Get off the couch with this no-excuses beginner cardio exercise

Finding a way to exercise can be difficult with our busy lifes. There’s so much to do! Work, family, meals, house chores… These eat up every minute in the day!

But we really should work up a sweat regularly… But I’m so tired! And my favorite show is starting any minute!… And…

I hear you, girl.

You are exhausted and brain-fogged and stressed. It is an awful feeling, and you don’t need me nagging you right now to get off your butt. 🙂 Just one question: did you manage to walk to the freezer to get some ice cream?

Then I bet you can do…

My favorite exercise

What is my favorite? Glad you asked. It’s walking.

What??? You heard me. Walking.

Why? Because it is simple, moderate intensity and low-cost.

Okay, now give me your excuses, missy!

I don’t have time to work out

Busted! To go for a walk, you only need 20 minutes at a time, including putting on shoes. 15 minutes a day, five times a week and you will get all the health benefits.

Your schedule is totally jam-packed? Think about

  • delegating work to others
  • saying no to some volunteering or
  • cutting back a time-consuming habit maybe

You can figure it out, I’m sure!

I don’t have good running shoes

Popped! You probably have a pair of runners at home already, gathering dust. For walking, they will do just fine. Find them in the bottom of the closet and head out.

I don’t have workout clothes

BS! When was the last time you picked up the kids naked? Just put on anything and go! (No, you don’t need the perfect sports bra for walking. For jogging, yes, but for walking, your regular bra is okay.)

It is raining/snowing/freezing/too hot to go outside

Do I hear whining? Go on YouTube and find a nice at home walking exercise video. (Or try beginner Zumba! They’re fun!)

I haven’t exercised in years

But you are reading this because you want to change this situation, right? And I’m happy for you! Walking is perfect if you want to get back in shape.

  • Start at a moderate level. It means you walk at a speed that allows you have a conversation.
  • In a couple of weeks, start walking faster, like you can still talk but have to take a breath mid-sentence.
  • Few more weeks later you can increase your speed a bit more.

Congratulations, you’re doing it!

I have arthritis and my knees hurt

Okay, it is a very valid excuse. Arthritis is horrible and makes every movement painful when you have a flair-up. But research shows that regular exercise do improve the quality of life for people with arthritis and helps to stay active and independent.

Tips you can try:

  • walking in water or swimming
  • stationary bikes
  • anti-inflammatory diet to help you space out the flair-up

For more tips about exercising with arthritis, read this booklet from http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org.

I’m overweight

It’s okay, you don’t have to kill yourself! If done regularly, moderate exercise will help you to manage your weight, your stress level, your eating habits and give you the cardiovascular health boost you need. Just take it easy! If you are worried about your joints, try walking in water, swimming or biking, these are all easy on them.

I’m not as young as I used to be

Me neither. It’s too bad, isn’t it? But if you still can walk, even if with a walker, you can do it. Just start really slow and have someone with you if you can. A friend or neighbor maybe? And if you feel dizzy or short of breath, or anything hurts, stop and rest.

No more excuses!

See? Walking is an easy and effective workout you can start doing today. And keep doing it again and again to keep you healthy and fit.

How to start walking for a workout?

Equipment: One pair of comfortable shoes

Time commitment: 75-90 minutes weekly

Intensity: low to moderate to high

Scheduling: Find three or four 20-30 minutes time chunks in your week. Put the walking session in your calendar and treat it as priority.

Optional motivational coach: a medium-sized dog. He’ll get you walking all right! 🙂

Ready! Set! Go! See you in the park! 🙂 

 

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