks how many steps you have taken at any given time. You can find pedometers for as cheap as ten dollars at your local sporting goods store.

Remember to talk to your health care team before starting any new physical activity routine. This helps to make sure you have no other complications that have to be considered. Even for walking, stretching before you begin can add flexibility and improve your walking stride.

Your feet are a very important part of your physical activity program. Check your feet for sores or blisters before and after walking. Make sure your shoes fit well, and enjoy the walk!

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