Whether you’re new to your weight loss journey or you’ve been at it for awhile, learning and getting into a good exercise routine can be daunting. There are many routes to take with exercise, with some people choosing group environments, others hitting the gym, some choosing to stay home and use online resources, and still others using the outdoors as their spot to workout. Regardless of where you’ve chosen to get your exercise, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Speaking of steps, many people think you have to be having tough workouts in order to see the numbers go down on the scale, but don’t discount the ability to lose weight through a healthy walking routine. Before you start walking with the goal to lose weight, there are a few things you should do.
Step 1: Talk To Your Doctor
This applies especially to those who don’t currently lead an active lifestyle. If you want to start from a clean slate, you should always consult your doctor to make sure you’re in good health. Once you get the green light, you can follow your doctor’s recommendations on the frequency and intensity. You might have to start with very brief walks at a slow pace, but through time you should see your endurance improve.
Step 2: Take It Slow
The best part about having a walking routine is that you can do it anywhere and you don’t have to have special equipment. Simple things like choosing a parking spot far away from the store entrance, taking stairs instead of an elevator at work, or walking to nearby places instead of driving can help you get your steps in for the day.
You should always begin your walks with a five minute warm-up at a slower pace to get your blood pumping and raise your heart rate. You should eventually be working up to around 150 minutes per week at a brisk pace, but you can build up to that. A brisk pace is described as being at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, which can be viewed on a heart rate monitor or fitness band. At this heart rate, you should still be able to talk but wouldn’t have the breath capacity to sing.
Step 3: Dress For Success
Make sure you’re dressing your best to ensure that you can be comfortable and safe for your walk. Invest in a good pair of properly fitting sneakers with good support so your feet can stay comfortable. Base your clothes on the weather, with loose fitting and lightweight fabric being optimal for warm weather and pants and a jacket for cold weather. You should also find a good, easy-to-carry water bottle that you can bring on your walks to avoid getting dehydrated.
Step 4: Work Up To 30+ Minutes At A Time
Once you start regularly walking, aim for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Your body will begin to burn calories from stored fat after 30 minutes of physical activity which will give you faster results than if you do more frequent, shorter intervals of walking. Depending on your weight, you can burn 200 to 600 calories in an hour. This can result in 1,000 to 3,000 calories per week, which will start to show when you step on the scale.
Step 5: Understand The Benefits
If weight loss alone isn’t a good enough motivator for you, you can take a look at other long-term and short-term benefits of losing weight. You will begin to see improved mobility, a decreased risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels, a decreased risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and an overall improvement in metabolic function.
Wherever you are in your weight loss journey, we want to help you. At NEWYou we partner with you to achieve your goals. If you have questions about our services and how we can help you become the new you, contact us today.