Shape Up by Walking SMART

It doesn’t matter where you are fitness-wise. If you have a target to aim for, you’re more likely to stay focused on improving your health and getting your body in top shape. Your fitness goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.). For example, “I want to be fit and strong” isn’t quite there, but saying “I want to be fit and strong by walking 30 minutes at least 3 times a week” is SMART. Here are the tools to get you started:ID-10034790

1. Beginner

Goal: Walk 30 minutes every day.
This plan introduces you into exercise. In a matter of 8 weeks, you will be getting the recommended least amount of exercise necessary to attain a level of health. You’ll begin to notice changes in your body, like toned legs and a smaller waistline. There are two speeds that you will use: easy (like taking a stroll) and brisk (which should make you start sweating and breathe a little harder).

Week                               No. of Times/Week                                 Workout
1                                                3                                               Easy: 10 mins.
2                                                3                                               Easy: 7 mins., Brisk: 5 mins.
3                                                3                                               Easy 12-15 mins.
4                                                3                                               Easy 10 mins., Brisk 6 mins.
5                                                4                                               Easy 8 mins., Brisk 10 mins.
6                                                5                                               Easy 20-25 mins.
7                                                6                                               Brisk 15-20 mins.
8                                                7                                               Easy 25-30 mins.

2. Regular Walker

Goal: Walk a 5K race
Now that you’re walking at a steady pace regularly, it’s time to give your routine a bump up to the next level. You will burn more fat and increase your heart and lung fitness with this plan. Practicing the power interval where you’ll walk in quick bursts as fast as you can and then recover with a period of easy walking will definitely prepare you for the goal of walking your first 5 kilometer race.

Week                                No. of Times/Week                                Workout
1                                                     4                                          Easy 15-20 mins.
2                                                     4                                          Easy 10-15 mins., Brisk 10-15 mins.
3                                                     4                                          Easy 15-20 mins.
Power 30 sec., Easy 1 min.
Repeat 5 times
Easy 3-5 mins.
4                                                     4                                          Easy 10 -15 mins., Brisk 15-20 mins.
5                                                     5                                          Easy 35-40 mins.
6                                                     5                                          Easy 10 mins. Brisk 5-10 mins.
Power 30 sec. Easy 1 min.
Repeat 7 times
Easy 3-5 mins.
7                                                     5                                          Easy 15 mins. Brisk 30 mins.
8                                                     5                                          Easy 45-50 mins.

3. Seasoned Walker

Goal: Set a personal best
Record your time when you walk that 5K races. Your goal now is to improve that time in increments of 5 to 10 percent by following this 8 week plan. What do you know, now you’re aiming for your first 10K race!

Week                               No.of Times/Week                                   Workout
1                                                   4                                               Brisk 25-30 mins.
2                                                   4                                               Brisk 30-35 mins.
3                                                   4                                               Brisk 30-35 mins.
4                                                   4                                               Easy 10 mins., Brisk 10 mins.
Power 1 min. Easy 1 min.
Repeat 7-10 times
Easy 5 mins.
5                                                   5                                               Brisk 40-50 mins.
6                                                   5                                               Easy 10 mins. Brisk 5 mins.
Power 5 mins. Brisk 15 mins.
7                                                   5                                               Easy 10 mins. Brisk 10 mins.
Power 1 min. Easy 1 min.
Repeat 8-12 times
Easy 5 mins.
8                                                   5                                               Easy 50-60 mins.

To maintain your motivation as you strive towards your new goal, it would be helpful to keep a journal and log your time and distance. As you fill those pages, they become your impetus to keep going and hit that goal. Ask a friend to join you. Skipping a workout will be much less tempting if you know someone’s counting on you. Following a plan to achieve your SMART goal makes it easier to honor and stay true to it.

Author Note:The article has been contributed by Aishwarya Vohra from Offshore Ally. She is a fitnessaholic and a health blogger. The company she works for offers quality virtual assistant services and has many VA for real estate.

 

Image courtesy of [photostock] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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