A Beginner’s Guide to Walking for Weight Loss
Category: Healthy Living
The CDC recommends that adults get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. Unfortunately, most people aren't doing that. This leads to weight gain and serious health problems.
if you're trying to create a weight loss plan, you may feel overwhelmed. Working out consistently is challenging. Did you know walking for weight loss is a great way to get started?
We're here to talk all about how you can start walking to lose weight. Read on to learn more.
Get the Right Gear
As with any workout, it's important that you have the right gear for your walk. Luckily, you don't need much to get started in most cases. So what should you pick up?
It's helpful to have some sort of step counter or fitness tracking watch, but you don't need one per se. Your phone can likely also count your steps (with some level of accuracy, at least). Being able to track your steps (and your calories, again with some level of accuracy) may help you stay motivated.
You should also get the right clothing for your walk.
Get a good pair of supportive walking shoes. You're going to be walking a lot, so you want a pair that will support your arches and won't result in any pain. Make sure they're not too tight or too loose so you don't get blisters.
You want comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing. For cooler weather, leggings and joggers are great for staying warm while still being active. You don't want anything too loose because you may experience uncomfortable chafing.
Wear a comfortable sweatshirt or windbreaker as well as any other cold-weather items you need. If you warm up, you can always remove them later.
In the summer, shorts and loose-fitting t-shirts or tank tops are helpful. You can keep wearing longer pants if you're more comfortable, but you may get too warm to enjoy your walk.
If you plan to walk at home, consider getting a small treadmill. This way, you can walk in any weather or even while you're watching television.
Even if you're just walking, you want to start slow. People who "go too hard" during initial workouts tend to burn out and quit before they start seeing progress. There's no rush, so take it easy.
Even starting with only ten minutes per day at a relatively slow pace is huge if you've been otherwise sedentary.
Of course, over time, you want to increase your workouts. While the age-old advice of 10,000 steps per day is no longer considered accurate, the more you walk, the better.
Go from ten minutes to fifteen minutes, then to twenty. When you feel like you're capable of walking more, push yourself and do it!
You can also slowly increase your pace over time. While you may start with a slow walking pace, try to increase it until you're power-walking if possible. Perhaps in the future, you'll be able to maintain a light jog.
Mix In Other Workouts
Walking is good exercise, but if you add in other exercises to your workout plan, you'll see even better results. Other workouts are great for increasing your strength and mobility, which will make your walks more enjoyable.
If you can, do a faster ad more intense type of cardio at least once per week. You may need to work your way up to that point.
If not, consider adding low-intensity workout options like bodyweight strength training, pilates, and yoga. You'll improve your strength, stability, and flexibility while burning calories and improving your overall fitness level.
Make It Fun
It's no secret that walking isn't the most exciting workout. It's easy to lose steam and quit when you're not feeling engaged. Find ways to make it fun.
Consider making it into a game. There are several apps you can use for this, or you can try geocaching. Geocaching is an international game where people hide objects and other people find them using an online database.
Adding that extra adventure can make your walk more fun.
Walk with a friend or pet. Having someone to talk to or a pet to play with can make your walk go by faster. When you're walking a pet, you also know that you're responsible for their fitness as well, which may encourage you to go on a longer walk.
Set challenges for yourself to "gamify" your walk. Track your progress and reward yourself for completing certain challenges.
For the most part, walking is an incredibly safe activity. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your walk is safe. Here are some tips.
Walk During the Day
It's always better to walk during the day than at night unless it's too hot to walk. When you walk at night, it's harder to see where you're going and it's harder for other people to see you. This puts you at risk.
If you live in a high-crime area, walking alone at night may be even riskier. If you must walk at night, don't do so alone.
Wear Noticeable Clothing
Speaking of walking at night, you want to wear noticeable clothing. Bright and reflective clothing will help cars see you, so even if you're walking somewhere you shouldn't be, you'll be safer.
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Even in a safe area, you need to keep an eye on your surroundings. If you're wearing headphones, leave one ear free so you can hear cars or people nearby. If you're walking in a new area, consider having a map app available so you can find your way back.
Don't Be Afraid to Rest
Some people think you don't need rest days if you're just walking, but if you're brand-new to fitness, this may not be true. If you're feeling too tired, it's okay to take a rest day.
Just make sure you know the difference between a level of tiredness that you should push through and a level of tiredness that you should honor with rest.
Are You Ready to Start Walking for Weight Loss?
Walking for weight loss is a great way to start your journey toward an active lifestyle. What's stopping you? Get some nice walking shoes, open the door, and go for a relaxing stroll.
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