There is just something exciting and fresh about a new year and a new plan.

That is especially true for our fitness goals and our plan to follow through.

Simple and basic is the best way to start anything new (or not done in a while), even exercising. Luckily, there are many basic movements to start with and build on throughout your fitness journey.

Today’s move is a walking lunge. This exercise will be working your complete lower body and, by adding the walking element, will add in a small amount of cardio. All you need for this exercise is a clear path. If you need intensity, you can always add a set of light to medium hand weights.

To begin this walking lunge, you will first need to decide on a location. This can be your driveway, the sidewalk, your local park or even on a treadmill. Once you pick a location, you are ready to go.

Start this exercise by standing tall, engaging your abdominals and placing your feet about hip-width apart. Proceed to step forward with your left foot. Make this stride somewhat wide and plant that foot in front of you with your weight on your heel. At this point, you should be in a wide split stance, and begin bending in both knees, aiming for a 90-degree angle with both legs. Keep your front knee behind your toe and your body weight on your back toe.

Now, once you reach your deepest lunge, return back into your upward motion bringing your back leg forward to meet back into your standing/starting position. From here, continue the same movement on the opposite side. Keeping your core strong and solid for optimal balance, place your fists on each hip. If you choose to use hand weights, you will simply just hold them down by your sides.

Continue this alternating walking lunge for either as far as you can go, or at least 10 lunges on each leg.

At this point, take a small break, shake your legs out and continue into another set. If you are going for an unlimited set, simply continue to lunge until you are fatigued. Otherwise, shoot for at least three sets of 10 alternating lunges on each side.

Although this is a basic simple exercise, the added movement can challenge your balance at first. But once you get the feel of the motion, you are good to go!

And the best part, this exercise can be performed virtually anywhere.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.