This gentle walking workout plan requires minimal time, can reduce your risk of heart disease and depression, and will improve your energy level, sleep and memory.
If you're just beginning to get in shape, this gentle walking plan might be for you. To get started, aim to walk for at least 30 minutes every day―this is key for optimal health and may help prevent illnesses, like heart disease. If you can't do a full session, break it down into 5- to 10-minute walks. (You can also buy a pedometer or fitness tracker to monitor your steps: aim to get at least 10,000 per day.)
Remember: The important thing is to get the 30 minutes in every day. For this walking plan, don't worry about trying to walk quickly or pumping your arms to increase calorie burn. If you start to feel as though you need more of a challenge, try a more intense walking workout.
Here's how to sneak in as much walking as possible into your daily routine:
- Pace while you chat on the phone.
- Suggest a family stroll after dinner.
- March in place during commercials when watching television.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Always choose the parking space that's farthest from the mall or office.
- Play tag or ring-around-the-rosy with your kids.
- Carry your laundry downstairs—and back up—in three or four separate loads.
- Meet a girlfriend for window-shopping instead of coffee.
- Do laps around the field or swimming pool during your child's sports events.