You might start with five minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by five minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes. For even more health benefits, aim for at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Even just a few minutes is better than none at all. But if you want a basic target to hit, aim for 30 minutes a day three to five days a week for a total of 90-150 minutes per week. Starting a walking program takes initiative.
Sticking with it takes commitment. To stay motivated you may try the following:
* Set yourself up for success. Start with a simple goal, such as, taking a 5 or 10-minute walk during your lunch break. When your 5 or 10-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, such as, adding an additional 5 minutes after work. Create a habit by find specific times for walks. Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible.
* Make walking enjoyable. It’s important not to make a chore out of walking and adding stress to your life. If you don’t like walking alone, ask a friend or neighbor to join you. If you’re more motivated by groups, join a health club or walking group. You might like listening to your favorite music or radio show while you walk.
* Always vary your routine. If you walk outdoors, plan out several different routes to keep your mind excited by the new route and help you avoid boredom. If you’re walking alone, walk in safe, well-lit locations, always tell someone which route you’re taking and make sure you have your cell phone with an emergency number already dialed up so in case of an emergency all you have to do is hit send.
* Don’t stress over missed days. If you find yourself missing some of your daily walks, don’t get frustrated nor give up. There’s always the next day, so put your focus and motivation on that, and then get back on track.
© Copyright – Hector Sectzer