30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

Five Tips to Help You Stick With Your Exercise Program

Day Seven: Keep it going!

It’s relatively easy to start an exercise program, especially when you realize you really need to change your size, shape, heart rate, whatever. The hard part is staying committed and sticking with your program until it becomes a habit.

When your exercise program consists of something as basic as walking, boredom can set in fairly quickly. Here are a few simple ways to keep it interesting:

1. Change the venue. Always walk on a treadmill? Go walk outside. Inclement weather/too many bugs/you just don’t want to? Try an indoor walking track. Many gyms have them, and they tend to be elevated, so you may even do some people watching if you’re so inclined. For the real people watching experience, try Mall walking. (It’s surprisingly entertaining.)

2. Vary your route. A change of scenery is always nice. If you’re concerned that you don’t know where you’ll end up if you go a different way, just walk your same route in the opposite direction. You’ll be amazed at how many things you’ve never noticed before.

3. Try some new terrain. Anyone who’s ever walked on the beach knows it’s completely different from any road, track, or treadmill. Not only will it provide that change of scenery, it will work your muscles in different ways than you’re used to… and that’s a good thing. No beach? Any change in terrain will do the trick: if you’re used to walking on sidewalk, try gravel, asphalt, or trail walking.

4. Enlist some friends. Tired of your own company? Ask your friends if they’re interested in walking with you. Every time I mention that I’m getting more exercise lately, at least two people will say: “I should do that too. What do you do? Where do you do it? When do you go?” Get the word out, and somebody will show up, at least some of the time. If all else fails, take the dog. Or your friend’s dog, neighbor’s dog, whatever.

5. If you’re to the point where just walking doesn’t leave you huffing and puffing anymore (I’m not there yet), add some intervals. Sounds technical, but it’s easy. Here’s how you do it: Warm up by walking at a moderate pace. Then increase your speed (either by walking fast or by running) for one to two minutes, then drop back down to your moderate pace for another eight to ten minutes. Repeat for the duration of your walk, and then cool down. Don’t forget to stretch!

(Speaking of “don’t forget:” Don’t forget to enter the Healthy Heart giveaway on the Day Five post!)

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March 29, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


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  4. […] days each week, take 60 minute walks, one doing some interval speed work– see point #5 on this post, and the other, do intervals again but go even faster and include some hills. So you’re […]

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