Walking Off the Weight
There are two primary components to every weight loss program: A healthy eating plan and a good fitness program. Oftentimes people are moderately successful with the eating part of their diet, but have a hard time with the fitness part. The more overweight and out of shape a person is, the harder it can be to exercise on a consistent basis.
The best exercises for weight loss are cardiovascular ones. These are the exercises that really get your heart pumping. Unfortunately, for cardio workouts to be successful you need to be able to do them for an absolute minimum of 20 minutes. Most dieticians would say that 45 – 60 minutes is the ideal cardio workout range if you want to maximize your weight loss.
For someone who is not in the greatest physical condition this can be a very hard goal to reach – sustained cardio exercises can be extremely grueling. If you are just starting out, or you have physical injuries that make intense cardio sessions impossible, you should consider walking as a good lower intensity alternative to exercises like jogging. In fact you do not even need to walk at a brisk pace; going out for a leisurely 2 mile stroll will actually burn more calories than if you went for a faster more intense 3 mile walk.
In the long run more intense walks are what you should be aiming for so you can get an aerobic workout and build your endurance. What is nice about starting out with easy walking is that if you combine it with a good eating plan you will definitely lose weight. It also allows you to ease your way into those higher intensity workouts. You can slowly build your endurance and strength overtime. One of the biggest mistakes that new dieters make is trying to jump immediately into a high intensity diet plan from day one.
That kind of dieting almost always leads to failure. Condition your body slowly overtime; you will make it into the high intensity range without even realizing it because you are allowing your body to get there naturally.
One of the nicest things about walking to lose weight is that you will be able to have longer cardio sessions. Take advantage of this. As mentioned above the most effective cardiovascular exercises should last about 45 – 60 minutes. With walking you will find that after that 60 minute mark is up you still have plenty of energy, try to push yourself for another 20 – 30 minutes and you will drop the weight faster than you ever thought possible.