In a day and age where most of us remain sedentary and inactive, simply by moving more and going for walks as opposed to an elevator or escalator can drastically increase one’s metabolism and burn many more calories. While most people in the Western world try to lose some body fat and gain some muscle, most of us don’t really stick to our plans. That’s why this simple 20-minute a day walking plan is suitable for almost all beginners.
A website called Better Me came up with a fantastic, yet simple guide to help one shed the pounds. While calculating caloric intake and macronutrients can be difficult and tedious at first, this plan can help you lose weight all the while eating approximately the same foods. The plan is divided into three categories, easy, moderate and hard.
For the first week, devote five minutes in the morning and at night to walking. Keep the pace at moderate to easy meaning that you can still have a conversation while walking but at a moderate pace you might be huffing and puffing just slightly. As the days go by, increase the time that you walk by two minutes. So on day two, its seven minutes each at the beginning and end of the day. At day three it’s 9 minutes each at the beginning and end of the day. So by the end of week 1, you should be walking about 17 to 20 minutes once at the beginning and once at the end.
By the time week 2 comes along, that’s when HIIT (or High-Intensity Interval Training) comes into play. By mixing up the pace that we walk at, it increases our metabolism and also causes more of a calorie burning effect since our body has to adjust to the different speeds. So in week 2, the first day is 2 minutes of easy walking followed by 10 minutes of fast walking (where talking while walking becomes difficult) and 2 minutes easy again.
Day 2 of week 2 is 20 minutes of moderate walking at any time in the day, day 3 is 5 minutes of easy walking followed by 12 minutes of fast walking and then 5 minutes of easy walking again. Day 4 involves 20 minutes of moderate walking at any time in the day that is most convenient, day 5, is 5 easy, 15 fast, and 5 easy again. Day 5 is 20 minutes of moderate walking again and day 6 is 5 minutes of easy, 18 minutes fast then 5 minutes easy again.
Week 3 is where a strength component is added. By the time week 1 is finished you can start doing these walking exercises at any time in the day. On the first day of week 3, walk up and down a set of stairs for 10 minutes and then 2 minutes of easy pace walking. Day 2 is 20 minutes of moderate walking. Day 3 of week 3 is 12 minutes up a staircase followed by 2 minutes of fast pace walking. Day 4 is 25 minutes of moderate walking and two sets of 12 body squats. Day 5 is 20 minutes on the stairs and 3 minutes of easy pace walking. Day 6 is 25 minutes of moderate walking and on the last and final day is 20 minutes of fast pace walking followed by 3 minutes of easy walking.
Sticking to this three-week regiment will not only increase one’s cardiovascular activity but help one shed some body fat, increase their metabolism, burn some more calories and overall be more healthy. Please note that just because the 21-day walking plan has been completed does not mean you should stop walking cold turkey. While it does not have to be as arduous and as strict as the walking plan, some form of cardiovascular activity is still recommended.
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By Jeremy Hon