Different walking programs can be used to meet individual needs. For example, people who are inactive and just beginning a walking program would proceed at a different pace than someone doing the exercise for weight loss. People at a high level of fitness may want to add a speed walking routine to their regular workout. During rainy, snowy or chilly weather, some walkers may choose indoor walking programs.
Indoor programs for walkers include community mall walking clubs. These are informal groups often organized by a town resident who lives near a particular mall. Notices about these indoor walking programs can be found on mall bulletin boards. Typically, these programs are aimed at people who are in beginner levels of walking workouts rather than advanced. As an alternative to an indoor walking club, exercisers can simply march in place or walk in a circle around a room in their home.
Outdoor walking clubs may be community-based. Park trails are common places for these groups to walk; this option is popular with walkers who would like to explore their local parks and hiking areas but don't want to risk their safety by doing this on their own. Walking programs can be shared by neighbors or friends as well as community groups. For example, several mothers of infants who all live on the same street or in the same neighborhood may form an informal walking program by getting together on a regular basis to walk while pushing their baby strollers.
People who want to take up running, but aren't quite ready fitness-wise, may have a workout program in which they run for a few minutes, then switch to walking. This activity is sometimes called wogging. The term power walking describes a face-paced walk that's accompanied by wide, swinging arm movements. It's considered cardiopulmonary exercise, meaning it can affect the heart and lungs. Cardiopulmonary walking programs can strengthen the body's circulatory system.
Beginning walking for fitness programs should always start with minimal exertion and distance before gradually increasing both. Outdoor walkers must be sure to think of the return trip to ensure they have enough energy left to make it home. Supportive, cushioning footwear should be worn in all types of walking programs. Exercisers who combine walking with running should be sure to wear shoes made to absorb the impact on the body. People who are walking for weight loss should work up to a brisk pace as well as move the arms to increase their potential to burn fat and calories.