How to Lose Weight by Walking
With all the complicated machines emerging to aid weight loss, we seem to be missing out on one of the most effective, most basic and definitely one of the cheapest forms of exercise – walking. When done every day walking can burn calories, reduce blood cholesterol and improve bone strength. Not only that, there are no special equipments required and it can be a form of social activity which just makes doing it so much more fun than actually going to the gym.
When you decide to start walking for weight loss, be sure to make the necessary steps to protect yourself from possible injury. For example, look for the most comfortable pair of shoes you can find, a water container, comfortable clothes and perhaps an iPod. If you want an accurate reading of the calories you’ve burned off, then you can also purchase a heart rate monitor.
Like most exercises, it is important to perform a warm up prior to the exercise itself. Try stretching for a few minutes or even walking in place just to get the blood pumping. After walking, you should stretch your muscles again to help them relax.
Where to Walk
Walking has the novelty of being useful and enjoyable at the same time. You can walk around parks or your neighborhood depending on the amount of time you have for the task. However, if you are targeting to burn a specific level of calories, then the result will depend on your speed and current weight. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, calories burned walking will be 80 calories at 2.0 mph, 74 at 3.0 and 102 at 5.0 mph.
Additional Walking Tips
Make your walk as natural as possible with swinging arms and breathing deeply. A good posture is vital with the shoulders relaxed and the head comfortably lifted. You can change routes if you want while still covering the same distance. Challenge yourself by walking up and down hills, but don’t do so if you’re having hard time breathing. Once you get used to the program, upgrade your exercise by adding to the distance or perhaps the intensity of your walks. For added convenience you can take an iPod with you and listen to music or even better, have a friend walk with you for added motivation. Walk for charities is also an excellent way to practice you new found hobby as well as contributing to a worthy cause.
You can also add a bit of jogging to your walks. However, studies show that there is no significant difference in calories burned between walking and running/jogging. What it actually breaks down into is the distance covered by the exercise. So basically, if you continually up the length of your exercise, you should be burning more calories than a runner who runs within a prescribed distance. Also, for your weight loss campaign to actually work, you will need to pair a proper diet with the exercises. Make sure that you are maintaining a proper diet as well as a routine exercise such as walking for weight loss.