So you’re ready to lose weight, but you don’t know where to begin. Maybe this is your first effort, or working out in a gym costs too much time or money. Well, that’s okay. You can start a free, fun weight loss exercise program without any previous experience or even any instruction. Just take a walk.
It comes as a surprise to more than a few that many dieticians recommend walking as a means of losing weight to beginners and experts alike. Why? It’s simple – walking is so effective because it is a simple way to get your heart rate up. And that’s really all you have to do. You lose weight by burning calories, and calories are best burnt by elevating your heart rate. What’s more, walking also strengthens your muscles. Building muscle tone can be awfully handy in losing weight, as muscles require calories merely to maintain their form – so you burn calories even as you sit working at a desk.
The most important part about walking as a weight loss program is consistency. Pick a time of day that works for you – morning, leisurely afternoon, after dinner. But keep it! Try and walk every day. A half an hour is good, but an hour is better. Walk slow, walk fast, just reach a point where you feel the effort. Here are 3 things that can help you stick with your weight loss exercise program:
1.) Pack a Punch With a Pedometer – Pedometers are small electronic instruments that measure how many steps you walk, by taking note of the up-and-down motion of each step. They’re inexpensive and weigh next to nothing, and you can wear them anywhere. Moreover, they’re scientifically demonstrated to encourage more walking in the span of a day.
In a University of Minnesota study, two groups of weight-loss walkers were told to walk as much in a day as possible. One group was given pedometers, and on average, they walked 2100 more steps a day than the second group – a 30% increase. You might find a pedometer will work for you, too.
2.) Switch it Up – The great thing about a walking weight loss program is that, if you don’t want it to, it never gets boring. Instead of walking the same route every day, go someplace different each time. Visit a part of town you aren’t familiar with, try the local trail system, or absorb the friendly atmosphere around your home. When you feel like you know the ins and outs of your walking route, make a new one.
3.) Partner Up – Find a friend with similar weight loss goals as yourself, and pick a time when you can both walk together. If you feel obligated to meet someone each day, it’s much harder to neglect your daily exercise. And so it’s much easier to lose weight.
Walking can be the perfect weight loss exercise program. It burns calories, strengthens muscles, and is simple and easy – not to mention fun. So give it a shot, you’ve only got pounds to lose and health to gain.