Walking

The second phase is a walking plan. People are most likely to comply with such a plan if the walk is scheduled during a break or lunchtime at work, and/or when the daily energy level is the highest (for example, early morning). Having a companion to walk with and a place to walk indoors are also helpful in increasing compliance. One half hour is minimum amount of time a patient should make available for each session of exercise. An hour is best for weight control. The intensity of the exercise is not critical to the burning of calories; walking at a leisurely pace for one hour is roughly equal to walking briskly for half an hour. Allow the patient to set the pace. Initially, it may be quite slow, but in the absence of severe pulmonary, cardiovascular, or joint disease, most patients soon find the going easier and faster. Goal setting can strengthen this reinforcement. Have the patient keep a log of the time spent walking and the distance covered after each session. The patient can then see the progress being made and set the goal a bit higher from time to time.

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