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Walking - The Best Way to Lose Weight!

 Most people would love to lose a few pounds and fit into their favorite old clothes, but for many, going to the gym is a hassle, or simply not affordable, and for people in their 60’s and up, certain kinds of sport are simply too difficult. The solution is walking. Walking is one of the easiest and safest forms of exercise, which almost anyone can do. Walking helps settle the stomach after a heavy meal, it’s a great way to get some “alone time”, or engage in conversation with a friend or loved one who’s walking with you. But how much, and for long do you need to walk to start seeing a difference?


Walking and You

While the exact number of calories and fat you burn is determined by your weight and build, the average person, walking at a regular pace of 4mph (6.5kmh) will burn approximately 400 calories during that time. You can even spread it out throughout the day,taking 25 minutes and walking one mile at a time.


Get a Pedometer

If you want to walk your weight off, it’s highly suggested that you get a pedometer, which will give you better information about how much you’ve actually walked, and provide you with a better breakdown of your exercise. Use the information you get from this device and it’ll help you balance your workout, and give you a better idea of how you may or may not need to change your walking routine.


The Cold, Hard Numbers of Walking

  • Walking 1 mile = 2,000 steps = 100 calories.
  • To burn 1 pound you need to burn 3,500 calories.
  • Average daily caloric intake =  2,640 calories (men) / 1,785 calories (women).
  • To lose 1 pound per week, you’ll need a 500 calorie deficit every day / 10,000 steps per day.
  • Fitting it in Your Daily Schedule:
  1. If you take the bus, get off one stop before you get to work/home and walk the rest of the way.
  2. Park your car further away from your destination, and walk the rest of the way.
  3. If you’re only going 1-3 floors, take the stairs.
  4. Find excuses to get up and walk around.


Stay Engaged

If you keep walking the same path every day, you’re bound to get bored. Why not take a different route, see different places, and try to combine some up/down hill into it. Try walking to different parks or monuments, and consider investing in a portable music player and listening to your favorite music, or catching up with your literature by listening to e-books. Invite a friend or family member to walk with you and have a conversation. And lastly, don’t let extreme heat/cold stop you - if the weather is keeping you indoors, get a treadmill and even walk in front of the television.



Limitation and Health Issues

Make sure to consult with a physician before you begin your new walking regiment. Your doctor may advise you on how much you should be walking, or recommend certain things you should before or after your walk, like taking certain medications, making sure to eat and hydrate, etc. If you’re out of shape, don’t go crazy and start walking for an hour straight away. Begin with a 15-20 minute walk and see how you feel after a couple of days, then add or subtract time and slowly build your stamina.



Final Pieces of Advice

  • Eat healthy.
  • Drink at least 3 liters of water per day.
  • Don’t be a hero - if it’s too hard, do a little less until you’re strong enough to do more.
  • Dedication is the key, so don’t give up and keep on walking!
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