Have you ever observed people on their morning walks and wondered if it really helps them lose weight? Well, you’d be glad to know that walking indeed makes a huge difference.
I for one, love to walk because firstly, its the easiest, most inexpensive form of exercising. Secondly, it does not require any equipment, except a good pair of sports shoes and thirdly, it also improves mental health.
Walking as an exercise by itself is not enough to shed those extra kilos, but if supplemented with weight training, a healthy diet and intense cardio, it can give you great results within a short span of time.
Walk and burn!
Remember one simple logic; if you consume X calories/day and burn Y calories, you will lose weight only if Y is more than X. ‘Y’ isn’t always the calories that you burn during a workout session, its also the calories burned throughout the day as result of your daily activities. This is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT.
Every muscle movement, each step counts! You can start by adding 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine. This will help you burn at least 150 calories a day. Needless to say, the more you walk and the faster your pace, the more number of calories you burn.
You can track your daily activities by means of a tiny device called pedometer. I would totally recommend on investing in a good quality pedometer like fitbit, to maximize your benefits from walking.
Sounds great, but how to make it more fun?
In spite of so many advantages, walking can get boring very quickly, causing some of us to quit the activity altogether. Do not worry! There are quite a few ways to make it more challenging to walk off those calories –
1.March to meet – Instead of driving to meet your friends, leave a little early on foot and meet them there. You can always take a ride back home!
2.Walk for chores – Instead of brisk walking only few times a week, try running errands on foot. It could be a short walk to the ATM, or shopping at your favorite supermarket, making bill payments, or even a visit to your hair salon. In case you’re out on a shopping spree, park your car a little away from the destination and walk it up.
3.Climb to burn – Say no to elevators and take the stairs instead!
4.The anger stride – When anger hits you, you hit the road. One of the most constructive ways of venting rage is through physical workout. Not only will you walk faster due to the adrenaline rush, but also, burn off your stress hormones. It’s a win win!
5.The opposite hike – Break the pattern by walking your normal route back home in the opposite direction. This will not only defeat monotony, but also awaken the explorer in you!
Summing up –
While walking maybe an excellent form of exercise, its important to keep it balanced. Overdoing it can lead to injury, burnout and soreness. Start at a slow pace and gradually increase the intensity and distance of your walks.
Once you have lost weight as per your goals, its important to maintain it. Studies suggest that people who are physically active on a regular basis, are the ones who’re able to maintain their weight in the long run.
Good luck for walking your way into fitness!