(HealthDay News) — If walking is your exercise of choice, reduce your risk of injury and split your trek into three stages: warming up, speeding up and cooling down.

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests:

  • Walking slowly to warm up.
  • After a few minutes, speed it up to a brisk pace. You should feel your heart rate rise but you should still be breathing and speaking easily.
  • Cool down by walking slowly for the last few minutes of your workout. Also practice slow, gentle stretches as part of your cool down.

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