Walking helps you lose weight there’s no two ways about it, but it also helps you feel better in other ways too. For example, it gives you the ’me’ time we all need, time to listen to your favourite music or catch up with a podcast along the way. Block out the day and enjoy the time out from the real world. It could be a time to reflect on the events of the last few days. Plan your strategy for that particular sticky problem looming up in the not too distant future. A chance to clear your head to deal with the things in your life that may need a bit of a ‘time out’ to sort out!
You are getting the much needed fresh air into your body and stimulating the feel good hormones that go hand in hand with physical exercise. Physical exercise that is helping you tone up your muscle and burn off a few calories too.
Walking is something you were doing in the first year of your life and you are still doing it everyday of your life. You walk. Maybe these days you don’t do it as much as you should, but you still do it. It’s the simplest way to get some exercise and you don’t have to learn anything new to do it. You don’t have to buy any equipment or special clothes, although a good pair of shoes wouldn’t be a bad idea. So there’s a lot more to walking than just doing it to lose weight.
There has been a lot said about walking and it’s effects on weight loss. The amount of calories burned at 3.5 miles per hour over a distance of a mile. Who cares. If you walk you burn calories. If you don’t you won’t. There is however a better way to walk than just a stroll. Let’s discus the simple methods you need to know.
Make it a habit
Start with small steps (no pun intended). Don’t try being a regular walker by jumping straight in with an hour a day if it is too far removed from your normal daily patterns. 10 minutes at a time then 15 minutes and so on. Walking where you can, getting used to it and more importantly, enjoying it. Remember you can start by making every day life a walking workout. If you are walking to work or the shops for example, just walk like you are late! Choose to walk a bit more than usual when you get the chance and focus on it, walk like you are late. Get a little out of breath. If you do this focused walking a few times a day you will have already done your walking workout before you get home!
If this is not possible, just book yourself a slot of time before, during or after your daily routine. Try a 5 minute walk away, that just means head out the door in any direction and walk like your’e late for 5 minutes, stop, turn around and walk back. Pick 3 days a week to do this and repeat the behaviour. Your butt and your mind will thank you for it. Then add in more time, a different route and a longer distance to the behaviour and the new habit.
Your walking action
You walk how you walk, your personal physiology and mechanics will determine that. Everyone is different but try fitting these thoughts into your mind when walking, and focus on the action.
- Move your arms. The more of the body you use the more calories burned. Your arm swing is important for balance and better forward motion. Quite simply, swing your arms by you side, arms are slightly bent at the elbows and hands point forwards and elbows point backwards as you swing.
- Posture and head. Try to be as upright as your physiology lets you and focus on a point a few metres in front of you not the floor under your feet. In other words, head over hips, shoulders relaxed and head in line. Be conscious of you mid section too and try to pull it in as you walk and breath.
- Stride length. Again this depends on you and your bodies limitations and mechanics, but try taking a mixture of shorter, faster steps combined with longer, stronger and purposeful strides. There’s no wrong or right way, just walk like you are late!
Focus on you
This is your time with yourself, be mindful of how you are feeling. Enjoy the surroundings you find yourself in. Notice the fresh air on your face. Notice the sounds you hear. Say hi to the people you pass and smile. Alternatively, take a friend or two and have a good old natter as you go round and put the world to right!
That’s basically it, it’s just putting one foot in front of the other in the most effective way you can, whenever you can and as often as you can. Enjoy it and make it a habit. A new daily routine you won’t notice you are doing after a while, but your body will.
You can turn your walks into total body workouts too if you wish. That is a subject we cover extensively inside our online weight loss club. You can get a free trial on this and all the other fantastic material right here.
Now get your walking shoes on. Enjoy