How often do you commit to exercise, purchase new equipment or join a gym, and then six weeks later find that you aren’t moving much anymore? I am one of those people. I love to have a plan when it comes to exercise. I love to “start” a new plan, but it is typically so ambitious, that I burn out and stop working out.
If you already run several miles a day, lift weights and get your recommended daily amount of movement in, this post may be too basic for you, but perhaps there is some useful information.
If you haven’t been moving much this summer, this post is for you. It’s your new plan! I am going to do a week of the plan and then pass it on. This will be slow going at the start and we are going to build each week. You will get excited and want to do more, but please, go slow and see if you can build a long lasting exercise program. This will be a very different approach, because unlike every other attempt at establishing a routine to move, this one is going to stick!
Week One – Walk outside every day. (20-40 minutes)
Yes, that’s it. It doesn’t matter how fast you walk, just walk. The route you take is unimportant and you don’t have to follow the same path every day. If you do other things like play tennis, hike or bike, that is great, but still walk.
Other rules: Do not wear a heart rate monitor or track calories. Just enjoy your walk!
According to this msn article…
- It deflects diabetes
- It soups up your sex life
- Walking saves on gym costs
- It can save your mind
I know what you’re thinking. This sounds too easy. I won’t be burning enough calories. Well, it is easy, and you will burn more calories than you did last week, so trust me on this. Also, believe me when I say, that if you don’t already walk every day, you will have to talk yourself into it for at least 4 of the 7 days. If you haven’t guessed already, this is less about walking and more about habit forming.
I am going to give you more elements of the plan each week and it will include very little equipment, if any. This is not a “lose 20 pounds in a week” kinda plan, but if you work this plan, you won’t need a new year’s resolution about losing weight or exercising.
P.S. if you are too busy to walk every day, please read this.
Week #2 – Add a few sit-ups and push-ups.
After you have been consistently walking for 20-40 minutes per day for at least one week, it’s time to add on. When you finish your walk, do three sets of push-ups and three sets of sit ups. Alternate between the two. I suggest starting with 10 push-ups and 20 sit-ups but start off where ever you can. End with gentle stretching. That’s it! Do it everyday and keep it simple.
Week #3 – Jumping Jacks.
This week, add high intensity intervals into your walk. Add 60 seconds of jumping jacks or running in place to your walk 3 – 5 times. If you stopped walking or stopped doing sit ups and push ups for a few days (like me), go back to week 1 and start over!