Dust off your Nikes lying dejected in the closet because it’s no secret that walking is still the holy grail of exercise. Enough with the excuses! Walking requires little of the participant: no expensive equipment such as walking shoes or gym memberships, lengthy time commitments, or strenuous exertion of anything besides your own two legs. You choose the speed of your pace, location, length of duration, and whether to walk indoors or outdoors. It’s also one of the easiest ways to encourage weight loss. Ready to start? Learn valuable insider tips on how walking can help you lose weight and belly fat.
Don’t Skip the Steps
You heard it, don’t skip the steps! Unless a painful injury forbids it, substitute riding the elevator for taking the stairwell, walking further around the premises to your destination… put simply, refrain from using walking shortcuts to get to your routine destinations. Though tempting as it is to shrug off extra activity (it won’t make a difference in the long run, right?), personal trainer Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S., highly recommends cutting the shortcuts. Speaking with Women’s Health Magazine’s website, Davis says, “Over time, the little bursts of movement here and there really do make a difference.”
Break It Up into Manageable Chunks
If you’re out of shape or just become bored after long stretches of walking, break up an hour-long walk into smaller, more manageable chunks. Davis tells Women’s Health Magazine that taking three twenty-minute walks a day is a good start. Shorter walks are not only great warm-ups for beginners; they are also easier to cram into a busy schedule. If you’re allotted fifteen extra minutes with nothing to do before heading to work, walk around the neighborhood. In some cases, taking shorter walks rather than going on one long run give better health benefits. A study by George Washington University cited by Womenshealthmag.com reveals that people had improved blood sugar levels, which control cravings, if they walked for fifteen minutes after eating a meal. trollingpowersolution.com suggest the use of all kinds sports and outdoors.
Count the Beat
Almost everyone enjoys listening to music. Consider curating a club-worthy playlist that will send you bouncing down the road to the beat! Studies cited by Mensfitness have confirmed that listening to music while working out minimizes the feeling of intensity by around 10%, consequently encouraging you to workout longer than normal. Mensfitness.com recommends curating a playlist based on the beginning, middle, and end of a workout. Place songs with moderate beats-per-minute levels (BPM) at the beginning of the playlist to warm yourself up for the workout. The middle should include a mixture of songs with both high (200+) BPM and lower BPM. Finally, place slower-paced songs at the end to cool down.
Rely on Accountability
Prevention.com suggests the use of technology, written records, and human companions to create accountability and spur improvement. First, monitor your walking activity levels, whether through an old-fashioned journal or a more Millennial phone app. Tracking your activity levels reaps many of the same benefits as maintaining a food journal. Record data such as how many miles you walked, the time spent walking, and how many calories you burned, calculated with a pedometer. You can track the days you did great as well as the days you slacked off, highlight your fitness milestones, and recognize helpful or problematic habits. Invite friends and family to join you on your walks, too. You can share weight loss goals and hold each other responsible for upholding commitments, including get-togethers at the park. Time will almost certainly fly by faster if you share it with your best friend. You may even surprise yourself to see how far you’ve walked due to mere distraction!
Burn, Baby, Burn
The million-dollar question of walking asks just how many calories one can burn on a walk. That depends on factors such as speed, height, and weight. A given rule is that the harder you work, the more calories you burn, whether that be walking uphill or walking faster. Bigger people also burn more calories than smaller people do. Livestrong contrasts the burn rate of someone weighing 125 pounds with that of someone weighing 185 pounds. The smaller person burns 270 calories while walking for an hour at 4 mph, but the larger person burns 400 calories walking at the same speed for the same length of time. The website suggests cutting back daily on 500 calories from a meal plan and walking 500 more off for a total of 1,000 calories lost, enough to lose 1-2 pounds a week.
Never Underestimate the Importance of Diet
Hold your horses on consuming that bag of chips, dear. Far too many people forget about the importance of diet in their quest to lose weight, and studies indicate that exercise alone isn’t as effective as diet in spurring weight loss. The New York Times presents a what-if scenario of an overweight man who consumes 1,000 more calories than he burns off. Jogging alone might help him burn 350 calories, but he has another alternative – cut out two 16-ounce sodas a day and avoid the same number of calories altogether. Better yet, do both! Eat right and exercise regularly to enjoy the health benefits of both eating clean and moving around. This rule is especially imperative for those who develop significant hunger pangs (and are likelier to grab the wrong kind of food) after exercising. Fill up on nourishing foods such as vegetables, legumes, and lean protein to banish that feeling of intense hunger, not refined sugar or carbs that will only prolong the unpleasant feeling.
You should be well on your way to achieving your weight loss goals by relying on the tips designed to help you succeed. Extend your walking route to a destination by taking the long road. Fit your daily walking goals around your schedule by breaking up a long walk into smaller portions. Crush it with an upbeat playlist of songs to keep you motivated. Walk with friends and family who provide emotional support and another distraction to prolong your walks! Finally, pair your activity with healthy food that maintains your energy levels for working out. Your hard work will be sweetly rewarded in the form of a svelte figure.