According to the residents of Johnson County, one of their biggest barriers to physical activity is the cost. While joining a fitness facility can be costly, Johnson County provides its citizens with 365 parks and 455 miles of hiking, walking and cycling trails.
Luckily, starting a walking program is quite simple. Beginning walkers can make their workouts less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk. Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance. Walk at a comfortable pace, and make sure you can talk while walking. If you can’t converse, you are walking too fast. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed.
Once you have gotten to a point where you can walk a few miles with ease, you can start to vary the intensity. Concentrate on increasing your stride or speeding up your pace. Don’t forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles and increase your flexibility. Don’t forget to keep track of your progress. Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day (150 minutes a week), though it’s fine to build to that gradually.
Where Should I Walk?
Johnson County has walking opportunities in many places. From the local parks and community centers to the extensive hike/bike trail system, most citizens should be able to find a place that fits their needs. Some of the local favorites are Black Bob Park in Olathe, KS, Kill Creek Streamway Trail in De Soto, KS, Shawnee Mission Park in Shawnee, KS, and Black Hoof Park in Lenexa, KS.
As the weather gets warmer, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water while you walk. While not all of the parks and trails have drinking fountains, don’t let that stop your efforts. Grab your walking shoes, water bottle, a friend and get moving!