When it comes to weight loss, many people believe that high-intensity exercises are the only way to shed a few pounds. But weight loss isn’t about the activities you do once in a while to improve your health, it’s about your daily routine. That’s why exercises like walking can have such a profound impact on your weight and physical health.
The Joys of Walking
The part about walking is that it doesn’t present itself as exercise. It’s easy to spend the day on your feet without even noticing how much energy you’re spending.
Because it’s low impact, walking doesn’t put much strain on the muscles and bones, making it suitable for just about anyone. With regular practice, walking long distance can improve muscle tone and boost cardiovascular health.
Walking for Weight Loss
The amount of weight you’ll lose by walking depends on your body weight and walking pace. The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn.
For an average-sized adult, walking 4 miles in an hour translates to about 400 calories spent.
Although you can monitor your weight loss by distance, it’s much easier to use a pedometer as you walk. By keeping track of the number of steps you take every day, the device can help you adjust your workout to meet your weight loss goals.
More advanced pedometers and weight loss apps will even calculate your calorie expenditure and recommend how many steps you should be taking each day.
- It takes roughly 2000 steps to lose about 100 calories.
- One pound is roughly equivalent to 3 500 calories.
- So you’ll need to walk about 10000 steps daily to lose 1 pound per week (1).
Although it may seem daunting to meet your daily goals, keeping track of your step count will help you stay focused on your long-term goal and understand the cost of eating high-calorie meals, which take a lot of physical exertion to burn off.
How To Get Started
Walking more isn’t a very difficult thing to do, you just have to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle.
For example, get off the bus early or park far away from your destination and walk a few extra blocks. You can also walk to the grocery store and take the stairs whenever possible. To maximize your amount of steps, start and end your day by walking around your neighbourhood.
To keep it interesting, walk to new destinations every once in awhile, like parks or different neighbourhoods. Listening to music can also keep you energized and make exercising enjoyable.
In the cooler months, bundle up and walk outside or join a gym and use the treadmill. If you have trouble staying disciplined, recruit a friend to go with you.
To get the most out of your workout, keep your chin up and your eyes straight ahead. Squeeze in your glutes and abdomen to keep your back straight.
If you haven’t been active for a while or you suffer from a serious medical condition, consult your physician before exercising. It’s also a good idea to ease into your new exercise routine by starting off with 15 to 20 minutes of walking 3 days a week. Gradually increase to 30-60 minutes daily.
Taking it to the Next Level
To increase the difficulty of your workout, quicken your pace and use arm and leg weights to increase resistance. You can also try sprinting or get on your bike to switch it up and make exercising fun.
For long-term weight control, it’s important to pair your exercise regime with a clean diet and relaxed mind.