Would you walk 20 minutes every other day in exchange for lifetime of energy, great health and feelings of wellbeing? Commit to six months and I'll show you the way. It's a perfect time to get started.
• Put your walking shoes on and get your first 20 minutes under your belt. A slow steady pace will be just fine for now. During your walk, think of the commitment you made and understand it will take a full six months to begin to reap the benefits. Make no mistake about it...benefits you will reap. Energy, feelings of peace, as well as a general sense of euphoria, will find their way into your life on a regular basis if you keep walking.
• 1st month: This is the only rule you can't deviate from...no matter what. Commit to walking the same time of day, at least three days a week, with one day of rest in-between. I can't stress this point enough. This time slot you've created for yourself has to be adhered to...no matter what. Draw this line in the sand and never cross it. This is your time. This is your commitment and there's nothing more important for that 20 minutes. Believe me...you will be tested over and over again. Don't fail on this one.
2nd month: Begin to make it fun. Go to a place where you can walk with absolutely no distractions...maybe the neighborhood or the local park. Join a gym and walk on a treadmill if you have to. Just get away from everybody because this is about more than just exercise. This is your time for reflection and rejuvenation as well. Music can be a great motivational tool so bring your tunes. If music isn't your thing, try motivational tapes. Your library is full of them.
• 3rd month: When you get discouraged...walk anyway. When you're too tired to begin...walk anyway. When there's something better going on, and there's always something better going on...walk anyway. Tell friends what you're doing. Maybe you can recruit a walking buddy if you don't like walking alone. Just don't let them slow you down. It's only 20 minutes. You can get through it.
• 4th month: You may begin to lose your resolve and be tempted to quit...don't you dare. I told you at the beginning it would take you six months before you would feel the difference and guess what? The rules haven't changed but the incentive has. Please understand... when an abundance of energy starts coming your way, and it will, everything in your life will begin to fall into place. As you start feeling good, self-esteem increases, depression fades away, and unwanted pounds start shedding. Your total outlook on life begins to change for the better...and you'll keep getting as long as you keep giving. It's just that simple. Put your walking shoes back on.
• 5th month: Bring it up a notch. Turn that slow walk into a moderate walk. Turn that moderate walk into a jog. Although 20 minutes is enough, 30 would be even better. If you're tired of walking, try adding some strength training. Throw in some sit-ups or push-ups after your walk. Anything to keep it interesting will help with your commitment. Keep your eye on the prize, because it's coming.
• 6th month: Chances are you're starting to notice a feeling of well-being after your workout. As you begin to experience this wonderful feeling, you'll find it much easier to stay true to your commitment. At this point the process begins to self-perpetuate as you crave its dividends. If you like what you're feeling, you may want to consider extending your workout to 45 minutes. The point is the more you give to this thing, the more you are going to get...you'll better understand this truth as time goes on.
You made it to the end of six months; you now have enough of a taste to begin to understand what endorphins feel like. Did I fail to mention endorphins? This is the fabulous natural byproduct your body manufactures during a good workout though it takes about six months of regular exercise to experience it. Endorphins give its recipient the same feeling of euphoria as the drug morphine...and it last for hours after each workout. When you reach this point, you won't stop. I've been addicted for over 25 years, and I'm never planning on coming down.
Whether it's walking, jogging, playing tennis, swimming, lifting weights or a mixture...make it a part of your life forever...at least three times a week. You will never regret it.