Small Steps that make Miles of Difference to your Fitness and Well-being
Taking a walk every day is like biting the proverbial apple. You can keep the doctor away, just by moving your feet.
Not a fan of sweaty, rigorous workouts? Then, walking is perfect for you. No need for gym memberships, or expensive equipment. All that’s needed are your feet and a pair of good quality walking shoes, and you can walk your way to “Better Health.”
From shrinking your jeans size to helping you reduce blood-pressure, preventing diabetes and improving mood levels, there are a ton of benefits of regular walks.
Read on to find all that you need to know about Walking to Lose Weight.
7 Incredible Benefits of Walking Every Day
#1: Burn Calories Effortlessly
An hour of regular walking coupled with a healthy diet is the easiest way to shed off the extra flab. The number of calories you burn depends on the distance covered and the speed.
#2: Cut your Risk of Chronic and Lifestyle Diseases
Walking is an excellent way to improve blood circulation, thereby keeping cardio diseases at bay. Regular walks increase bone density, preventing osteoporosis, arthritis and other bone-related diseases. Studies also reveal that walking can even prevent breast and colon cancers and reduce your chance of contracting diabetes.
#3: Improve your Mood
No more, searching for sugary pick-me-ups or cups of coffee to get you through the day. By including walks in your daily routine, you boost endorphin and dopamine production, reducing your stress levels drastically.
#4: Your Creative Juices start Flowing
Whether you’ve been stuck in a rut or facing a tricky problem at work, moving your feet can spark creativity. A brisk walk perks your energy levels and lifts the cobwebs crowding your brain.
#5: Reduce your Tummy
Walking increases your body’s response to insulin, helping you reduce belly fat. In fact, walking is one of the best ways to reduce overall body fat, without slogging out at the gym.
#6: Strengthen and Tone your Muscles
Walking keeps more than your heart happy. Regular walking strengthens your leg muscles, especially the hamstrings and quads, joints and bones, making your legs shapely and strong.
#7: Curb Stress Eating
With regular walking, good sleep, and meditation, you can finally put an end to stress eating, the No.1 culprit for sneaking junk, fatty, and sugar-rich foods into your diet. Walking boosts your happy, feel-good hormone production, thereby putting an end to empty calories in your diet.
What do you need to get started?
- Walking shoes that fit correctly without hurting your feet
- Comfortable tracks and t-shirts
- A pedometer to track your steps
- A fitness app, of your choice, to analyze your walking patterns
- An energy boosting playlist
- A sipper to stay hydrated
The Game Plan to Shed off Extra Pounds by Walking
- Count your Calories
While walking is a great way to lose weight, you need to keep tabs on your calorie intake. Use a calorie tracker app, to reduce your calorie intake and reach your ideal weight faster.
- Gradually Increase your Speed
Start by walking for 15 – 20 minutes at least thrice a week. Aim for a speed that makes it comfortable to talk while you walk. Once your body gets accustomed, increase your pace. Aim to include a brisk walk, five times a week, for around 30 – 40 minutes each day.
- Interval Walk
This is one of the best ways to shed those extra kilos. In interval walking, you change the pace of your walk after every minute. Walk at a medium pace for the first minute, increase your speed to a fast walk the next minute. Alternate for as long as you can.
- Tweak your Diet
Add a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in your diet. In fact, vegetable smoothies make for an excellent post-walk drink. Don’t forget to boost your calcium intake. Drink milk to strengthen your bones.
- Tone your Body
Practice Surya Namaskar and other yoga asanas to tone your muscles. You can also try Pranayama to relax, rejuvenate and regularize your breathing.
- Increase your ZZZZZsss
To reap the benefits of walking, try to get at least seven hours of shut-eye at night. Adequate sleep not only helps you feel refreshed but also ensures that you don’t end up feeling groggy and tired during your next walk.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts while Walking
- Do try to go in for an early morning walk. This not only peps you up for the day but also helps your body absorb Vitamin D from the first sun’s rays of the day.
- Do increase your pace if your goal is to lose weight. Remember, the faster you walk, the more calories you burn.
- Don’t walk immediately after eating. It affects digestion and slows down breaking down of food.
- Don’t drink plenty of water during the walk, as it may harm your respiratory system.
- Do drink water before your walk or five minutes after completion.
- Do focus on the horizon or an object ahead of you. This helps you maintain a healthy neck position.
- Do keep your belly button tucked in. This helps to flatten your abs.
- Do focus on your backside. Try to tighten your bottom muscles as each foot hits the ground. This helps in toning your butt.
- Don’t over-stride. This is a common beginner mistake and can even lead to injuries. Walk as naturally as possible.
- Don’t tense your upper body. Your hands and arms should stay relaxed to avoid sore muscles.
It’s time to strap on your walking shoes and walk your way to a Better You!