Walking is one of the easiest, most enjoyable and the least expensive way to get fit, lose weight, reduce stress, and improve your quality of life. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and desire. It's super easy but that doesn't mean is not effective. Find out how to start Walking For Weight Loss And Better Health.
Did you notice how I always emphasize the importance of regular exercise? It has such a HUGE impact on our mental and physical health, but many people still ignore that fact, and despite all health benefits, they still think that squeezing a workout into a busy daily schedule is not doable nor important... until health problems appears, and hopefully not too late they wake up.
The problem also may lay in the fact that many people picture "exercising" and visualize GYM where people struggle with weird machines, breathe hard and sweat while having some painful, crazy training. It's not the only way to exercise for health, you know. Many assume that less intense physical activity - like bike riding, hiking, swimming, and brisk walking (yes, WALKING) is a waste of time but in fact, any moderate daily exercise is excellent for health.
I was one of such person before. I had so many excuses because losing weight, and my health wasn't my priority. My wrong seeing of things kept me overweight and unhealthy for so long.
I'm not a gym / "no pain no gain" type (not many people are). But the simple truth is - there are so many ways you can exercise. Swimming, biking, yoga, pilates, zumba, gym, weight lifting, running... You just have to find a physical activity that suits you and that you enjoy and DO IT regularly. That means exercising for better health. It doesn't have to be only your dream, a wish. I'm living proof that morbidly obese person who never LIKED any exercising nor ever DID any physical activity CAN BE active and enjoy every second of it.
Exercising means performing ANY form of planned, purposeful physical activity with the intention of realizing some health benefits. Like I've mentioned above, walking at a brisk pace is considered exercise too. It's obvious actually since walking is a natural way in which we burn calories.
Regular brisk walking helps:
- Preventing or manage various conditions, like heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes,
- Strengthen your bones and muscles,
- Improves your mood,
- Improves your balance and coordination,
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
Walking is the most accessible form of physical activity and the easiest ways to get your body fit and into shape. You can even lose weight with brisk walking exercise.
When I finally decided to change my lifestyle, I knew that this change would involve moving my ass off the couch. I knew that I would have to find some activity and start exercising. I wasn't thrilled about that because my condition was in a poor state, and my knees were killing me. I knew it would be HARD. The only thing I could do at that point was WALKING - at the slow pace and short distance at first - but I decided to do it regularly every day and see what happens. And so I started. In just a few weeks I began to feel better - energized. That motivated me to go further with my walking and to push harder.
Here's how I started Walking For Weight Loss And Better Health.
I got the right GEAR for walking.
After I've done my first walking exercise in old flat shoes, I learned a valuable lesson - having the right shoes for walking is the most important thing. So next day I went shopping and got myself the walking shoes. When I choosing the shoes, I was looking for ones that got the proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles, that are lightweight and most importantly - comfortable. The second most important thing is clothes. Make sure you get some comfortable clothes appropriate for weather conditions.
I chose a walking ROUTE.
In the beginning, I didn't feel comfortable exercising around people, so I chose a familiar path through the park near my house where I felt relaxed and where I knew there are not many people around. Later, as I eased in my exercising, I chose a different route, but generally, I always avoided crowded places, sidewalks, and uneven turf to avoid getting injured. To make my walking exercise more interesting, I changed my route every 2 to 3 weeks.
I learned to WALK CORRECTLY.
Turning your regular walk into a walking exercise requires a little adjustment. Fitness walking requires a good posture, some arm motion, and proper foot motion to get the most out of a walking and to avoid injuries. So I learned that is important to keep your head up and look straight forward, keep your neck, shoulders, and back relaxed and to swing arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows - a little pumping with your arms is OK. Also for a stable core is good to have back straight and stomach muscles slightly tighten and walk smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe. Sounds complicated but it's fairly easy.
I turned on FITNESS TRACKER.
The standard for optimal health is 10,000 - 15,000 steps a day. That's around 5 mile. Devices like Fitbit or Pedometer can help you track those steps/miles. You can use the simple application on your smartphone, like Endomondo or Google Fit. At the beginning, I kept track of my daily progress with Endomondo and later I got myself a Fitbit which is much more convenient. Keeping track helped me stay committed and motivated me to walk more.
I established a WALKING ROUTINE.
The idea of "starting a walking routine," can seem daunting but it doesn't have to be. My advice is to start small and build routine slowly. If you haven't exercised in a while, your condition may be in the poor state - like it was the case with me. So it's important not to overdo it the first week. I started off with easy-paced, short walking sessions, 2 - 3 miles per day. After a while, I picked up my pace - from easy to moderate and made my walks longer, 4 - 5 miles a day. To get the health benefits from walking it needs to be moderate intensity activity at least 5 miles long, so aim for that in your basic walking exercise. If you are walking for weight loss - like I did, you will need to do 5 miles a day exercise at brisk pace varying the speed and intensity. After a while, I added an incline to my walks. I also started using dumbbells while walking. That way I did strength‐training while walking which made me burn more fat and calories. I set the goal to do walking exercise at least three days a week. That is a good and realistic goal for everyone, even for the busiest person. Later I upped my walking exercise to four to five days a week, depending on my schedule.
I did walking exercise INDOOR.
The will may be strong, but weather conditions sometimes makes it impossible to go outside and do walking exercise. But that doesn't mean you have to stop exercising. You just need to adapt your walking routine a bit. During rainy autumn and freezing winter days, I did my walking exercise indoor watching Youtube walking workouts. You can literally do it anywhere - even if you have small apartment, and you don't need a fancy equipment like treadmill.
I didn't forget to ENJOY AND HAVE FUN.
The most important element in creating successful long-term fitness routine is to make your workouts enjoyable. So find as many ways as you can to make walking fun. For example, create a playlist with your favorite motivational songs, put on headphones and start moving those legs. It exactly what I did and what kept me going. You can invite friends or family members to join you. Find new interesting places to do your walking exercises - like nature reserves, or riverside paths. I got to know my whole neighborhood quite good and I discovered some interesting places I didn't know even exist in my neighborhood. I met some interesting people along the way too.
The toughest thing about starting a walking exercise is developing a habit. But you only need to stick to the same routine for few weeks. It's totally doable. Trust me. Once you start to notice the change in your body and how you can do more and more each day, you'll get even more motivated. You'll get to feel much better too, which will boost your enthusiasm too.
Walking changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Not only walking helped me to lose 100+ pounds, but it helped me feel better and healthier. Also walking led me to start running which was one of my biggest goals. From couch potato to runner - imagine that.
With all this said, what are you waiting for?!