A few people have asked me about my walk off your weight program.
It is a simple step by step plan for losing weight by walking. A pedometer helps by measuring the number of steps you take each day – and you help yourself by gradually increasing that number 🙂
Though the plan was kept exclusively for my private weight loss clients until very recently, I decided at the beginning of December that others might appreciate this program especially in these credit crunch times when a hefty gym membership fee might be out of reach.
Since then I’ve expanded it for general consumption and released it out into the world for those who need a low-cost way to get fit and lose weight.
UPDATE 2012: This program is now available on Amazon either as a downloadable Kindle book or as a paperback. See details here.
I feel that walking has had a bad press among exercisers. After all, it can’t be real exercise, can it…
- if you don’t have to get yourself to a gym
- if you don’t have to learn complicated moves with state of the art equipment
- if you don’t have to get showered immediately afterwards
- if you don’t even need to change your clothes before you begin ?
Yet regular walkers are some of the fittest and healthiest people around and they rarely suffer the injuries and set backs of runners, joggers and regular gym goers.
Usually at this time of year I am thinking about starting to run as training for an annual charity race – the Race for Life. Then as I get going I decide I hate running and never run again after the race until the same time next year.
This year I’ve decided to add a regular walk to my fitness routine instead and see how I like that as a “rest of my life” activity. It feels right as I will be following in the footsteps of my Dad who walked every day of his adult life until he died last year aged 86 – staying fit until the very end.
Walking is great for weight loss too of course. Though that’s not my primary motive in taking up this form of exercise, I have some clients who follow a weight loss walking program I put together and find this the very best way to lose weight and keep it off. It will do me no harm to join them – especially as I have eaten so much after Christmas….
The idea of a 4 minute workout is very appealing. Let’s get it all done in 4 minutes and get on with your life.
I came across this fitness video today which is meant to be a 4 minute workout for beginners.
No beginners I ever met could manage this 4 minute exercise program, so please don’t even try unless you are reasonably fit!
But if you are why not give it a go…
If this 4 minute workout looks too strenuous for you, yet you want to get fit without taking up much time, my Fitness in No Time program will be much more to your liking 🙂
It seems that the more time we spend in a car the fatter we become.
Over time we’ve simply got too used to driving a couple of blocks to run an errand when we could get there under our own steam.
And it’s funny, what do we do when we arrive? We drive around for 5 minutes trying to get a “decent” parking spot – the one that will mean we need the fewest steps possible to get to our destination.
We do all that – and then find we have to join a gym to keep fit and lose weight.
Now I know, some of the distances you travel are probably longer than a couple of blocks but I’m sure you get the picture. Could you do even a little more walking?
Research has shown that at least half the journeys made by car in urban areas are for 3 miles or less (and 41% are less than 2 miles).
It’s not that we can not walk – in fact going everywhere in a car is a modern phenomenon. It’s as if we can’t find our way anywhere under our own steam. It has become the default that we don’t even think to question.
Well why not question it from now on? Every time! Always ask yourself
- could I walk there (safely) or could I carry out the same errand on foot (say at my local store rather than an out of town mega huge faceless store)?
- could I park a little further away?
- could I enjoy my journey more by walking/cycling and getting in touch with what is going on in my local area?
- could walking/cycling mean that I can combine my keep fit routine with my chores today and save myself a bundle of time?
And remember if you are stuck driving in your car a lot you can still get some exercise – remember the 4 Easy Car Exercises post from a few weeks ago
I’m sure it’s not news to you that working out and eating right can make you younger.
But it’s all a question of degrees. A plateful of broccoli and a gentle stroll in the park once a week are not going to keep any drooping and disintegrating at bay (though they won’t do any harm).
And yet it’s no good overdoing it and making your life one long chore of worthy eating and exercise either. (They do say enjoying yourself and feeling happy keeps you young too).
So how much is enough to push back the years?
Lodge says “If someone who is sedentary really commits to exercising six days a week, he would be something like 10 or 15 years younger in the functional respect within a year.”
And according to Crowley that commitment consists of relentless, steady exercise including strength training and aerobics six days a week, 45 minutes a day.
In many respects, it’s really not much to combat all the signs of aging we don’t want to see, although of course, you may need to work up to that level if you’re not there already.
How does exercise help combat aging?
According to Lodge, the cells in our body turn over all the time and each time they regenerate they can become a little stronger or a little weaker. Exercise is key to that switch. Along with avoiding the worst dietary excesses. The big culprits in the march towards old age are sugars, simple starches (such as those found in white bread and pasta) and saturated fats.
Of course, the authors have one view about the level of exercise required but not everyone agrees. Some research carried out in the 70s which is the basis for my Fitness in No Time program shows that as little as 10 minutes three times a week can be enough the keep us healthy well into old age.
If you have 45 minutes 6 times a week then I believe it’s a good idea to do that amount of exercise – why not? It will make you feel and look great. You know it will!
But if weeks go by and you’re just not getting out for a run or managing to hit the gym then 10 minutes three times a week of the right exercises sure beats getting old.
***Many Thanks to Gonzalo Haro for that striking image of him aging from 29 to 89!***