Boost weight loss with a combination of walking and strength workouts. Here’s a peek at how you’ll move this month.
By the Editors of SilverSneakers
Welcome to the SilverSneakers Million Pound Challenge! We’re on a mission to lose 1 million pounds together—but all you need to do is pledge to lose one. And by simply signing up, you’ll take the first step to leading a healthier, happier life.
Whether you start on June 1 or in the middle of the month, you’ll find lots of fun workouts, from guided walks to strength exercises. Love SilverSneakers classes? This program makes time for them. Not a SilverSneakers member? Don’t worry—you’ll still have plenty to choose from. Here’s what you’ll find.
A simple walk is a terrific workout for your whole body. We’ll guide you with audio walks that you can use on the treadmill or outside. “The more steps you take during the walking portion of this challenge, the better you’ll look and feel,” says fitness expert Michele Stanten.
You’ll start with a 20-minute walk at a moderate pace, as if you have some place to be but can carry on a conversation. If you can’t speak in complete sentences, back off a little bit. But if you can sing while you’re walking, you’ll want to push yourself a little harder. You’ll gradually increase the length of this moderate walk to 30 minutes.
About midway through the challenge, you’ll speed up to brisk walks, as if you’re running late for an important appointment. You’ll build these brisk walks from 30 minutes to 45 minutes by the end of the month.
You’ll also do interval walks, alternating shorter bouts of fast walking with longer recovery bouts at a moderate to brisk pace. This type of walking revs up your calorie burn and metabolism more than easier, steady-paced walking.
The final type of walk you’ll do is a long walk. About one day a week, you’ll aim for 60 minutes of walking—but you can break it up into multiple 10-minute or 15-minute walks throughout the day, especially in the beginning.
We’ll also share helpful videos to help you get the most out of your walks, including:
- 4 Best Warmup Exercises to Do Before a Walk
- 7 Ways to Burn More Calories When You Walk
- 5 Stretches You Should Do After Every Walk
For best results, you’ll also want to do strength training at least twice a week. Strength training helps maintain or even build muscle—and keeps metabolism up. You’ll have a handful of options, and you can pick what works best for you on that particular day:
- Take a SilverSneakers class or other group fitness class that incorporates strength training.
- Follow along with strength moves for walkers from Stanten. You’ll start with just one. By the end of the month, you’ll have a five-move circuit that tones your whole body. (Hint: This is a great option for beginners.)
- Try a new gym workout. Over the course of the month, you’ll find routines that use dumbbells, balls, and resistance bands. (Hint: This is a great option for exercisers looking to beat boredom or try new equipment.)
Don’t get overwhelmed. We’re going to take it one day and one step at a time—and hopefully have some fun! And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the Million Pound Challenge Nutrition Plan.
Note: The exercises in these workouts may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. Please consult your physician before beginning a physical activity program to make sure it’s safe for you.