Keeping it simple: The front-door method of starting a walking program
I’ll never forget reading a book about how to start running. The Runner’s World Complete Book of Running has a basic program that I used. Well, kind of. In Week I, they recommend this: run two minutes, walk four minutes, and complete five cycles. You do this four days a week, MWF and Saturday.
When I tried it, I modified it a little bit. Maybe more than a little bit: I started out running 30 seconds and walking 3 minutes. It took me that long just to catch my breath. I honestly thought I was going to die.
Starting a walking program is a whole lot easier. The best one I’ve heard goes like this: Get up, walk out of your front door, walk in any direction for 5 minutes, turn around and walk back.
No gym, no fees, no signing up, no getting in the car and driving, no buddy system…just tie on your tennis shoes and say this to yourself: not later, not sometime, not when it’s sunny outside, not when it’s warmer…right now.
That’s hard enough for most of us, just doing it. But doing hard things is what January is all about, I guess. After the indulgence of the holidays, we figure it’s time to get down to business. Back to work, cutting back, paying off bills, exercise, eating healthier: the basics.
Here’s another motivator: did you know walking 30 minutes a day may lower your breast cancer risk by three percent? In fact, there are many studies linking walking and reduced breast cancer risk. We have some of them for you to take a look here. The data is especially strong for postmenopausal women.
If you’re thinking about starting a walking program, and you’re trying to just get started, consider the front-door approach. Do what you can and edit as necessary to make it work for you.
Let’s keep it simple out there this January.