Your customized walking program is here

Do you ever feel like youre doing someone elses workout? Like the time you spend exercising should really be more engaging, more effective, even more fun? The fact is, not every workout plan is for every body.

If you had a coach or personal trainer, she would create a custom program for you based on your current fitness level, your abilities, your expectations, even your personality. Every day as you went for your walk, did your strength-training routine, or took a rest day, youd know you were doing the perfect workout for you.

Well, heres your coach or at least a fair approximation of one. Heres how it works: Below, youll find a quiz, along with the results for that quiz. (The questions might seem a little offbeat, but theyre meant to reveal how you approach challenges. Give your best answer.)

Youll never feel like youre doing someone elses workout again.

First quiz

How active is your average day?

A) Low-key. Other than walking to the car, mailbox, my desk, or around a store, I have to admit I spend most of my time sitting or standing still.
B) In gear. Im always walking around at work, dashing up and down the stairs, or chasing the kids.
C) Overdrive. I have a physically demanding job or lifestyle that keeps me moving (think river-rafting guide or FedEx delivery person).

How much conscious exercise do you get in a week?

A) Not much. I rarely breathe hard, let alone break out in a real sweat.
B) Im trying. At least four days a week Im breathing hard enough for at least 10 minutes that if I were to answer the phone, the caller would ask what I was up to.
C) I guess Im a jock. At least three days a week I work up enough of a sustained sweat to soak a shirt and need a shower afterward.

If you warm up and then walk 1 mile at a hard but not painful pace, it takes:

A) More than 19 minutes.
B) 14 to 19 minutes.
C) Less than 14 minutes.

Score 1 point for an A, 2 for a B, 3 for a C. If you scored:

3 or 4 points
Start with the Beginner walking program. Move up to the Core program if that doesnt feel like enough of a challenge.

5 to 7 points
Follow the Core walking program.

8 or 9 points
Follow the Advanced walking program. Switch to the Core recommendations if it feels like too much or you notice extreme soreness or fatigue.

Your Basic Program

This month of walking creates your fitness base. Swap days to fit your schedule; just dont do hard workouts on back-to-back days.

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
M Steady pace. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 25 min. Advanced: 30 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 25 min. Advanced: 30 min.
T Walk hills. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min. Walk hills. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min. Walk hills. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min. Walk hills. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 30 min.
W Steady pace. Beginner: 20 min. Core: 30 min. Advanced: 40 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 20 min. Core: 30 min. Advanced: 40 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 25 min. Core: 35 min. Advanced: 45 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 25 min. Core: 35 min. Advanced: 45 min.
Th Walk fast. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 25 min. Walk fast. Beginner: 15 min. Core: 20 min. Advanced: 25 min. Walk fast. Beginner: 20 min. Core: 25 min. Advanced: 35 min. Walk fast. Beginner: 20 min. Core: 25 min. Advanced: 35 min.
F Day off. Day off. Day off. Day off.
S Steady pace. Beginner: 25 min. Core: 35 min. Advanced: 45 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 30 min. Core: 40 min. Advanced: 50 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 35 min. Core: 45 min. Advanced: 55 min. Steady pace. Beginner: 40 min. Core: 55 min. Advanced: 60 min.
S Cross-train. At least 30 minutes. Cross-train. At least 30 minutes. Cross-train. At least 45 minutes. Cross-train. At least 45 minutes.

Next Week: Part II - your style.


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