Just Starting Out Again…Go For a Walk

The purveyors of internet fitness would have you believe that someone that hasn’t worked out at all should just jump right in there.  Lift weights, do steady state cardio, do High Intensity Interval Training, and just about everything else a beginner probably shouldn’t do.  I’m not going to inundate you with lots of facts about why you should do this or that.  I’m just going to tell you a personal story and you can either use the advice or go with some other fitness guru that will have you broken and sore within one workout.

I used to be a lot heavier than I am now, 120lbs heavier, sedentary, on the computer all day long either working or playing a video game, and I had every fast food place that delivered on speed dial.  I decided that I needed to make a change after I had a mini-stroke.  Where was I going to begin?  I was going to the internet, went to youtube, and started watching videos, lots and lots of videos.  There is a limitless amount of information out there, almost too much, especially for someone that was just starting out.  What was I to do?  I was going to use something that I had readily available to me…commonsense.

Did it make sense for me to start out fast and furious?  Did it make sense for me to get sore just looking at an exercise video?  Should I go with some late night infomercial that guarantees me results in 6 to 8 weeks?  My commonsense told me to start at the beginning and work from there.  What’s the first kind of locomotion we have?  Crawling, but I thought that would hurt my knees too much, so walking, that’s what I was going to do, walk.

First time I went for a walk I was sucking wind at 2 minutes.  Egad, was I that out of shape?  Yes I was and I would take a guess that many people, even the skinny fat people, would find walking a challenge.  Why start out with anything else if walking is a challenge?  Shouldn’t you master the basics first?

The key with any workout program is progression, I don’t care what you choose to do, but progression, moving forward, not staying at one point should be your goal.  You’ll find that you progress very quickly with any workout as long as you stick with it.  That’s why walking is an ideal starting point.  It costs you nothing, no equipment needed, no gym memberships, and it’s probably where every non-exerciser should start.

Progression is the key though, so my first attempt at walking was kind of depressing, but within a few weeks I was doing 30 minutes a day, I lost some weight, I felt better, and if the TV remote was across the room, I wasn’t pissed that I had to get up.  Progression allowed me to walk easily and it opened the door to other exercise.  I now workout vigorously 6 days a week and I do things that I see in internet videos, but that’s not where I started…I started by doing what everyone should start at and that’s going for a walk.

Progression could come in the form of a longer walk, walking at a faster pace, or even walking with hand weights, the point is you should always be striving to do a little more and keep moving forward.

I still walk because I enjoy walking now and there’s still a lot of health benefits to walking even once you get into shape.  I said I wouldn’t post a lot of scientific junk here, but here’s some articles to read:

Now those are three pretty good reference points for the science behind it.  That information along with my personal awesome story, should get you walking…so get going…I only do one article a day, don’t worry, a new one will appear tomorrow and now you have 24 hours to fit in a walk :D

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