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Walking Till I Drop

Start Walking at Home With Leslie Sansone Beginner/Intermediate 1 & 2 Mile Walk
Leslie Sansone via Pinterest

“Enough with the excuses already,” the fanatical taskmaster part of my brain screams at me. “Cut me some slack will you? I’ll get to it later,” I plead although that nagging tyrant will not be silenced.

Why is it so incredibly hard to begin anew when it comes to healthy choices? Likewise, why is it so easy to be unhealthy? Is it really too much to ask to eat what I want, when I want it and gain no weight or better yet not have to exercise? I know I’m being silly and truth be told when I’m doing those things that are good for me the natural outcome is I feel much better physically, mentally and emotionally. So I do begin again today.

Since I’ve procrastinated long enough I decide to start slow with walking. To begin I tune in to Xfinity’s Sports & Fitness On Demand, locate some fitness routines, then settle for a 1 mile walk with Kendra Kemerly.

If you recall some time back I talked about my first exposure to walk videos was with Leslie Sansone. The 5 things I like most about these routines are:

  • No special equipment is needed
  • Workout at my leisure in my home
  • The workouts are designed to be heart healthy
  • 15 minutes equals 1 mile
  • I feel so darn good afterwards

It doesn’t get much better than using what you already have at your disposal to get in a good workout. Let’s face it, if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised or if you’re at all like me your experience dates back to grade school then going to the gym can be intimidating. Taking advantage of exercising at home allows you to set your own schedule and you’re not hindered by the weather which can impact outdoor activities and of course doing without public judgment at the gym is one more positive factor that comes to mind.

Kendra Kemerly via Pinterest
Kendra Kemerly via Pinterest

Time is one of those precious commodities that there seems to be never enough but when I realized I could do 1 mile in 15 minutes, well, it became doable. Not only is it doable, with consistent effort 1 mile can become 2 miles, then 3 and so on until my body begins to crave the endorphins (neurotransmitters) or the “feel good” chemicals that are released when working out.

If you think these walk routines are not considered strenuous exercise you would be mistaken as there are a number of components involved for an entire body workout. In Leslie Sansone’s videos she has 4 basic moves (walk, side steps, knee lifts and kicks). Incorporating each of these moves with various arm movements all while picking up the pace ensures a total body workout.

Walk Away the Pounds With Leslie Sansone via Pinterest
Leslie Sansone via Pinterest

All the walk routines I’ve followed begin with a warm-up and end with a cool down phase. Since walking in place is the key move if you find that a particular move is too taxing you can always go back to walking in place as long as you keep moving you’re good. Posture is important to avoid injury and insure your body is getting the full benefits of a good workout. The instructors are good at reminding you to keep a straight spine and stabilize your core by pulling your belly button to your spine. Allow me to take you through a sample walking workout.

2 minutes Warm-up, walk/march in place (easy to moderate pace)
1 minute Walk forward 4 steps/Walk backward 4 steps repeat
30 seconds Walk/march in place
1 minute Side steps (take your right leg & step to the right, bring your left leg to the right leg; repeat with left leg)
30 seconds Walk/march in place
1 minute Forward kicks (take your right leg and kick it out then bring it back to starting position, repeat with left leg)
30 seconds Walk/march in place
1 minute Knee lifts (take your right leg, bend it and bring it up to your hip; repeat with left leg)
30 seconds Walk/march in place
1 minute Heel tap forward (take your right leg and extend your foot in front of you so your heel lightly taps the floor bring it back to starting position, repeat with left leg)
30 seconds Walk/march in place

As you progress through the workout it gets faster and more intense with added moves for example hamstring curls. Hamstring curls strengthen the thigh muscles by pulling the legs in towards the back of the body. To do a hamstring or ham curl you need to spread apart your legs and then lifting your right leg you will kick back as far as you can then alternate with the left leg. A few more examples are squatting into the side steps to work the thigh muscles, touching hands to your knees when doing the knee lifts to engage the oblique (external abdominal muscles) and raising, lowering, and outstretching arms while walking. All of these combined moves alone can lead to a heavy sweat induced workout and depending on your personal goals be it increased flexibility or strength you can add weights or exercise bands to liven-up the routine.

So for the next few days at least I will be walking to my little heart’s content.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~Maya Angelou

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