You want to start exercising to lose weight. How do you do this when you’re not exercising? Start walking! Yes! Setup a walking program that builds momentum. You’ll lose weight, gain confidence and stamina. You don’t need a lot to get started. Some comfortable clothes, running shoes and walk out the door!
What To Consider
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should be getting 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise. Brisk walking is considered of moderate intensity. You can meet this criteria with 30 minutes/day for 5 days of the week. Here are some things you will want to consider.
Current Medical Conditions
This is starting point #1! If you have any current medical conditions, you should consult with your physician first before trying any form of exercise. Your doctor will be able to tell you how much time, intensity and type of exercise will work best with any current medical conditions you have and follow their advice.
If you are currently not doing any exercise presently, the CDC’s recommendations are something that you will likely need to work up to. Do not be discouraged though, as working up to this is better than no walking at all. As they say, “slow and steady wins the race”. In the beginning you need to build up your body’s stamina. A brisk 30 minute walk could leave you fatigued and sore. It could even lead to injury. When you are able to complete a walk where you feel okay and energized, you are more apt to repeat it. Building on your stamina will come as the program moves along.
Set Aside The Time
Committing to a walking program means you need to set aside time 5 days per week for walking. You will ultimately need 40 minutes per day for this, but feel free to try 15 minutes per day for the first week to get your body used to this increased movement. If you haven’t been exercising at all, just begin walking at a leisurely pace to start. You can work your way up to a brisker pace as the program moves along. Incorporate a rest day every few days in the beginning to rest your body as it gets used to exercise.
Just to note, 30 minutes per day does not have to be all at once. You can split it up into 2-15 minute segments, or 20 minutes in morning before work and 10 minutes during your lunch break as examples. This can be a good starting point too, if you have not been exercising.
Find a walking buddy. It could be your spouse, a friend, or even a co-worker on lunch break. You can support each other as you go along. Congratulate each other on how far you’ve come. Encourage each other to go walking even on days when one of you may not want to go. The nagging feeling that you may let your walking buddy down, could be just the pull you need to put on your shoes and head out the door.
Track Your Confidence
As time goes along, you will likely begin to feel better physically and more energized. The soreness you may have had at the beginning is gone! Keeping a track record of how far you’ve come can be so powerful to see laid out on paper.
Use A Step Counter
A step counter can also be a very powerful tool to encourage you to walk more. Keep track of how many steps you are walking on the program each day and watch those steps increase! Wear the pedometer throughout the day and watch those steps go even higher! 10,000 steps per day is commonly viewed as the number to strive for. In the beginning, you may not be there, but watching those numbers increase over time will be a confidence booster!
I have been using a FitBit Charge 2 for over a year now and have been very happy with it. I primarily use it as a step counter. It keeps track of my steps well, being worn on my wrist as a watch as compared to some I have worn attached to pants near my hip. The FitBit is more reliable. It also has a vibration sensor which will let you know if you haven’t achieved at least 250 steps in an hour. This senses for 9 hrs during daylight hours. It conveniently syncs with the FitBit app and will also sync with other apps such as the Noom app for more convenience of step tracking with their weight loss program.
Get Started On This 30 Day Walking Program
You can get started on your walking program through this handy guide to get you started. This 6 week program will help you get from no walking to 30 minutes of brisk walking. The warmup phase of your walk will get your body ready for the brisker walk to come. A leisure walk is at your own pace. Toward the end of your walk, you will want to walk leisurely or cool down to help your body get back to its normal pace.
Once you complete the 30 day program, you can stick with the walking program you finished with or if you feel like you’d like more challenge, you can increase your brisk walk time or intensity. You decide!
Just Start Walking
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to start as it can be done about anywhere, doesn’t require special equipment and it’s something we already know how to do. Walking regularly and picking up the pace can help lead us to a healthier lifestyle. Get your running shoes. We’re going for a walk!
Frequently Asked Questions
Walking is an excellent form of exercise! You can meet the CDC requirements for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise by walking briskly for 30 minutes per day.
Walking is an easy form of exercise, can be done about anywhere and doesn’t require special equipment.
After years of weight issues, I have finally found the formula of combining healthy food choices, regular exercise and positive behavior change to lose weight for good. Coupled with, exploring self-development, being productive and living simply, I am now maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in a good place. I enjoy writing articles to help my readers to become the best they can be!