If you are a true beginner to fitness. If you have 50+lb to lose, starting a fitness routine probably seems daunting. Where do you even start? My advice? Start walking. That’s it.
Why do I suggest walking?
- It’s cheap – All you need to do is invest in a good pair of walking shoes and off you go. Don’t go to any local sports store and buy a random pair of shoes just because they are cute. You need to feel good after your walks, not crippled. Find your local specialty running store and have the staff fit you in a shoe that is appropriate for your foot type and your gait. This is the only major investment you should really need to make.
- You can do it anywhere – No matter where you live you can probably walk right out your front door
to accomplish your workout. Or, you can find a park, public school or local mall that is fairly close by. No fancy gym required.
- It provides flexibility – You can walk at any time that works for your schedule. No way to make excuses about having to work late or go to the office early. You can take several 10 minute walk breaks during your day. You can walk at sunrise, sunset or after the kids go to bed.
- It’s easy to recruit pals – It’s much easier to recruit friends to come walk and chat than join your favorite crazy 5am boot camp. If you are uncomfortable walking solo find a partner, take your dog, or join a group. In Orange County, Saddleback Church has a large group that meets Wednesday evenings to walk the Aliso Creek Bikeway. The non-profit Girl Trek has walking groups across the country. Do a Google search or check Meetup.com to find a group that works for you.
“But is walking enough?” I hear you asking in your head. Truthfully, no it’s not. Not in the long run. But it’s a start. And it’s a heck of a lot more than what you are probably doing now. You can try a boot camp or a personal trainer or a boxing class, but if you are a true beginner all of these things are going to feel extremely difficult. They will make you sore at first. They might make you feel discouraged. Start with just walking for several months to build confidence and stamina.
“But what if I can only walk 10 minutes?” Then only walk 10 minutes. That’s great! And again, it’s more than sitting on your couch watching the Real Housewives. If all you can manage is walking to the end of your block and back then start with that. Count it as a win. Then each day try to go just a little bit farther. Work up to 30-60 minutes a day. Then tackle:
- Drinking more water (1/2 your body weight in ounces per day)
- Sleep (7-9 hours per night)
- Nutrition (eat real, whole foods that include healthy protein, fats, carbs and fiber)
- Other methods of fitness – boot camps, running, yoga, hiking, cycling
So stop worrying about how much time you can devote, how far you can go or how effective it will be. Stop making excuses and just start walking.
Go out and find a little adventure!