The deceptively simple path to a fit bod begins with the easiest activity in the world: walking.
Every get-fit plan should start with a basic 30-minute daily walk for 30 days. It will prime your body for the muscle-toning and stamina-building exercises you need in order to go from couch potato to hot tamale. Cheat or skip this simple step and you run the risk of injuring yourself and falling off the fitness wagon.
First Things First
According to expert Mehmet Oz, MD, an out-of-shape muscle is deficient in two things: tiny powerhouse factories (called mitochondria) that generate juice for your workouts, and contractile proteins that give the muscle strength. And walking for 30 minutes a day -- or for 10 minutes three times a day -- for a month replenishes mitochondria and contractile proteins, so your body will be ready and able to build on your fitness routine.
Take the Next Step
When you're ready to expand your exercise program, follow Dr. Oz's guidelines for sculpting a lean, healthy body:
- After 30 days of walking, add 10 minutes of resistance training, focusing on the large muscle groups of your body (back, abs, quads, glutes, shoulders, and hamstrings) every other day.
- The next month, add another 10 minutes of resistance training, hitting your remaining muscle groups (chest, shoulders, and arms) every other day. Ease into strength training with the resistance workout for beginners.
- Congratulations! After 90 days, you'll be ready to bust out your cutest workout gear and showcase your skills in Salsa Step or Morning Muscle Up class. Add 21 minutes of stamina-building exercise to your routine three times a week.