Weight loss is a struggle is commonly experienced by many who live in industrialized nations and follow a standard Western diet. Researchers have found that individuals who consume a plant-based diet have a significantly less risk for becoming obese. (1,2) Those who want to take off the extra weight are faced with many different options for diet plans, supplementation and exercise programs. However, the basic concept for weight loss means that an individual exists in a negative calorie balance. This means that you eat less calories than you expend.
Research has shown that it through incorporation of exercise into any diets plan or weight reduction routine that you will increase your chances of success. (3) One of the most commonly recommended exercises for individuals who are overweight is walking because it is gentle and a very nonthreatening way of including exercise into a lifestyle that thus far has not had any.
Some people find the thought of exercising totally debilitating. They watch others sweating profusely while pumping iron, running were doing aerobics and it is enough to make them turn and walk away. But, one of the greatest, simplest and most convenient type of exercise doesn’t require sweating, extra equipment or even the gym. Walking is a means of weight loss exercise will meet the goals of any weight loss program, while gently easing you into a routine that will improve your overall fitness and trim your waistline. (4)
Walking is something that we all do each and every day. But, learning to walk as an exercise routine and to improve fitness is different than the standard walk around the block. For example, a walking weight loss routine should be a sustained activity over 30 minutes. You are most likely going to be walking outside, although Mall walking is just as effective and sometimes more social. Sustained walking, with arms swinging and blood moving faster than the sound of sludge, can sometimes place more stress on joints and muscles if you change your regular gait.
Keep in mind that using supportive shoes to protect your feet, knees and hips is an important addition to your walking program. Although it might be tempting to use the old sneakers in the back of the closet that you use for mowing the lawn or wading through mud puddles, be aware that these will lead to injury that will sideline you for weeks at a time. Also use well padded socks to prevent blisters and sores.
Wear loose fitting clothing so that your arms and legs are not restricted. You might feel you look better in tighter clothing, but remembering to keep your abdominal muscles tight the entire time you are walking will likely decrease your enjoyment. And no one continues doing what they don’t like doing.
Walking is inexpensive, peaceful and can be quite fun when you do it with friends or a support partner. Even when you walk alone, research shows that many creative and inventive solutions to problems will find their way into your brain as the blood flow increases and you are quiet and calm.
If you aren’t able to walk with friends or a support partner then you can use music to continue to keep yourself motivated. Walking with music helps to pass the time more quickly, take your mind off the task at hand and help you keep a good pace. Use a good pair of headphones that are comfortable in your ears for at least 30 minutes each day.
While walking with music may be fine, walking with a cell phone does not make good sense. You may be tempted to talk for those 30 to 45 minutes but you will also be increasing the amount of radiation to which you are exposed each day. Using a cell phone also decreases your awareness of your surroundings, which means you will not hear as many cars or see as many obstacles. You also may be tempted to walk slower so that you don’t sound out of breath to the person to whom you are speaking.
These walking routines should be an activity you enjoy and continue. Pace yourself so that you are comfortable. You will want to be slightly out of breath so your metabolism continues to increase, but not so out of breath you can’t hold a conversation.
Enjoy your time away from the house and away from other obligations clear your mind and increase your motivation. You’ll find you are more productive and less time while achieving your weight loss goals. This is the best of all worlds!