WALKING…IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
One of the things I have learned is the connection between weight loss and walking. I started walking some months ago and have really enjoyed it. Walking can make a difference in your overall health.
A few months ago, my department held a pedometer challenge at work. I decided to join and I am so glad I did. From February 1 to May 1, 2017, I ended the challenge with a total of 1,209,001 steps! I definitely saw a difference in the way my clothes fit as well.
I have since joined another pedometer challenge. I do everything possible to get my daily steps. Try some of my ideas below to incorporate steps into your day:
• Walk around the house while on a phone call
• Park at the far end of the parking lot of the grocery store
• While in a store, push the cart up and down each aisle
• Step in place while watching T.V. at home or standing in store lines (warning: you may get a few strange looks)
• Take long walks in your neighborhood
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work
• Incorporate a variety of other exercises you enjoy into your day
Even in inclement weather, you can still get steps in around the house. There are also walking DVDs available. It is amazing how quickly steps add up just by walking in your home even while doing household chores.
There have been studies that suggest people who increase their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits. If you are someone who is just starting an exercise regimen, start with what is comfortable for YOU. It may be a good idea to start out with a smaller target number of steps then work your way up. That is completely up to you and your doctor to decide. The main thing to remember is keep moving!
WEIGHT LOSS AND WALKING
Something great to incorporate while you are walking for weight loss is interval training. This is when you intermittently boost your heart rate by walking faster, or with a slight jog, for a while then bringing your heart rate down with a slower walk. Doing this interval training is a great way to work out because it helps you burn fat faster. You may decide how many sets and how long each set of intervals training you would like to incorporate during your walk. For example, you may choose to start walking at a slower pace for five minutes, then start walking faster or slight jog for one minute.
When walking, keep some of these tips in mind:
1. Choose flexible yet comfortable, cushioned, and lightweight shoes for walking. Having the right shoe will give you the comfort needed but also maintain your health so that you don’t obtain injuries.
2. Walk briskly to music to help you stay motivated. There are all types of technology-related items that allow you to have your favorite workout music playing while you are walking. Try synchronizing your steps to the beat of the music and this will help your motivation as well.
3. Walk shortly after you wake and before breakfast to lower body fat. How does this happen? Because carbohydrates we consume turn into glucose. Some of that glucose is stored as glycogen for later use. While sleeping, your body has depleted the glycogen levels, so when you walk first thing in the morning, instead of getting the energy it needs from glycogen, the energy needed will come from your body fat instead.
4. Count every step you make. While in the walking challenges, I made sure that I counted every step by always wearing my LifeTrak watch. It is amazing how much your steps will add up even as you are doing daily chores around the house.
5. Keep a journal of your steps. Recording information such as how many steps, distance of the walk, time of day or night and days you walk will increase effectiveness of your walking. If you can, try to get into a walking challenge with a friend or group of people. A little friendly competition will help you stay motivated to get those steps in every day as well.
6. Don’t let yourself become hungry during the day. Therefore, take a pack of almonds with you on your walk. Almonds are said to give you a fuller feeling and the last thing you want to do is go on a wonderful walk then eat more than the calories you burned.
7. If you are not a morning person and like to walk later in the day, consider walking after dinner. Research has found that walking after dinner is helpful in the aid of digestion, lowering blood sugar, and burning calories for weight loss.
HOW TO OBTAIN EVEN BETTER RESULTS
Would you like to obtain even better results? One way to obtain even better results is making sure to get your steps in daily along with incorporating a healthy weight loss program could help you obtain even better results. Make sure you do your homework to choose a program that is nutritional and going to work for you. During my pedometer challenge, I decided it was a great time to eat healthier. It resulted in awesome results and I started what I call “shopping in my closet”. I am now able to wear clothes I haven’t been able to fit in years!
Another way you may obtain better results is to add light hand or ankle weights while you are walking. However, before using weights while walking, consult with your doctor. Adding weights can burn an average of 5 – 15 percent more calories. Using dumbbells or wrist weights, is a great way to increase calorie burn as well as activate muscles in the upper body. Walking with ankle weights results in more calorie burn and combines cardio with strength training. If you decide to use ankle weights, it is recommended you limit the weight to no more than three pounds. Any more weight than that may result in discomfort or injury. Before walking, insure ankle weights are strapped on securely and remove them if you experience any discomfort or pain.
If you are a beginner, do not start walking using weights. Instead work yourself up to using weights so that you can first become familiar with exercising.
DO YOU WANT TO BURN EVEN MORE CALORIES?
In addition to those ideas above, there are other calorie burning activities you may want to incorporate into your walk.
1. Intervals – While this exercise will help burn more calories, your metabolism will stay boosted for a longer amount of time. How do you do intervals while walking? The below is an example of how you can incorporate intervals:
a) Walk moderately for one minute
b) Walk fast as you can for 30 – 60 seconds
c) Walk moderately for 3 – 5 minutes
d) Repeat steps b and c four or five more times during the course of your walk
2. Walk on Incline – Adjust your treadmill or walk on a variety of terrain. However, be careful when doing this kind of interval exercise if you have back problems.
a) On treadmill – incline 3% – 4%
b) Outside – hills
3. Use ski poles – This engages your upper body by getting your arms and body involved. To use ski poles correctly, remember to:
a) At 45 degree angle behind you
b) Push off them to propel forward
4. Swing your arms – By swinging your arms while bending the elbow and holding them at a 90 degree angle instead of hanging straight down, you will tone your muscles.
FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Walking can be very beneficial to your overall health. Try to get in at least 10,000 steps per day. To increase your results, incorporate a weight loss program and, if permitted, hand or ankle weights as well as intervals. It can make you feel better and have an impact on your weight.
Remember before starting any exercise or diet program, consult with your doctor.
Do you incorporate walking into your daily routine? I would love to hear from you.
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