Walking to lose weight is possible.
In fact, it’s actually relatively simple to lose one pound per week by building the walking habit. More importantly, you can do it without following a fad diet or subjecting yourself to one of those grueling exercise programs advertised on television.
The trick to walking for weight loss is to understand two simple rules:
- Know how many steps you need to take every day
- Commit to this step count on a daily basis
The Health Benefits of Walking for Weigh Loss
If you’re planning on starting a walking regimen to boost your overall health and to lose weight, there are probably several questions on your mind.
How many calories does walking burn? Does it put undue stress on my legs? What about shin splints? Does it really offer cardiovascular benefits? Walk is recognized as a weight loss program.
- The American Heart Association recommends walking over running.
- Walking lowers bad cholesterol and reduces your risk for both hypertension and diabetes.
- The AHA and researches associated with the National Runners’ Health Study looked at more than 30,000 subjects and found that, “Medium-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and possibly coronary heart disease over the study’s six years.”
You’d probably be surprised that walking can often exceed the calories burned when running. This is in part because walking puts less stress on your legs, allowing you to exercise longer.
Get the Right Walking Equipment
To start with, walkers should have comfortable, loose-fitting workout clothes. Although cotton was the fabric of choice in times past, it’s better to have “wicking” fabrics that breathe easily and allow for moisture to pass through them. Such fabrics, which are available in many brands, also help reduce chafing in problem areas because they create less friction than cotton.
Women should also have a properly fitted sports bra, preferably made of wicking material.
If you’re going to walk when it’s hot, be sure to carry sunscreen, enough water and/or electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated. Watch for signs of heat-related injury and take appropriate steps to counteract them, such as finding shade and continuing to hydrate. After you’re “dressed for success,” you have to pick the right walking shoe. Select a shoe that fits well and is designed for the walking surface you will be using.
That’s it – a walking program is simple to implement. Add a fitness tracker to count your steps and see how you can walk those pounds off.