As we're told so often these days, walking is a brilliant way to lose weight. It's fun, it's simple, it gets your blood pumping and your whole body moving, but most importantly it is something that most of us are doing already, albeit perhaps not as much as we should be.
-The Facts about Walking-
If you walked 10,000 steps you would burn 500 calories. 500 calories is the equivalent of:
- A McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese
- A large chocolate flavoured McDonald's Milkshake
- A 230g portion of spaghetti bolognese
- A medium Cornish pasty
There are two ways to get yourself walking more often in order to lose weight; and they are the easy and boring way, and then there's the fun, but sometimes more challenging way.
-The "Easy" Way-
- Ditch the car, and walk whenever you can.
- Get off the bus a stop earlier
- Take the stairs, rather than the elevator, but if you really must take the elevator up (because you work on the 100th floor!!) then try to walk down as far as you can!
NOTE: A lot of people use the excuse "it hurts my knees" as to why they won't use the stairs at all, and I must admit, I was once one of those people. But, from personal experience, I know as a fact that using the stairs actually makes your knees better. The more you practice it the quicker you'll see (or feel) the results.
- If you're using the escalator, don't just stand there waiting to get to the top (or end if it's an airport escalator!!), walk and get moving.
-The "Fun" Way-
- Join a Walking Group, you'll make lots of new friends and gain lots of support bases.
- Research places to walk along canals or in places of natural beauty and enjoy a day (or weekend) of walking in nature and seeing what is so great about your home country
- Use walking as an excuse to buy something that you really like but is a long way away - you can have it, as long as you walk all the way to get it (as long as it's not a big chocolate bar of course).
- Take your dog for a walk
- Take your MP3 player and listen to music as you walk; do you notice that your pace changes with each track that you listen to? Take this into consideration when choosing which tracks to listen to.
- Once you're going out of your way to actively make a bigger effort to walk, it's a great idea to keep track of how much you are doing. Invest in a good pedometer; but not just one that tells you how many steps you have taken, because that's not much use to you. Invest in one that tells you how many miles you have walked, and how many calories you have burnt. Start a journal, and every time you go out walking, or at the end of every day, make a note of how you've done.
- Set yourself goals; so you've managed to walk 10,000 steps, how about tomorrow you aim for 11,000 for example? But don't push yourself too far.
- Try to wear a comfortable pair of shoes when you go out walking, consider investing in a good pair, and make sure they fit you properly.
- Make sure that you drink plenty of water, and eat well to avoid dehydration and hunger
- If the weather is particularly hot make sure you dress appropriately and apply plenty of sun cream.
- Invest in a good pair of socks - there is nothing worse than rubbing or blisters. And always make sure you take a supply of plasters everywhere you go. You really don't know when you might need them.