Walking your way to better health | Trim your waistline | Heartsongfit | 30-Day Walk & Shake Group

Teenagers walking with llamas

Walking for exercise can be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood or time on a treadmill. Here you see my llama training students taking the llamas on a walk through the woods and pasture on a winter day.


Editor’s Note: I was recently chatting with clients during a Shakeology Shake and Share event who were ordering Shakeology as a first step to improving their health, but whose exercise preference for getting started back into fitness was walking. So I’m starting a 30-Day Group for April called Walk & Shake, in which we’ll support each other online in a Facebook group set to private. It’s pretty simple. Just commit to walking for exercise at least three times a week, commit to using Shakeology once a day, and pledge to report in to the group on a daily basis for coaching, support, motivation and accountability. A pedometer to measure your steps is not a requirement, but a few  group members are going to use those so we can better track our progress. (I also have a few spots remaining in the 30-Day-Drop-A-Size Group if you’re using a Beachbody fitness program and plan to use Shakeology daily.)


Walking your way to better health | Trim your waistline | Heartsongfit.com | 30-Day Walk & Shake Group

by Coach Vickie Maris
Treadmill. Neighborhood streets. Woodland trails. High school track. It doesn’t matter where you walk. What does matter is that you’ve chosen to walk for your health! For most, it is a pretty easy way to sneak some exercise in to an otherwise busy day. According to an article from Mayo Clinic, there are many good things that walking can do for you. And if you’re just beginning a daily exercise routine to improve your health, or even, trim your waistline, walking is a low-impact form of exercise that is a great place to start.

Benefits of Walking

  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of, or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage your weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit

Shakeology for losing weight and feeling better
It was last September when I re-started a daily exercise routine and began drinking a Shakeology shake every day to replace one meal (you can also use it as a snack). I am down more than 10 pounds in weight and have lost several inches. My blood pressure has also come way down and is now at safe levels. But one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is that I have so fewer migraine headaches.

My husband, Scott, is also using Shakeology. He too has lost more than 10 pounds. We both notice a reduction in cravings between meals, we feel better, our digestive health is greatly improved, and we have more mental clarity. In fact, this is the first winter that Scott has noticed he has not had ANY skin psoriasis. The only thing that has changed for him in the most recent winter vs. the previous winter was the addition of Shakeology!

Join the Walk & Shake Group!
I have a few openings left in the Walk & Shake group that starts on the first of the month. It’s free to join my online group, and a great way to stay motivated throughout the month to keep working towards your health and fitness goals. All you have to do is commit to the following:

  • Walk for exercise at least three times a week
  • Use Shakology on a daily basis
  • Report in to the online group each day (Facebook group set to private)
  • Work on making healthier eating choices

Use a pedometer to track your progress
If you’re thinking about using walking as a regular form of exercise, you might consider using a pedometer to track your steps. I used one several years ago when my employer’s Employee Assistance Program started a walking program. Wearing the pedometer every day and setting goals for the number of steps to take in the day was very motivating. I found myself seeking out ways to get more steps in before the day ended.

Today, one of my colleagues is using a Fitbit pedometer, which measures your steps and stairs. Another version of it will measure your sleeping hours and quality of your sleep. You can export data from it to apps such as LoseIt or MyFitnessPal for tracking the food you eat. I’m so intrigued by it that I’m thinking about giving it a try (although the mention of it here isn’t an endorsement of the product). Using a pedometer is not a requirement of the Walk & Shake Group, but just wanted to share what I had learned about Fitbit. I’m sure there are many other brands out there you could explore too.

Comparison photo of weight before working out and after

On the left – Coach Vickie in May 2012 before working out. On the right – Coach Vickie in December 2012; a fitness “work in progress!”

When you join the Walk & Shake Group for April, there are several things you won’t see!

  • NO Expensive Gym Membership
  • NO Embarrassing Classes
  • NO Tasteless Diet Food
  • NO Long Drives
  • NO Getting Up Early (unless you prefer to do your walk at the start of your day)

Become active in the Walk & Shake Group for April, and you WILL see:

  • ENCOURAGEMENT from me as your Beachbody coach, and the others in the group (a Facebook group set to Secret so you can feel safe sharing your progress)
  • POUNDS shedding away as you keep up with your walking schedule and drink your Shakeology
  • FLEXIBILITY in when and where you do your workout – could be walking during a lunch break or choosing to take the stairs over an elevator!
  • OPPORTUNITY to earn one of the $500 daily or $1000 monthly prizes for your transformation story for using Shakeology if you enter the Beachbody Challenge

Listen to tips and words of motivation from fitness experts …
If you would like some tips from nutrition and fitness experts as you get started in your walking journey, I invite you to listen to my podcast. I post new links here in the blog. You can also receive a link to a special, featured podcast with mixed martial arts trainers, Mo Amin and Ben Stover of Rhyno’s Gym, when you subscribe to these articles as emails (use the form in the header of the blog page to subscribe). It was a neat experience to talk with these two fitness experts, and to learn several great tips about exercising and making healthy food choices. I’m so glad to be able to share the interview with you!

Photo of fitness trainers Ben Stover and Mo Amin who were interviewed by Coach Vickie Maris.

Receive the link to my interview with mixed martial arts trainers, Ben Stover (left) and Mo Amin (right) of Rhyno’s Gym. It’s my gift to you when you subscribe to receive my articles as emails. (Use the form in the header of the blog.) The guy in the middle, is my hubby, the music man, Scott Greeson, who calls on the expertise of Ben and Mo in his fitness journey.

If you have any experience with using a pedometer, and have a favorite brand, please tell me about it in the comments below. I’d love to hear your suggestions.


You are invited to complete and submit the form below to reserve your spot in the upcoming, Walk & Shake  Group. The group size is limited, so don’t delay in submitting your application!

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Vickie Maris on a hike with 2 llamas

Coach Vickie Maris exercises daily using a Beachbody fitness program. She also enjoys walking with her llamas as a form of exercise and stress relief!

Vickie Maris is an instructional designer and director of professional development programs for lifelong learners at a Big Ten university. She is also an Independent Team Beachbody Coach who would like to help in your life transformation to better fitness and eating. The focus of her journey has also allowed her to reap benefits of a better ability to deal with work stresses, and a reduction in blood pressure and migraine headaches! Contact her at clientcare at heartsongfit dot com, for information about using any one of the many Beachbody products for fitness and health, or for details about joining one of her challenge groups of like-minded people connected online to encourage each other in a 30-day challenge towards improved fitness and health.



Vickie Maris Independent Team Beachbody Coach www.heartsongfit.com

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