We all want to take care of our bodies and know that we are doing it in the right way. As a beginner, that can be hard to do because we want to take it easy and see what works best for our bodies and schedules. It’s not common to hear someone (typically us ladies) say that they want to train with weights right away. We don’t want to step out of our comfort zone just yet; we just want to dip our toes in the water.
When it’s time to get serious about our goals and how to train for them, we want to be sure that we are using our time wisely while being active. Too many times I’ve heard, “I walked my dog for 30 minutes outside.” Or, “I went to the gym and walked on the treadmill at a slow pace for an hour!” Or even, “I cleaned the entire house and was sweating my butt off.”
Now, it’s great that you are getting yourself up and moving. When we are just beginning to work out, those types of daily activities are a good start. I’ve had many clients and known many people who have done that as they were just beginning their fitness journey and they lost weight. The thing is, the walking was something totally new and different for their bodies. It was the most activity they had in years so yes, it was going to work. Changing their diet to go with it helped just as much because they weren’t eating that well before their lifestyle change.
As we are really progressing in our fitness, walking just doesn’t do it for our bodies anymore. Walking can be considered a daily activity along with cleaning the house or washing the car. Yes you may feel like you’re getting a sweat on and you’re out of breath from getting up and down or walking back and forth, but that’s not something that is truly challenging your body and getting you out of your comfort zone.
You should be doing movements that your body is not used to doing, using weights, and pushing past a point that your body is not used to. Even if they are short, your workouts should be intense and challenging. If it’s time that’s a concern, then do a 12-30 minute high intensity interval workout, something that will really get your blood pumping, heart rate up, and make you sweat bullets.
Walking, hiking, biking, or swimming can all be great active rest activities on days in between intense strength training days. But make them worth your while; make them slightly more intense than a stroll in the park and make them longer than 30 minutes.