By Jennifer Roche
Monday, July 2, 2012.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is “Does Walking Help You Lose Weight?”
Well, I am happy to say that it does and is one of the easiest ways to
get in shape. There are many benefits to walking but, here are some of
the most important ones:
Increases your circulation, heart rate and respiration, thus building a healthier heart and lungs.
Eases stress levels and is beneficial to the mind as well as the body.
A brisk walk before/after a meal can boost your metabolism, burn calories and improve digestion of food.
Regular walking improves muscle tone, endurance and fitness levels.
Boosts mobility after an illness or operation and can be a good way to start building to more strenuous activities.
how do I get started?” You might ask. The good news is you can start
any time. There is no financial outlay, you don’t need any special
equipment and it’s absolutely free. Whether you are a couch potato, a
desk jockey or a full-on fitness junkie, walking is the one activity
that everyone at any fitness level can do.
course, if you want to see results, you need to be consistent. That
means making the commitment to walk a few times a week. The recommended
daily walking distance is 5 miles a day or 10,000 steps. That may seem
like a tall order starting off but you can start at your own pace and
work up to that. Sure, it might be a chore forcing yourself out the door
in the beginning but once you get into the habit of walking regularly,
you will come to enjoy it and will soon be looking forward to it. Here
are some tips to help you get the most from your walking regime:
comfortably. That means ditching the heels and wearing shoes that are
comfortable on your feet. Wear a waterproof jacket in case of showers
but keep it light so you don’t sweat too much. Make sure you have
pockets to keep your hands free because you will want to swing those
arms when you walk to burn more calories.
it brisk. Walking at a brisk pace means you will be working that bit
harder and getting your blood pumping. You won’t burn enough calories to
lose weight if you stroll. If you have trouble with this, take along a
music player and listen to some up-tempo music to help you keep a steady
your step: A pedometer is invaluable in helping you keep tabs on how
many steps you have taken. Many phones come with this fantastic little
app or can be downloaded free. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can
buy a pedometer very cheaply in most sports and fitness stores. After a
while, you will find yourself trying to beat your record and pushing
yourself further each time.
a friend. Walking with a friend or family member will make the
experience double the fun. Instead of meeting your buddy in the coffee
shop, switch the venue to the local park and catch up on all the gossip
as you walk. If you have a four-legged friend give them some exercise
hydrated. You will get thirsty as you walk, especially in the summer
months. Take a bottle of water along with you and sip as you go. .
- Stay safe. Always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be away for. Don’t walk anywhere lonely. .
your walking. Everyone needs a little ‘me time’ and your walks can be
invaluable when you need some time away from the demands of work and
family. Use this time to mentally tackle anything that’s on your mind.
Exercise is a great de-stresser and by the time you return home, you
will feel much better.
Walking is one of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight
but as I said earlier, you need to be consistent. That said, if you put
in the work, you will see and feel the benefits. This summer, make
walking your go-to activity and see just what you can achieve!