Many people believe that to get the most of exercise they need to do high-intensity workouts. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Regarding fitness, it is critical to have the right mindset and understanding of what it takes to keep a healthy lifestyle. Unless you are a profession or training for a marathon, focus on consistency over intensity.
Consistency Is Key When It Comes to Exercise
While exercise isn’t the easiest habit to maintain, requiring time, discipline and consistence, it is worth it! Consistency and diligence are the key to achieving actual results.
Exercise should be an integral part of any weight loss program, but what people need to do is to start looking at it as a lifestyle choice.
First and foremost, you need to understand that doing extreme workouts is not the only method to lose weight. “The go hard or go home training mentality may be good at times or for some situations, but going hard all the time is not a recipe for optimal health. Consistency is the key to sustainable weight loss, muscles/growth maintenance, and overall health.”
You need to commit for life to some form of exercise. In other words, you need to stay consistent and not worry about duration, intensity, or the amount of working out that you do.
Benefits of Walking
Here are some of the general benefits of walking:
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
- Improves your mood
- Maintains a healthy weight
- Prevents or manages various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Improves your balance and coordination
It Takes a Minimum of 21 Days to Form a Habit
Whatever exercise habit you opt form, give yourself a 21-day period to adjust to it. According Dr. Maxwell Maltz, “…many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”
Keep in mind that the period of 21 days is the minimum and it can take a little bit longer than this for the habit to stick. Don’t give up or get discouraged. “In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.”
21-Day Walking Plan for Fat Loss
Easy: Should feel like a stroll
Moderate: Pace increases, but you still hold a conversation
Fast: Talking should be difficult
WEEK 1 (Optional: split the minutes between morning and evening)
- Day 1 – Start with 10 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace.
- Day 2 – Walk for 12 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace.
- Day 3 – Walk for 15 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace.
- Day 4 – Walk for 18 minutes. At this point, it may be easier to split the minutes (Walk 9 minutes in the morning and 9 minutes at night).
- Day 5 – Walk for 20 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace. Walk 10 minutes in the morning and 10 at night.
- Day 6 – Walk for 22 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace. Walk 11 minutes in the morning and 11 at night.
- Day 7 – Walk for 25 minutes, keeping an easy and steady pace. Walk 13 minutes in the morning and 12 at night.
WEEK 2 – Increase intensity from easy to moderate
- Day 8 – Walk 14 minutes. 2 minutes easy, 10 minutes fast, and 2 minutes easy cool down.
- Day 9 – Walk 16 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 10 – Walk 18 minutes. 3 minutes easy, 12 minutes fast, and 3 minutes easy.
- Day 11 – Walk 20 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 12 – Walk 22 minutes. 4 minutes easy, 14 minutes fast, and 4 minutes easy.
- Day 13 – Walk 24 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 14 – Walk 26 minutes. 5 minutes easy, 16 minutes fast, and 5 minutes easy.
WEEK 3 – Increase elevation
- Day 15 – Walk up/down the stairs or a path with increasing elevation for 15 minutes.
- Day 16 – Walk 25 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 17 – Walk up/down the stairs or a path with increasing elevation for 17 minutes. Add 2 minutes of fast walk.
- Day 18 – Walk 27 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 19 – Walk up/down the stairs or a path with increasing elevation for 17 minutes. Cool down with 3 minutes of easy walking at the end.
- Day 20 – Walk 30 minutes with a moderate pace.
- Day 21 – Fast walk for 25 minutes and end with an 8 minutes of easy walk