Jones Memorial Hospital / Our Services / Rehabilitation Services / Walking Program Considerations Walking Program Considerations Track your walking distance by referring to mileposts on paths or laps at the track. If you are using a pedometer, keep track of your steps. Time the duration of your walk. Resting heart rate is generally lower in people who are physically fit. You can either wear an electronic device that measures your heart rate, or you can periodically measure your pulse at your wrist or neck. Monitor your progress by recording your pulse before and after you walk. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): If you can't measure your pulse, try using a "conversational pace" to monitor your efforts during walking. If you can't talk and walk at the same time, you get out of breath quickly, or you have to stop to catch your breath, you are probably working too hard. To take you pulse, place your index and third finger on your neck to the side of your windpipe or place two fingers between the bone and tendon on the thumb side of your wrist. When you feel your pulse, look at your watch and count the number of pulses in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by 4 to get your heart rate per minute. A resting heart rate that is between 60 and 80 beats per minute is considered normal. Where you walk may determine your commitment to your fitness plan, so choose an atmosphere that will keep your interest! Try a local track, shopping mall, or outdoor trail. Watch out for uneven surfaces, they can cause falls and are sprain hazards. One of the most important steps you can take is to wear the right shoes for comfort and stability. Consider the following: The sole should be made from a foam material for cushioning, and it should bend at the forefoot rather than the midfoot. The heel should be made from a foam material to provide shock absorption. Breathable materials such as leather and cotton canvas are preferable to synthetics or plastic. The toe box should provide plenty of wiggle room for the toes in both depth and width. The heel grip should hold the heel snugly in place. A padded cuff at the top opening may provide a firmer grip and cause less friction on the skin.