How to begin moving, like moving, and keep moving!


Up next in our steps towards liking exercise, is step # 2, Practice.

Practice is, "the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use." (Merriam Webster).

It's showing up every day to make the change you want to see happen.

You don't have to do it perfectly, but you do have to do it, even if that means chipping away at your goal, slowly!

Practice and the more you practice, the easier it will get and the better you will become!

Last week I started talking about employing strategies to take the "chore-factor" out of exercise.
Basically, if we need to exercise consistently, but have struggled in the past to do so, then we have to change our relationship with movement. We need to commit to a new and different mindset and practice with respect to physical activity.

If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Now we are talking about the next step in this process, which is practice.

Let's do this!

To help you take the first steps towards learning to love movement, I've created two plans for two different groups of people.
The plans are designed to help you to transition gradually to a more active lifestyle AND experience changes in your physique.

Please choose the group that best describes you and get crackin'!

Group 1-Folks that are BRAND new to exercise of haven't exercised for at least a year.

Week 1 walk for 10-20 on 3 days
Week 2, walk on 4 day
Week 3 walk on 5 days
Week 4 walk 6 out of 7 day

  • I'm using leisure walk in my example because leisure walking
    • lowers stress hormones
    • does not increase cravings of feelings of hunger
    • helps keep your body in "fat-burning" mode
    • is the most accessible and safest form of movement for most people to start
    • If you prefer to do something else you could try other forms of movement, you can substitute another form of movement that you prefer.

Remember, this is a leisure walk. Walk slow enough that you can carry on a conversation.
Take someone with you if you can!


  • I realize as I'm writing this, that it's very hot outside right now for many of you.
    If that's the case, then try walking in a mall, early in the morning, or late in the evenings.
    Morning will be cooler than evenings.
  • You can also try a cooling neck towel
  • On days when you can't make a walk happen, or it's just too hot for you to walk outside, try walking up and down your stairs as many times as you possibly can in 10-15 minutes, in a slow and controlled motion.
    • Take rest when you need to.

    • Each day that you do stairs in your house, try to get in one more round than the day before after 4 weeks of walking, you move on and follow Group 2's program.

  • And last, but not least, if the walking just isn't happening, dance in your living room
     or yoga it up! Stay committed to moving on your designated days.


  • Rotate this program (start back at Week 1) until you can comfortable walk 5-6 days a week, most weeks.

    Remember!!!! The object of this program is to learn to love movement and incorporate it into your weekly routine. It will take some different strategies and varying amounts of time for each individual to make this work.

    So be patient, and focus on making your walks fun, enjoyable, something that you miss when you skip it! Use podcasts, friends (accountability partners), music, and changes of scenery to help make the walks enjoyable quality time!

Group 2- Folks that have exercised within the past year, but are not currently following a regular program

Begin with walking for movement and select 1-2 types of exercise to start.

You can trade walking for one of the other forms of movement if you find that you really don't like it, but it's an accessible, safe no equipment-necessary activity that lowers stress hormones and doesn't increase hunger and cravings, so it's what I recommend.

See Group 1's plan above for suggestions on what to do on hot days.

Week 1

  • Leisure walk 5 days for 10-20 minutes per day
  • This is a relaxing walk, not a speedwalk, you should be able to carry on a conversation while engaging in this walk.


Weeks 2 and 3

  • Leisure walk 5 days for 30 minutes per day
  • Exercise for 2 days this week, workouts should be for 15 minutes.
    • Select intense forms of exercise that leave you breathless and with a burning sensation in your muscles.
    • Complete a 5 minute warm-up and a 5 minute cooldown before and after your selected workout
      • If you choose to attend a 60 minute class because that's easier for you than workout out alone, that's fine. Avoid the temptation to pace yourself so that you can get through the entire class. Work hard for short bursts, take rest when you need to, and then work hard again.
      • If you wish to workout at home and don't know what to do, checkout my Vimeo and YouTube Channels, or Wayfaring Wellness, a workout program that I designed for all fitness levels to work out ANYWHERE for ANY amount of time they have!


Week 4

  • Leisure walk 6 days a week for 30 minutes per day
  • Exercise for 3 days this week for 20-25 minutes if you can manage it.


If at the end of Week 4 you are struggling to keep up this schedule, start back again at Week 1 and repeat the cycle! If you are feeling good, continue to leisure walk 5-6 days per week and exercise 2-3 days every week.
If you feel yourself getting bored, trade your chosen forms of exercise and movement for something else on the list!

Remember!!!! The object of this program is to learn to love movement and incorporate it into your weekly routine, not to be regimented about exercise strictly for an outcome.

Stick to your schedule.

It will be easier to do tomorrow what you made happen today.

Avoid the "on the wagon/off the wagon" mentality.

You are on the wagon now, permanently.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The wagon might slow, and sometimes even come to a complete stop, but don't give up.
You're committed to becoming a more active person.

Switch out forms of movement and exercise when you have to, but keep it going.
Can't get in a walk? Dance with the kids in your living room.
Too little time the day for your gym class or normal workout routine? Do some squats, pushups, walk some stairs.
Shorten workouts if you have to, in order to get them in and maintain momentum but don't get off the wagon this time.

I know that in the beginning, that's really difficult. ESPECIALLY when you have other things like jobs, families, responsibilities also requiring your time, but you can do it.
Move at a pace that works for you, if you need help adjusting these plans email me and I can give you some individualized tips!


Why will this approach will work?

Two reasons.

Reason #1   We are making slow and gradual change here!
These two plans are designed to help you to move at a pace that leaves room for change.

If you don't like the movement or exercise, you can swap it for something else!

Adjust your workout and movement duration to help you to stay committed even when you have days and weeks where time is super limited! Use my 5 minute Bantam workouts or the workouts in Wayfaring Wellness.

Check in with movement almost EVERY day for however long you can.
Make it fun and enjoyable.
Stay consistent, it will change your body and how you feel in it.
It will become part of your life.

Reason # 2 Notice how this change is not centered on a weight loss goal.

This program is about behavior-based goals.
We are training ourselves to become active.
That's a goal that is easy to accomplish and measure every single day.

Did I move today? Yep.
Goal accomplished.

Outcome-based goals like weight loss, are far more difficult to work with.
If physique change is your primary motivation for becoming more active, that's totally fine.
BUT if don't make weight loss the object.


It's like a watched pot.

If you just learn to move and to love the forms of movement that you choose, I promise you, the physical changes will come, they will stay, and feel somewhat effortless.

Sarah Smith