Advertisement

Get Fit Fast by Walking to Lose Weight

Medically reviewed in February 2021

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.

More On

Walking Motivation: 5 Ways to Make It a Habit

article

Walking Motivation: 5 Ways to Make It a Habit
1. Schedule it. If you treat walking as an automatic "must" on your daily list -- like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins -- then there's no ...
Get the Most Out of Winter Walking

slideshow

Get the Most Out of Winter Walking
Don’t let cold weather stop you from burning calories and having fun with friends.
News: City Pollution May Blunt the Benefits of Walking

article

News: City Pollution May Blunt the Benefits of Walking
Walking is a nearly perfect exercise, especially for older adults. It strengthens your muscles, helps keep the pounds off, improves your balance and l...
Heavy? Aim for 1,000

article

Heavy? Aim for 1,000
Regardless of where you find yourself on the scale after the holidays, a few extra walks will still do wonders for your heart. Even if you're well ab...
What to Do When You Don't Feel Like Walking

article

What to Do When You Don't Feel Like Walking
1. Walk at home. Can't get out of your PJs? No problem. 2. Set a goal. Give yourself something to shoot for—like logging 10,000 steps for the first t...