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Walking to Lose Weight - For Mind and Body

Walking to lose Weight

Do you like to walk? If this is the case, that’s good news, since many doctors recommend walking to lose weight. Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that for most Americans, the bulk of our weekly walking consists of going to and from our cars, homes, and office.

“Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships.” It is a free and enjoyable activity that is already a part of everyday life. All anyone needs to do is practice the correct techniques, add a little more speed and a little more time to your walking and you will see yourself begin to lose weight. How to walk for best weight loss results?

If you’re like many people, you may be so busy that it’s hard to make time for a walk. Let’s look at a few facts about walking, and then explore a few simple steps you can take to help you walk your way to a leaner you!

Can Walking Alone Lose Weight?

There is actually quite a bit of evidence that leans towards the benefits of walking. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh recently found that overweight study subjects who walked briskly as their form of exercise for anywhere from 30 to 60 a day, showed signs of weight loss without changing other lifestyle habits.

Adding just 30 minutes of brisk walking to your day can help you burn up to 150 more calories than you would if you did not do physical activity. Be sure to add intensity to you walking gradually. The faster your pace and the more you move your body, the more calories you can burn during your workout.

Facts about Walking to Lose Weight:

1. When walking to lose weight, how much is enough? Most weight loss experts recommend 30-60 minutes of walking each day, six days a week. Another way to approach it is to shoot for 10,000 steps per day, or about 5 miles. It takes the average person about 60 minutes to walk 5 miles. (The number of steps includes those you take in your normal life, so about 45 minutes of walking should get you to your goal.)

2. How many calories does an hour of walking burn? According to the Mayo Clinic, this depends on your weight. A person who weighs about 160 pounds will burn 200 calories per hour. If you walk for an hour a day you’d burn an extra 6,000 calories monthly, and would lose just under 2 pounds per month. This fact is why many popular diet plans advocate walking as a part of their program.

3. Do you need to ‘Power Walk’ in order to lose weight? Absolutely not. While moving faster or moving your arms will obviously burn more calories, you can realize excellent weight loss benefits as noted above – simply by staying consistent with your walking.
Keep a balanced pace and do not try to overdo yourself. Injury can happen when you least expect it and will definitely throw you off if you’re on a fitness and weight loss plan. Work on building up your endurance over time to be able to handle more vigorous workouts. 

What other health benefits do you get from walking?

Like other exercise, walking to lose weight can help you achieve a number of important health benefits:

  • Lowered blood pressure, increases your heart rate
  • Remain strong and fit and tones your body
  • Greatly reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes (or manage it better)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Improve your mood and reduce risk for depression

How Can You Walk to Lose Weight?

Simple steps to take when walking to lose weight :

  • Start slowly if your time is limited. Even 15 minutes will help, and will get you get in the habit of walking.

  • Make it fun! If you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it long-term. I like to use my walks as a time to commune with nature, so I make sure to walk on a path.

  • Find a walking partner. If you enjoy company while walking to lose weight, he or she will help you with accountability. Plus you get the benefit of connecting and catching up.

  • Try and create a special time when you walk every day. I enjoy walking in the evening when it’s quiet and many people are in bed. Listen to your intuition, and do what works for your lifestyle.

  • Be present – Focus on your breathing, and think about how your body is toning and getting healthier. Visualization works!

  • Multi-task if you must. A friend of mine has her social calendar full. She uses her hour long walks as a time to call friends, whereas she would otherwise wouldn’t get her walking in.

  • Here are a few, final tips:  Always remember to hydrate, and to stay in a safe, well-lit area when walking.

Try Different Walking Styles :

Walking to lose Weight

As you can see, walking to lose weight provides a number of other health and fitness benefits. Personally, walking is my favorite way to stay fit – it beats grinding away in the gym. Plus, it’s about as beneficial as jogging, with much less potential for injury.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off for good is to follow a healthy, proven diet plan – combined with an exercise plan. Again, it’s super important that you like your exercise program enough to stay with it, and walking to lose weight can be relaxing and energizing at the same time!

Sample Weekly Walking Plan

Weekly Walking Plan

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