How to Start Walking Every Single Day in One Month Or Less – Introducing the “1 Minute a Day” Walking Program
Have you ever wondered why they don’t say, “walk for your life?” I mean, seriously! Walking has been linked to increases in nearly all measurable health markers, and decreases in the risk of nearly all preventable diseases? I know, big surprise, right? Of course, everyone knows that walking is really good for us, and people like Dr. Mike Evans will show you why walking might actually be the single best thing for our health.
But what if I told you that not only is walking a universally beneficial activity that is accessible to nearly everyone with two good legs, but it’s also very easy to do. And I’m not kidding either. Pick up one foot, lean forward slightly and then put it down. Go ahead. Try it right now. Then do that same motion with your other leg. See? It’s almost like we were made for walking. Keep practicing, and it’ll get smoother in no time.
So, we’ve identified something that is incredibly good for us. We’ve also identified that you can do it yourself – or at least well enough to not require a personal trainer at this stage. You can book some sessions to improve your technique later.
So, now that you can do something that’s good for you, what’s stopping you from getting out there and soaking up all the rewards that come with regular walking? Ah, willpower – of course! Most people would love to have a regular habit of walking and experience the myriad of benefits to be had. The problem is that, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t happen. That’s an easy one, too, and I’ll make you a deal. If you will commit just 1 more minute a day, then I’ll get you into a regular walking habit in one month or less – seriously. I’m going out on a limb here, but this may just be the easiest walking program ever devised. In fact, the first step is so easy that we’re going to get started right now. Yes, right now.
The “1 Minute a Day” Walking Program
Grab a watch, cell phone, or anything that will help you measure a minute (or you could always just count, “one one thousand, two one thousand…” for now). Now that you have your time keeping apparatus handy or heady, as the case may be, I want you to stand up and walk for 30 seconds straight – without stopping. After the 30 seconds is over, immediately turn around and walk right back here and then continue reading.
Back already? You’re pretty fast! You didn’t cheat, did you? It’s very important than you actually go for that 1 minute walk, and I’ll explain why.
Note: you don’t NEED to do it right now, it’s just the author’s recommendation.
You see, willpower behaves much like a muscle. It gets tired when it’s overused, and it grows stronger when we stimulate it just enough to adapt to a slightly more challenging stressor. Believe it or not, but it actually took a small bit of willpower to get up and walk for a minute. But it was hardly enough to challenge you, and I bet you felt a little silly doing it. I mean, what’s the point? Sure, you got your blood flowing, and maybe saw a few sights, but you might have burned, what – half a calorie? Honestly, how could a minute of walking seriously benefit anyone? More than you and I might realize actually.
You just made a conscious decision to do something positive for yourself. You probably didn’t add 7 years to your longevity, but if you learn a lesson from that short experience, you might as well have. Whenever anyone tries to do anything positive for themselves, they always encounter some form of internal resistance. You may have just experienced some of this yourself. It could have been in the form of thinking “this is silly, why am I walking for a minute? I feel like a dummy.” Or, it could have been a little more sinister. Whatever the case, it almost always happens when we get out of our comfort zone and try to change anything about our daily habits. Understanding the nature of internal resistance is of paramount importance when it comes to making changes to your lifestyle.
John’s 1 Month Walking Program
(Hint: this is a walking challenge in disguise. Sneaky, I know)
Now, I told you earlier that if you commit just one more minute per day, then I will get you into a regular walking habit in one month or less. I meant it, and I’m going to make it so ridiculously easy for you, that you might laugh at me in a second here. I’m just going to roll with it though.
So, here’s the plan. Regardless of what day of the week it is, today is day one of your new walking plan. If you walked for 1 minute today, then congratulations because you’ve been accepted into the program. Your first assignment is that I don’t want you to walk for exercise anymore until tomorrow. If necessary, regular walking for normal daily activities is still fine. Since today was day one, that would make tomorrow day two. On day two, I want you to walk for 2 minutes straight. I know, I know. It’s pretty harsh doubling the workload after only the first day, and especially without an “off” day to rest, but I’m a mean coach and you’re just going to have to deal with it. You’re doing double the training tomorrow. On day three, you’ll walk for 3 minutes, and so on and so forth.
In the first week, you’ll have walked a total of 28 minutes (1+2+3+4+5+6+7= 28). And if my calculations are correct, that’s less than half an hour.
Now, here’s the thing: For “important health benefits,” the U.S. Center for Disease Control “recommends that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (ie brisk walking) every week.” Some good news for you is that once you’ve completed the month long program, if you keep up the 30 minute daily walks, you’ll be annihilating that 150 minutes per week standard by a whole hour. I’m all for going above and beyond the call of duty, especially when getting to that point is ridiculously easy.
And that’s what this entire walking program is all about – making it easy to do. They say it takes 21 days to build a habit, but I say it’s better to be safe than sorry because so many people try to begin a new fitness program and quit. These stepping stones are designed to be so unbelievably easy to accomplish that each day should feel hardly different than the last, and you’re literally starting from square one.
Please note that there may be tremendous temptation to skip ahead and start at 10 or 20 minutes and then add a minute a day from there. I would say this is fine, under one very important condition: only do this if you have already been walking every single day for the past few weeks already. The point of this program is to make the habit of walking easy to acquire – so easy that the transition is seamless, and without any apparent effort. All it should require is an eency-weency bit of willpower that should be hardly noticeable at all. If you skip ahead without an already ingrained habit, then you run a much higher risk of falling off the wagon. You’ve been forewarned.
Get Your Printout of the Complete Walking Program
Oh, and you can print out this walking plan I created for you here…
All kidding aside, if you don’t feel like writing something up yourself and you want an actual printout of the 30 day program above, click here to download a PDF. You’ll notice that you are still actually going to have to write something. Again, sneaky. If you’re not going to print this and log your results, then it’s not much use otherwise.
Well, now that you’re fully equipped, all it takes is a little old-fashioned effort in the form of daily action. Those first 28 minutes will take care of themselves this first week, but you’re gonna have to take care of the actual walking part yourself. Good luck, but I doubt you’re the kind of person who needs it.
Now, if you haven’t actually gotten up to walk for a minute yet…ahem. And my wife suggests stretching out those hammies before your one minute walk (kidding).
If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and tweeps:
CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach