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The Manly Walk - How to Start Men Walking

By Gary Pinkerton

Updated June 13, 2014

Man Walking with Skyline
Tim Boyle/Getty Images News

Let's face it. Walking fast looks silly. . . even prissy. When you talk to a man about walking, this is his first thought. We equate walking with oddly dressed seniors circling the mall, much older than we imagine ourselves to be.

We remember seeing those racewalkers on the Olympics late at night after all the really popular events like the biathlon and triple jump are over. Strutting in that odd, rhythmic style. Arms flailing and hips. . . well, the hips just look . . . goofy. This is one of the major reasons why men resist walking. Trust me on this. I don't claim to represent male opinions on all subjects, but on this one I am confident.

Overcoming Men's Resistance to Walk

The problem with this approach is that men NEED to walk for their health. Their companions would often like them to walk as well. So if you are a walker and find yourself trying in vain to get a male friend or spouse or POSSLQ (person of opposite sex sharing living quarters) to start walking too, you may find my own experiences helpful. Here are some ideas on how to target the male psyche and get them on the road to walking health.

Dangling the Bait

The Health Wake-Up Call About three years ago, a physical examination found that my blood pressure was higher than it should be. It made me angry. I refused to allow my self-image to lean even slightly in the wrong direction. Even with that incentive, when my doctor suggested walking to lower my blood pressure I found myself going through some distinctly male obstacles to get to the point where I was benefiting from the exercise.
More: Walking to Reduce Hypertension
 

The Need for Speed At first, it was just walking to be walking. Being generally athletic, however, it was hard for me to just walk. It was too slow. It wasn't long before I began reading more about the benefits of certain techniques and proper form. I learned about target heart rate and how much time it should take me to walk a mile.
How to Walk Faster

The Subtle Challenge I tend to seek out this kind of information on my own. If your target male doesn't, you may have to help them out with little tidbits. "Honey, did you know that a healthy walker is taking over 150 steps per minute?" It may sound innocent, but I guarantee you that any male worth his gender will be counting steps under his breath on the way through the parking lot. He can't help himself.

Once you have that male person's interest, you've got to get him up off the couch cushions and on to the streets. If they MUST, tell them that they don't have to let go of the remote control and can bring it along. In fact, tell them they should have one in each hand to balance their muscle toning (they will believe this story initially, but only for a few seconds).

NEXT: Setting the Hook

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