Whether you have a few pounds or a lot of pounds to lose, walking is a great form of exercise to go along with eating less and taking in fewer calories. If you are on the heavy side you might not want to visit a gym. You may not have exercised for years. You may just want a cheap and accessible form of exercise. Walking is ideal. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other can support your weight loss efforts and here’s how:
1. A Relaxing Walk
If you want to discover how walking helps you lose weight and de-stress you at the same time, go for two long walks a day. Although not a strenuous exercise, walking burns off a surprising number of calories and helps us to feel clearer in our minds, fights stress and betters our mood. Take a stroll around your neighborhood or go walking in the park and you'll soon start losing weight - and because you've incorporated this gentle exercise into your lifestyle, excess weight will stay off, you'll have added years to your life and toned your entire body, including your heart.
2. Challenging Hill Walking
Hill walking is obviously more strenuous than taking a turn around the park and you might find it a little hard at first, but it's so worth the effort, if you want to burn off calories, but cannot stand the idea of exercising at a gym. Ask at your local tourism office about hiking trails and maps; there might even be free guided walks and hikes on offer. It's a great and effective way to lose weight and improve your health - best of all, you can enjoy it with your family, helping everyone to shed weight and get a healthier heart, while having fun.
3. Speed Walking
How much weight you are going to shed will not only depend on the length of your walk and how often you do but also how fast you walk. Longer walks will get you into shape faster, but the speed at which you walk is still instrumental when you want to burn off more calories. Aim for 45 - 60 minutes walking over a period of 5 to 6 days, or daily, if needed, and increase the speed gradually day-by-day. After a week, you'll start seeing results.
4. Combining Walking with Other Exercises
During your walks you can take short breaks to do 40 squats, 40 jumping jacks and 15 push-ups to spice up your weight-loss game. These exercises have a higher intensity and will help you to get in shape even faster, because you'll burn more calories. Although this may appear like a whole workout worthy of gym membership, it's nothing like jogging or running or weight lifting. You are simply getting fit the gentle way; burning calories with less effort and sweatiness.
5. Alternate Short and Long Walks
Twice a week substitute a longer walk for your daily shorter routine. You will have built up your fitness level over time and can manage a bit more. Just by gradually adding a few miles over time, you can achieve your weight loss goal that much faster. If your usual walk is 3 to 4 miles long, add another 2 to 3 miles to your routine and see how much faster you'll burn calories.
6. Social Walks
Social walks are a great way to lose weight, get into shape and have fun at the same time. Ask your mom, dad, sibling, child, friend, spouse or neighbor out for a social walk to catch up with gossip, see what's changed in your neighborhood and exert a little peer pressure for everybody to get a little fitter and healthier. Reconnect with the people you love and cherish while losing weight and improving your heart's health. By adding the social aspect to your weight loss and exercise routine, you'll stay motivated.
7. Walking and Talking at the Same Time
People lead busy lives and sometimes you'll have to multitask in order to get things done. Although returning your phone calls while out walking will negate the de-stressing and relaxation element from your routine, it may occasionally be necessary to do just that to keep you motivated to carry on with your weight loss walking.
It’s free, it’s easy, it can be done anywhere and by anyone and it helps you lose weight. What’s not to love about walking?