Getting in Shape Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

 

Yes…a majority of us always complain. We want more than anything to get into that “awesome swimsuit” the next time summer comes around. Yet, here we are in summer again, and a lot of us out there are still staring at that suit in the closet. Just hanging there…unwearable…it starts to feel like our archenemy like The Joker is to Batman.

Couple Trail Running
 
 

But does getting fit, wearing the swimsuit, and living a healthier life have to be as challenging as we believe? No, actually. It doesn’t. Walking is one of those “old” ideas (and, yes, some roll their eyes at it), but it’s also one of the easiest exercise regimens to start, utilize, get in shape, stay in shape, and live a much healthier life.

From the Mayo Clinic to websites all over the Internet, when it comes to healthy lifestyles, getting in shape shouldn’t be looked upon as the most difficult chore in the world. And these experts, as well as your own local physician, all still swear by the fact that a 12-week walking schedule is easy to learn, easy to add into your busy life, and will quickly put you on the path to better health.

When you first begin, aim to walk at least five days a week; it’s good to start with a goal. When you first start, going from an inactive lifestyle, you don’t want to wear yourself out right off the bat and then sink into yet another depression. So begin by warming up with a five-minute, slower-paced walk. This way, by having a slow pace, you can keep your body much cooler. Again, make a goal for yourself. Perhaps to the corner of the main road and then back to the house again? Perhaps taking a walk around your property a few times? Anything that will allow you to have that five minutes of movement.

As you move forward in your 12-week plan (five-minutes a day for week one and aiming for a thirty-minute walk per day on week 12), the important part is to start at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Gradually, pick up speed until you’re walking at a more brisk pace (i.e., about 3 to 4 miles an hour). You will be breathing hard, but not enough where you can’t carry on a conversation with your walking partner. Each week, add about two minutes to your walking time. As things move ahead, add strength training exercises to your walk. Things like push-ups and squats will help even more when they’re added to your routine.

When it comes to most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends certain exercise guidelines to keep in mind: When it comes to aerobic activity, getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity; 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity; or an equal combination of both, spread out over the entire week, is perfect for achieving that healthy lifestyle. And always remember that even small amounts of physical activity are helpful, and activity that’s accumulated throughout the day while on the job or running after the kids definitely adds up.

So get back to walking! During these difficult times, especially when people are not able to keep up their normal work routine, making that daily walk a “must do” is essential for your good health. Just think…next summer, that swimsuit will be a nemesis no more.

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