Did you know that you could lose weight walking? Walking is so underrated people forget how important this simple movement is not only in getting from one place to the next but in working out key muscle groups as well. Why spend a lot on exercise equipment and spend hours in a dingy gym, when you can enjoy great views, nice conversations, and lose weight walking?
Walking involves a lot of muscles. You move your thighs and hips engaging the gluteus muscles in your butt and hamstrings. The major muscles in your thighs, including the Sartorius which is the longest muscle in the human body, get a good workout resulting in significant calorie burn. An average person walking about 4 miles per hour can burn between 5 to 9 calories per minute depending on his body weight. The heavier you are the more calories you burn walking. At this rate, a person weighing about 150 pounds can lose as much as 20 pounds in 20 weeks. That is probably not as quick as a heavy workout in a gym or a drastic diet but definitely more sustainable in the long run. As most weight loss experts will tell you, losing weight is easy – it is keeping it off which is difficult. Walking does not require as much effort and investment on your part so the likelihood of making it a regular lifestyle routine is that much greater.
Walking the Right Way
It doesn’t take specialized instructions to walk right because you have lots of experience doing it but you can do well losing weight walking by following some simple tips. First, you need to do a little warm up walk before going full speed. A leisurely 10-minute warm up pace should get your muscles ready. Then you can increase your pace to a rate where you can still carry a conversation. The target is to increase your heart rate by about 60%. Do this for 30 minutes after the warm-up phase. The ideal length of time walking is about 45 minutes but if you do not have that much time, you can do four 15-minute walks in intervals. Over time and as soon as you get the hang of walking, you can increase your pace to brisk walking which burns more calories.
Gear Up for Walking
Although walking does not require specialized gears, there are a few basic things you will need to prevent injuries and make your walk more comfortable. It is important that you wear the right clothing. It is best to wear layers of clothes so you can easily adapt to the temperature. It is also important to invest in good walking shoes. Technically, your running shoes are also great for walking because they provide sufficient cushion and flexibility. With walking shoes, the most important thing is to provide cushion at the ball of the foot which carries the most impact. It makes sense to buy waterproof shoes since you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. A cap to ward off the cold during early morning walks, a walking pole, a heart rate monitor and the all-important water bottle for hydration are some of the other things you can bring along your walk.
Walking is such an enjoyable experience especially when you do it with friends and in a place that has great views and interesting sights. It is easy to have fun and lose weight walking.