Do You Need a Walking Coach?

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Starting a walking routine can be as simple as lacing up your sneakers and hopping on the treadmill, circling the track or walking around the block. Maintaining the motivation to stick with a walking workout or learning to walk faster and cover longer distances, however, might be more challenging. That’s where a walking coach comes in.

The Benefits Of A Walking Coach

Much like a personal trainer, a walking coach works with you to establish goals and creates a tailored training program to help you meet them. Walking coach Michele Stanten, co-author of “The Walking Solution,” works with clients whose goals range from beginning a regular walking routine to competing in distance walking events from 5K races to marathons. “With a coach, you tend to push yourself more than you would if you were walking on your own and it improves your accountability,” she explains.

Coaching could also help prevent injuries, according to Anthony J. Wall, director of international business development for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “It’s easy to start a walking routine but if you push yourself too hard, too fast, you can get injured,” he says. Working with a walking coach ensures you have a smart plan to help prevent injury.

What to Expect

“When you take longer strides, you have to work harder to pull the rest of your body toward your front leg; if you land your foot closer to your body and land from heel to toe, it’s a smoother, faster movement,” she says. “Powering your arms makes it a full body workout [and] the faster you move your arms, the faster your feet will go to keep up.”

Walking coaches take a holistic perspective to your walking workout, providing guidance on strength training and flexibility, recovery and hydration. “I always recommend strength training,” says Stanten. “It’s going to help protect your joints and give you a more powerful stride.”

Wall suggests looking for coaches with certifications and lots of experience working with athletes who walk, adding, “As coaches gain experience and become more specialized, their programming becomes much more specialized, too.”

Do you think a walking coach can help you be more motivated?

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