Have you wondered “Can I lose weight walking everyday?” Would you be interested in a daily walk if you could lose a few pounds and have more energy? Have you ever noticed that people who get out and start walking lose weight or start to slim down?
I have always enjoyed my cardio exercise on a stairmaster. I know, you think I’m crazy, but really I liked the fact I could jump on it whenever I wanted, my stepping time was never weather dependent and I could read a book while stepping. Last year, we got a dog and now I have worked up to walking the dog three miles a day. Today, I thought I would do a little research and see what benefits, in addition to weight loss, walking provided. What a pleasant surprise!
Health Benefits of Walking
The good news is, walking is a low impact activity. Studies have shown that people who get out and walk have lower risks of cancer, heart disease, live longer, less risk of stroke and walking strengthens the joints and muscles. Many even say that walking helps with mental and spiritual health. Is this enough to make you lace up your walking shoes and hit the sidewalk? Wait, there are even more benefits. Walking can lower blood pressure and is a good stress reliever-and who doesn’t need a little stress relief nowadays?
Walking for Weight Loss
Getting into the practice of walking 30 minutes a day can result in weight loss for anyone regardless of where you live. The reason is that walking burns calories, and even if you never thought of planning a walking exercise for weight loss it is easy to begin. It is good to have a decent pair of walking shoes but some people like to walk barefoot on the beach or in a park and that is fine too. Just this past week I even tried walking in grass and found this was a great workout-it was a change from the typical sidewalk.
Starting a Walking Routine
If you want to start a walking plan, you may want to pick a time of day that you can commit to regularly. That way it becomes integrated into your routine, and will become something you look forward to. The amount of time you walk is up to you, but if your main goal is to lose weight, walking 30 minutes a day is probably the minimum. As you progress, you may find yourself drawn to jogging or running, and walking can be a great preparation for the body to begin this higher level exercise program.
Finding a walking partner will also help in keeping up the routine over the long haul. Did I mention that my walking partner is a dog and that he expects his walk rain or shine?
There is even a pretty nifty app that can be downloaded on your smart phone called Map My Walk. This app tells you how far you have walked, how many miles per hour you are going and tracks the routes you take. This app also keeps track of all of your walks over time so that you are able to see your progression with distance, pace and time. The feature I find most helpful is at every mile marker, the phone will tell you how many miles per hour you walked that mile.
Nutrition and a healthy diet in addition to your walking routine will most certainly help with weight loss.
Where to Walk
I personally like to just get right out and walk on the sidewalks, but if you don’t have sidewalks available, you can always mall walk or use a treadmill. You could also walk instead of driving or parking a little further from your destination to get in a brisk walk. I think you will notice that getting in 30 minutes of walking a day is both natural and easier to accomplish than you may think.
What benefits can walking do for you?
Just think you may find the time is valuable for thinking over your day’s plans and activities, and can be a relaxing stress-free break from your routine, your muscles and joints are strengthened, and the blood can circulate in the entire body creating a feeling of refreshed well being. No matter what the weather, walking is an easy activity to do every day whether you are at home or traveling. And the best part is that it is free!
Have you thought about a walking routine to lose weight? Do the other health benefits that walking provides inspire you to give it a try? Please share your thoughts, successes, challenges and ideas in the comments section below.