Walking for health and weight loss is such a great way to get healthy and into shape that you’ll never look back. You should give it a try. It isn’t about going for a walk and then standing on the scales – no, walking for health and weight loss will pick you up and make you feel energised, happier and gradually slimmer.
This article forms part of a series on health and weight loss. The first article is about foods to eat and lose weight followed by how to exercise and lose weight and finally success with raw food diet and weight loss.
Ok, first off, remember that nobody’s asking you to go for a walk. Don’t let walking for health and weight loss seem like a burden. Not at all. In fact don’t even take up walking for the results. Take it up for the doing of it.
Live the moment as you walk. See it as a special part of your day and leave the benefits to come rolling in in their own good time. Just do the thing for the doing of it.
Go for a walk in an area you like, or even better, somewhere you find beautiful. Open your eyes and look around you. Let your inner voice say Wow!
How to Start Walking for Health and Weight Loss
You have to start off at your own pace. Make it your base rule to enjoy the moment. Everyone’s different, so whether you prefer to stroll or to march along – or something in between – do what feels best, just find the basic walk that you enjoy and make that your starting point.
Aim to walk as fast as you can while still enjoying it. The best secret to success when taking up walking for health and weight loss is to make sure you like it, so do what it takes to make it a pleasure for you. That way it becomes easy to include in your daily life.
Wear the right clothes, like these comfortable walking trousers because they will make a huge difference to how you feel as you walk. And either get yourself some walking shoes or, like me, walk in a pair of these Nike trainers. Before, I used to wear any old trainers but since I’ve had Nikes I find them so comfortable, I’ll always buy Nike again! (So if you’ve come across any other trainers as comfortable as Nike for walking, please let me know in the comments section – because so far, for me, these are the ultimate best.)
Classify walking as being a top priority in your life.
Walking for health and weight loss is important. In fact, it’s essential, and definitely as important as your other obligations, so treat it like that in your mind.
If you treat walking as a luxury hobby, you’ll never manage to go walking often enough because you’ll always be too busy. This isn’t a luxury hobby, this is your health and your life.
For me, walking to somewhere helps because that way I feel like it’s a job, something productive to do. I have to get home so I walk home from work, which takes 70 minutes. But because I’m going somewhere, the time it takes isn’t so difficult to donate.
By walking to get somewhere you make it into a useful activity instead of a hobby activity, and that can really help psychologically.
So if this resonates with you too, plan to walk somewhere, say to the shop, or to go and visit friends, or walk to your mum’s house for coffee instead of taking the car. Whatever it is, start to see walking as a permanent presence in your life.
As well as making a mission of walking every day, you can also change your small habits – all the small steps add up to large ones. So instead of taking the lift, walk. Instead of sitting, stand. Instead of walking to the gate, jog. There are loads of opportunities in the day to add a little extra step to your life, you just have to be aware of them.
Of course one perfect way to incorporate walking into your life is to have a dog and take the dog for a walk every day. That way you have a responsibility to your dog and get your walking in every day.
Why Take up Walking for Health and Weight Loss?
Walking can do so many great things for you. I really believe that it’s one of the best changes you can make to your life because it’s so neutral and natural.
It doesn’t put undue stress on your joints and can be tweaked to suit everyone. You can walk faster, slower, longer, shorter, uphill or on the flat – just get walking!
Walking is the most natural thing in the world for us to do. Sitting in a chair is completely unnatural and unhealthy. So stop thinking of walking as something extra and start thinking of it as what you were born to do.
And you can do other exercise too (I absolutely love doing yoga from home) and while we’re on the subject of yoga, my brother had the most amazing results. I wrote about it in the article on yoga for men over 50.
Some of the Benefits of walking:
Walking for health and weight loss . . .
- . . . gives you a moment to disconnect and let go of all your daily troubles – which is really good for your peace of mind and for your mood.
- . . . makes you feel much more energised.
- . . . tones your muscles – keeps you slimmer & trimmer.
- . . . helps to lower your blood pressure, so definitely take up walking if you’re prone to high blood pressure.
- . . . is reported to improve blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of coronary disease and improve circulation.
- . . . is shown to extend life expectancy & delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
I personally just feel so much better after taking up walking for health and weight loss and don’t ever want to go back to my non-walking lifestyle.
Tips for Walking for Health and Weight Loss
- Choose a walk you like and aim to do it every day. When you miss a day don’t beat yourself up, just walk again the next day or as soon as you can.
- Walk whenever you get the chance – as well as your scheduled walk.
- Start off slow and gradually increase the speed.
- Also build the length of your walk up gradually.
- Vary your walks so that you don’t get bored and also because it will make your body react more efficiently. If you do the same walk every day your body gets used to it and you won’t notice the benefits so much.
- Walk with someone else if you prefer not to be alone, so that you stay motivated.
- If it helps, walk to get somewhere instead of just a walk.
- Be present in your walk. Look around you and think of all the things you are lucky for and think, Wow! to yourself.
- Don’t look at what you don’t or can’t do – just build on what you can.
- When you have extra time, like on weekends or holidays, go for an extra long marathon walk. Variation is the key to success.
You will feel like you have more energy, more appetite for life, more joy and more fitness. That’s like being given a gift to feeling younger!
I hope you enjoy walking for health and weight loss. Please let me know how you include walking in your daily life, how often you walk and for how long.