In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor exercise is once again on the rise. If we have grown as a society in any measure, it would be our awareness of the importance of exercise to not only our overall physical health but our mental health as well. With gyms and fitness facilities having been temporarily closed for the public’s safety, many have opted to take walks outside to provide a break in their daily routine.

It’s now been 52 years since the publication of Aerobics in 1968. Founder and chairman of Cooper Aerobics, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH, states that he has been amazed by the number of people he sees walking, jogging and cycling in the streets of Dallas during this crisis. “It is comparable to what we had in the exercise boom following 1968! And that is extremely important because we know that one way to power up your immunity against acute and chronic diseases is to exercise aerobically,” says Dr. Cooper.

Dr. Cooper recommends getting at least 30 minute of collective or sustained aerobic activity most days per week. Below are two progressive walking programs to help you safely achieve a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day and reap the benefits of aerobic exercise.

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s Progressive Walking Programs

The ultimate goal is to exercise 150 minutes total per week. In this first phase, there is no distance requirement but you should be able to talk while walking. Establish a course out and back or make it a circular route. Your total time can be divided into short segments (collective) or continuous (sustained) activity. As always consult with your physician before beginning this program.

Basic Progressive Walking Program: PHASE I

In the second phase, the goal is still to exercise 150 minutes per week, but the difference is your walking speed will increase, allowing you to cover farther distances. You should still be able to talk without being unusually short of breath. The sooner you begin a walking program to increase your endurance, the easier walking at this speed will be in your later years. And remember, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination.”

Basic Progressive Walking Program: PHASE II

Regardless of age or gender, anyone can reap the benefits of aerobic exercise, especially walking. While COVID-19 still remains a global dilemma in the present reality, you can boost your immunity and improve your overall health by joining the global fitness revolution that has reignited once again.

To learn more about Dr. Cooper’s 8 Healthy Steps to Get Cooperized™click here.