It's human nature to get excited about a new exercise plan. In fact, many beginners get so enthusiastic about the prospect of losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle that they overreach when setting weight loss goals. They think, “I've been walking since I was 2 years old. It'll be no problem for me to walk two hours per day from the start.”

Unfortunately, that may not be doable. Not in the beginning, anyway. The best way to set your goal is to go for a walk first. See where your physical fitness level is to determine a realistic goal. For example, if you can walk for 5 minutes, set a goal of walking 8 minutes by the end of the week. To reach that goal, all you have to do is walk an extra 30 seconds per day.

You can choose to add 15 seconds per day or a minute per day, if you'd like. There is not a set amount. However you want to increase your workout time is fine. As long as you set a goal that is both challenging and reachable.

Once you achieve your first week's goal, then create a new goal. For example, when you are able to walk 8 minutes per day, you can decide to increase your time one minute per day so by the end of the second week you'll be walking 15 minutes. And before you know it, you'll be able to walk an entire hour by the end of the month.

Many people who are overweight do not begin to exercise because they feel 5 minutes of walking does not make a difference, but their wrong. It's not the amount of time or how fast someone is walking that makes a difference in the amount of calories burned, it's the individual's weight that matters most. For example, if you are 250lbs. and you walk five minutes, you'll lose a lot more calories in that time that person who is 115lbs. So any amount of time you put into exercising will benefit you.

Progress begins with just one step. When are you going to take yours?