Walking is the best exercise to lose weight. Whilst reducing calories will help you shed those unwanted pounds, you can help them stay off by walking.
Weight loss is, arguably, easy. How many times have you lost 2, 3 or maybe 4 pounds? The difficult part is keeping that weight off and this is where walking helps.
Hippocrates said ‘Eating alone will not keep a man well; he must also take exercise.’
A couple of generations ago most people incorporated sufficient physical activity in their normal daily lives to make separate exercise unnecessary. The same cannot be said today with our sedentary lifestyle packed with labour saving devices. We have to make an effort to exercise our bodies as it is simply not happening, for most of us at least, during a normal working day.
That’s why so many wonder about the best exercise to lose weight.
If you have been restricting your calorie intake to lose weight, you may have lowered your metabolic rate. Your metabolism is your body’s engine and like all engines it needs fuel (food). When the fuel is in short supply (when you are on a diet) the engine slows its burn rate to conserve energy so you actually start burning fewer calories and the rate at which you lose weight slows and plateaus.
Walking for 20, 30 minutes – or an hour if you have time – each day will help to increase your metabolic rate back up to a normal level. It’s what makes this the best exercise to lose weight. This in turn means your body has to look elsewhere for fuel and this is when it will start to raid those fat stores.
The beauty of walking is that you can start without buying special clothing or equipment; you can do it wherever you are in whatever time you have available.
You can buy a treadmill or walking machine to enable you to walk indoors – weight loss equipment can be really useful in keeping you to your weight loss work out routine – provided you use it for the purpose for which it was designed and don’t leave it in the corner of your bedroom to be used as a clothes rack.
In addition to helping you maintain your weight loss walking has been shown to reduce the risk of suffering from diabetes, stroke, a number of cancers and heart disease.
If you don’t have time to go for a walk be creative and think about the opportunities you have to incorporate walking into your normal daily routine. Walking is the best exercise to lose weight and it’s free, it’s eco friendly and it’s good for you.
Walking conditions and strengthens muscles, increases fitness levels, boosts circulation and has been shown to boost those naturally occurring brain chemicals that ward of depression. A lot of weight problems can be attributed to comfort eating caused by depression and the blues. Walking helps to lift the mood thereby reducing the need to eat chocolate and other serotonin containing foods.
So you are convinced of the benefits of walking but before you pull on your walking shoes, be sensible.
Do you need to check in with your Doctor before starting an exercise program?
Always remember to gently warm up those muscles before striding out and gently stretch the muscles as you cool down after your walk.
Be safe – think about your route, let someone know which way you will be walking or find a walking buddy.
Remember walking around a mall, a zoo or a park, whilst your children play, is all walking. And walking is the best exercise to lose weight!
Always carry a bottle of water with you and take the time to keep track of your progress – this will be very motivating on those off days when you lose your walking mojo. Being able to look back and see how far you have progressed can be inspirational.
Design your own walking weight loss program to suit your current fitness levels and combined with a healthy eating plan you’ll find the weight is not only lost but it stays off too.