Walking is an easily accessible type of exercise for many that can benefit your health. While many don’t have the time or want to pay to attend a gym to maintain physical fitness, walking is a readily available option. It can burn calories and help people lose weight and remain trim. Regular exercise also helps increase energy levels, maintain mental health, and reduces your risk of chronic diseases.
But it’s important to do your research before diving into a new form of exercise. There are a few things you should be aware of so you’re successful.
Walking to Lose Weight: The Basics
Typically, walking to lose weight requires you to keep up a brisk pace for about 30 to 90 minutes a day. If that sounds like a lot, you can also aim to hit at least 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week. This is easier said than done. When beginning a new kind of workout, you may feel like pushing yourself as hard as you can. But this kind of plan can backfire and cause burnout.
To begin, start off easy. Maybe try a brisk pace for 10 minutes a day. As you build strength and endurance, you can increase your time. You also may want to try walking a couple of times per week. Soon, you’ll find that you’re ready to walk several times per week. It’s all about starting slow and beginning to build small but consistent habits. Consistency in your walking routine is key to burning fat and achieving your goals.
It can be intimidating to set aside time to walk. But if you have a tight schedule, don’t worry. There are so many little ways that you can add walking in your everyday life. For example, take a walk on your lunch hour. That’s a given time that you can depend on five days a week. Choose the stairs over the elevators. While it may not seem like much at first, these small and sustainable changes quickly add up over time.
You should also take your age, health condition, and weight into account as these can influence how walking will work for you. If you have any questions regarding your health and if this is a viable form of exercise for you, consult with your doctor.
While it’s fantastic to have the motivation to commit to a new habit that will improve your health, you should also take time to make sure you’re taking care of your safety. One of your first concerns should be preparing for exercise. Before you start walking briskly and getting into your walk, make sure to do some stretches first. Then, start walking at a regular pace for about 5-10 mins. This will help you get warmed up and ready for more intense physical activity.
You should also get proper footwear for walking. Your shoes should give you support and be comfortable. You don’t want shoes that hurt to walk in or don’t fit properly, as this could cause painful blistering.
When you’re planning your walks, you may find that certain times work best for you. However, it may be best to try and make time for walking during the day. This way, you’ll have more visibility so you can safely navigate where you’re going, and others can see you. If you’re walking near a road, it’s imperative that other motorists can see you. Those that have more time early in the morning should also be cautious because the rising sun can still block a driver’s vision.
No matter what time you’re walking, you should always take precautions to make yourself as visible and safe as possible. Wear bright, reflective clothing so you stand out. Motorists will be able to spot you from further away and they’ll be able to adjust their driving accordingly. They would need to decrease their speed or put more distance between their vehicle and you.
If you are able, opt to walk in spaces designed for walkers. Paths and sidewalks are better than walking in the street. However, if you’re unable to find a designated area for walkers, then you should walk as far to the side of the road as possible and in the direction of oncoming traffic, so motorists see you moving toward them.
With these tips, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, these collisions can cause devastating injuries to a pedestrian. These situations usually result in needing to contact a car accident lawyer and you’ll have to go through the long, legal journey until your recovery.
Staying in check with what your body is telling you and maintaining awareness of your surroundings will help you with walking and losing weight. Keeping all these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to taking your health in a better direction.