We all know that weight loss comes from a combination of cardiovascular activity, strength training, and nutrition. I often work on strength training with my clients because, well, who wants to waste a personal training session on a boring treadmill run or elliptical program?
This is why I tell several of my clients to focus on strength training with me and work on cardiovascular exercise on their own. I often assign homework such as a spin class, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class, or a simple cardio session on their own time.
However, I know life gets busy and hectic. Gym time may be the last thing on your mind when you're plugging away at a project desperately trying to meet a deadline for work, school, family or life. You may fit in a quick 30-45 minute workout at home or work with a trainer a few days a week but getting in more than one or two workouts could be near impossible with a full schedule. Realizing this is a common problem for several of my clients, I offered a simpler approach to cardio exercise during the week:
Walk at the end of the day for at least ten minutes.
I am not asking for a fast walk, a run, a long distance, or anything too strenuous. All I ask is for at least ten minutes of unwinding and relaxing at the end of the day. Walk around the neighborhood, walk around the house, walk around a local track, walk on a nice trail … just walk. I wanted my clients to see this as a mind and body exercise. Relax the mind and eliminate all of your stress from the day and move your body to get some blood flowing and muscles moving.
Something as simple as walking ten minutes each evening can have amazing benefits. Imagine how much more rewarding walking around the block is than falling onto the couch and zoning out in front of the TV. Try it for a week, take note of the benefits, use the ten minutes a day to breathe deep and relax.
Here are a few simple ways to squeeze the walk into your day:
1. Go for a walk first thing in the morning (you won't believe how well this works to wake you up)!
2. Make your meetings walking meetings (instead of sitting meetings).
3. Go for a lunchtime walk.
4. Take public transportation or drive a few blocks away from your final destination and walk the last part instead.
5. Get in an after-dinner walk (this can feel great for digestion).
Whatever works for you, just walking ten minutes a day will make all the difference in the world!
Kris Goldman is a personal fitness coach in Austin, Texas. She trains with the belief in strong mind, strong body–your body will only do what your mind tells it to do. Overall wellbeing is at the heart of her training and she continues to work with clients to improve physical and emotional health.