We are just over a month away from Thanksgiving, and that can be a challenging time for people trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. There are so many dessert options, and like all good mammals roaming my yard, I’m looking to store fat for my long winter of hibernation…even though I don’t hibernate…and there’s rarely food scarcity in this country that would require hording.
It is perhaps a bit psychological, but my waistline doesn’t care about the psychology of it. 45 minutes of moderate exercise can counteract some of those urges to overindulge, and a month ahead of Thanksgiving seems a great time to add that to your schedule. (Added bonus: increased physical activity will also reduce your stress as we head into the holidays.)
Leslie Sansone, who has energy in spades, encourages people to walk. A few years ago, she developed a 4-week walking program. It is something to consider if you don’t regularly incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. It can also be a little boost for those who are already moving regularly and just want to change gears or add something extra at the end of the day.
You can download the walking plan here. She included links to purchase her workout music, which I consider totally unnecessary. Just remember to pay close attention while walking outside because that music or anything being piped through earbuds can be a distraction.
The plan is fairly gentle, and you might use it to feed into a Thanksgiving Day race. I’m a fan of the one that the YMCA in Festus does (nice being close to home) and the Turkey Trots (four of them this year) in St. Louis; Run, Gobble, Nap. They are all walkable races that are 5 kilometers or just over 3 miles.
The plan looks very similar to my weekly running routine with one major deviation. I believe in a rest day every week! That would be my caution too. If you get overly sore or fatigued, take a rest day and then get back to it. If you aren’t physically up to walking two miles at a brisk pace, do it slowly and work on increasing your pace incrementally over time. This should be specific though, and you’ll need to measure it.
There are apps you can use, but a watch works well too. If you start at the kiosk near the new swings at Walther Park and walk on the trail south to the loop by the dumpsters and then back up the road through the park, there are 1/4 mile markers. Time yourself to see how long it takes to walk a mile. Then, try to shave 15-20 seconds off the next time you walk. It might not seem like much, but incremental change is more about slow and steady. Just make sure you don’t stop to chit chat too much.
⬇⬇⬇An example of Leslie Sansone’s energy⬇⬇⬇