Americans should walk according to exercise gurus and health advice columns.

Walking is the most popular type of exercise, and it has numerous health benefits. Walking strengthens your heart and increases circulation. This can help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Walking, which is low-impact aerobic exercise, can improve muscle tone, reduce arthritic pain and lower bad cholesterol, as well as ease stress.

To avoid injury, it is crucial to select the right walking shoe. American Podiatric Medical Association has these tips to help Americans who need a comfortable walking shoe.

– Choose a light-weight shoe. On the uppers, look for a breathable material such as leather or nylon mesh. Shoes should be flexible and supportive.

A firm heel is recommended. Walking shoes should have less heel cushioning. This will allow the heel to touch the ground more with each step.

– Measure your feet in the late afternoon so that there is normal foot swelling. Also, make sure you wear the right socks for the kind of walking you are doing. The shoe should fit snugly but not be too tight. Your toes should be able wiggled easily.

– Look out for the APMA Seal of Approval, which means that a shoe is approved for a specific activity such as walking.

Start a walking programme by walking on flat, level surfaces. Avoid steep hills or embankment roads. It is important to be patient and stretch after a walk if you’re not used to doing physical activity. Start walking 20 minutes per day, three times per week. You can increase your distance gradually by walking for 10 to 15 minutes if that seems too strenuous.

You can increase your distance by pre-measuring a route with your car’s odometer, or using Web sites like and To keep your pace steady, you can either time yourself using a wrist watch or count how many steps you have taken in a fifteen-second period. Walking 15 minutes per hour is equivalent to walking two miles. You can walk about four miles an hour at 30 when you are older.

The APMA Web Site has more information on how you can safely include walking in your daily routine.