Healthy Food Guide fitness expert Sarah Cowley challenges you to move your body more.
This plan is designed to help you progress from sedentary to fit in 12 weeks. The second and third parts of the plan will be published in the November and December issues and in the Kick-start Motivator emails. Before exercising, always warm up by doing some gentle stretches, building to more energetic movements. Include some gentle stretches at the end of each session to cool down.
Power half hour
Choose an exercise you enjoy that suits your fitness level. This can include cycling, swimming, dancing, walking, running, water jogging, a gym class or Zumba. If half an hour is too much to start with, begin with 10 minutes’ activity and increase by five minutes each session until you can sustain half an hour.
This is resistance work using your resistance band and body weight to develop muscle tone, balance and flexibility. See Resistance band exercises to choose your workout. See the videos in your Kick-start Motivator emails for body weight exercises or try these: Walk up steps while doing bicep curls with a baked bean can or weight in each hand. Or do a wall sit by sliding your back down the wall until you look like you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Stay there for as long as you can. Add weighted bicep curls for more intensity.
Chair squat test
This tracks your progress. Simply do as many squats as you can by lowering yourself to chair height and returning to your start position. Count how many you do and try to better that next time.
Count how long you can hold a plank position for and try to better it next time. The plank is done in a push-up position with your forearms on the floor, palms down and hands pointed forward. Engage your core.
These are short bursts of intense exercise, followed by slow movement to recover. This could be walking, running or cycling as fast as you can, then slowing right down and decreasing intensity to recover, before another burst.
Rest and recover
Include some stretching on your recovery days to restore your body for the rest of the week.