Walking for Health and Weight Loss
How Walking Can Enhance Weight Control Programs
If you are reading this article, then you may be thinking that it is about time you started being more active and getting off of the couch more. Gym memberships can be very pricey and with so many machines, it can be hard to know what kind of workout would suit you best. If the idea of wandering through a maze of sweaty people and dumbbells doesn't sound appealing to you, a great alternative could be walking for exercise. Walking for health and weight loss is free, easy and can be done in any location you choose and at any time you choose. It really is a workout that can be worked around your schedule, no matter how busy it is.
The first thing you will want to do is find a safe place to walk that has a minimum amount of hazards and traffic. Quiet streets that have city sidewalks are a good choice. A lot of neighborhoods in the suburbs have walking trails that follow serene paths through the woods. These also would be a great place for walking. If neither of those health fitness programs float your boat, most high schools have outdoor tracks that can be used by the public after school hours as long as the school's track team is not practicing. Lastly, many people have started walking in shopping malls. Walking up and down the steps in the mall is a great cardiovascular exercise.
A good pair of walking shoes is also important if you plan to do any long term fitness walking. These shoes need to support the arches of your feet, be comfortable enough to wear on long walks, and be durable enough to stand up to dirt, mud, rain or any other kinds of bad weather you may walk (or run) into while you are out.
Water is another important tool when it comes to fitness walking. You will need to take a good sized water bottle with you on your walks, as well as a healthy snack, such as apples with peanut butter to keep your energy up and your metabolism going strong for long distance walks.
Walking for fitness is about the easiest, least strenuous way you will find when it comes to burning a lot of calories in a relatively short amount of time. Walking on treadmills is better than doing nothing and sitting around, but actual walking outdoors has been proven to burn more fat and calories. When you first start out walking for fitness, you can simply do a few minutes each day and work your way up as your fitness level increases. Ideally, you should walk at least 30 minutes a day. Walking for even longer will only increase your benefits and burn more calories. Feel free to take breaks during your walks if you need it. Sit, have some water and perhaps a snack. Resume walking when you feel ready. Enjoy the scenery and the time you are spending improving yourself.
Pretty soon, you will start to notice a difference in the way your legs look and feel. The scale should also start showing a welcome change after a few weeks. Walking for exercise tones muscles all over your body, but is especially noticed in the legs and core muscles. Once you are used to fitness walking, try adding weights so that your arms get some exercise too. Swinging your arms while walking will also serve to burn a few more calories.
So there you have it. Getting fit does not have to be a huge production that takes hours, lots of money or leave you huffing and puffing. Just get some comfortable walking shoes and head out to explore the world. A lot of people wonder if walking will help them lose weight, and it surely does. While you're at it, you will be improving your health.