I’ve been a personal fitness trainer for almost 30 years—wow! Most of those years have been spent helping plus size reluctant exercisers become Easy Fitness movers and shakers. The request I hear most often is that folks want to be able to walk further with more comfort. Walking will enable them to be with family and friends, too. This column will be on how to get started with a walking program the Easy Fitness way.
Let’s tune up your mindset for a successful walking program. In Easy Fitness, we define success with this statement: Doing what I said I would do about exercise consistently and without struggle. We call this the Easy Fitness Success Formula. Notice that you decide what you say you will do. That is the first mindset premise. You decide.
If you create your walking plan around what someone else says is the “right” way, it may not be what’s best for you. There is no shortage of people who will tell you what you should be doing. You know what I’m talking about. The expert recommendations: 30 minutes every day, or three 10 minute bouts, or a specific target heart rate, or … . All of those recommendations are based on something scientific, but they might not be right for you at this time.
How do you know what’s right for you? In Easy Fitness, this decision comes from the inside out. You start where you are comfortable. You pay attention to how you feel physically and emotionally. What is your comfortable walking distance right now? For some people, it might be 10 steps. It might be to the mailbox and back. It might be a block or a half block. It might be a mile. First, figure out what your current comfortable walking distance is. That is your starting point.
I recommend you do your comfortable walking distance for a few days. Let it feel easy. If it doesn’t hurt your body and if it doesn’t stress you out, then you are on the right track for you. If you are comfortable, you are more likely to do it again. The object is to get some positive momentum going in the direction of starting a walking program. If you start where you are comfortable, you will experience less resistance to the idea of it and to the doing of it. This will help your getting started. Getting started is often the trickiest part.
There are two Easy Fitness Keys that will help with the getting started process. The first key is: “Nothing behind, everything in front.” That means to let this be a fresh start. Keep your eye on what’s coming, not where you’ve been. It doesn’t really matter what you’ve done in the past. This is now. Keep bringing yourself back to now. There is no need to hurry about this; all is well.
The second key is: “Don’t give a damn about what anyone else thinks.” You decide! Use your physical and emotional guidance system. Care about how you feel. Find your own path, and keep it to yourself until you feel steady. This Easy Fitness System is not mainstream. Not everyone is ready for this leading-edge idea. Find your own way.
If you would like to begin a walking program, then begin. Make it easy. You can march around your house or walk around your backyard. Be creative. I have a client who started by walking around her car one time before she got it. Isn’t that brilliant?! Then add just a few more steps. In the next column, we will address getting around common walking program obstacles.
Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at http://cinderernst.com