You have to stay in shape. Exercise must be a priority in your life. It is just too powerful a fat fighter not to have it as an activity that comes before everything else. There is no way you can control your weight without it. Walking for successful weight loss is very straightforward. You don’t need any special equipment, you can do it often and regularly. It will unlock the door to a state of fitness in which your body is geared for losing weight and keeping it off, and is flowing with energy and vitality.
How Much Should You Walk?
It depends on whether you are walking moderately or vigorously. Walking regularly will help increase the amount of calories you burn and you will build more lean muscle walking every day and that helps you to burn more or those calories, even when at rest. Moderately walking for one hour will burn approximately 200 calories. Vigorously walking will burn 350 calories or more an hour. When performed at least three hours a week, vigorously walking will promote fat loss and greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Research has shown that people who burn up 2,000 calories a week and cut their risk of heart disease in half. You’ll also be actively burning fat at the rate of approximately one pound per week.
The Powerful Payoffs of Exercise
If your weight is out of control, you may be suffering from an imbalance between the amount of food you eat and the rate at which you burn that food for energy. You’ve been eating more than your body could use, so the extra has been stored as fat, thus you have become overweight as a result. Exercise is an important, necessary way to restore your body’s energy balance, in addition to moderating the quality of food you eat.
Exercise burns calories, provided that you do not take in a surplus of calories. Exercise accelerates your metabolism – the process that converts food into energy – so that you burn up more calories even at rest.
There is something else very powerful at work here: exercise and food behavior are interlinked, with a powerful connection operating between the two. If you exercise at on a regular basis, a rather amazing phenomenon occurs, without you being aware of it. You’ll begin to experience a weakening desire to overeat or binge. Your eating will automatically begin to change, and you’ll make healthier food choices as a matter of routine. Studies show that regular exercisers just seem to naturally eat more fruit and vegetables than their inactive, couch potato counterparts do. The carryover effects of exercise are related to the positive sense of well-being it produces. You feel better so you want to eat better. Living an active life gives you more power over your weight and your healthy than you can ever imagine!
Make It Motivating
So you decided to walk. You’ve made a great decision! Walking is very enjoyable and if you have a buddy to take with you, even more so. When you do what you enjoy, scheduling the exercise becomes so very much easier. Liking an activity and getting positive payoffs from it become cues in themselves for performing the activity.
Walking for weight loss is an exercise that can start out low-impact. If you have been very sedentary and you have a lot of weight to lose, you may have to build with time and practice. You will want to invest in a good pair of comfortable walking shoes and take a walking stick along for balance. Walking can be conducted in a quiet atmosphere, away from traffic, your work and other people, designed to bring about inner stillness and stress reduction. Start with moderate walking and build upon it if you have certain physical or medical limitations, and always check with your doctor when beginning any type of exercise.
Once you have some positive momentum going – meaning you’re exercising at something you like and you are scheduling your world to help you stay with it – you’ve got to gradually ramp up to make your exercise meaningful in terms of losing weight and getting fit. Exercise physiologists generally recommend that if you are overweight or obese, you should gradually and eventually progress to exercising five hours a week.
Aiming for Your Weight Loss Goals
As you shoot for this goal, you can’t just go through the motions, you’ve got to put some oomph into your exercise. This means if you’re walking without any problems, maybe you might want to pick up the pace and do some gentle jogging for a few minutes. If you are walking around the block two times, maybe it’s time to circle the block five times at an increased pace. I’m not saying that you have to sweat buckets or do huff and puff workouts until you are blue in the face. That might be okay for people who have exercised all of their lives and haven’t had to battle a weight issue, but it may not be okay for you, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time. In fact, if you jump into exercising with an extreme mentally, you may wind up injuring yourself, so gradually do more and take deliberate, progressive action to get there.
When you do push for more, you’ll achieve such a higher level of conditioning that you will feel better than you have ever felt. It’s considered an intense effort if you’re walking fast enough so that you can still carry on a conversation, but you are breathing a little faster. This means that your heart rate is in a good range for cardiovascular conditioning, and that you’ve reached a good target for fat-burning. With aerobic exercise at this level, you’ll burn more fat, and you’ll turn your heart into a stronger pump so that it beats less often but pumps more blood.
Add Strength Building to Your Walking
Another important recommendation for increasing weight loss and the fat-burning value of exercise is to add some form of strength-building activity such as weight training to your exercise schedule, at least two or three times a week. This will be a huge impact to your weight loss. Yes, aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming, and flexibility-enhancing exercises such as stretching and yoga are important – and yes, you should add flexibility components to your exercise program – but there are specific benefits that only weight training can give.
Exercising with weights burns fat and preserves muscle while you’re losing weight (nearly 100 percent of the weight you lose is pure fat if you weight train) and it strengthens your muscles, joints, and bones. Exercising with weights decreases your insulin levels so that your body is in better hormonal balance, and it makes maintaining your weight loss a breeze. In fact, a number of published studies have found that combining aerobics with weights stands out as a proven lifestyle strategy for keeping excess weight off over the long term.
Best of all, exercising with weights throws your metabolism into high gear so that you burn calories even at rest, without even trying. Each pound of firm muscle you add to your frame becomes a fat-incinerating furnace, allowing you to eat moderate amounts of food without worrying about gaining fat. Once you lose the weight you set out to lose, that new muscle keeps your metabolism purring along, and as long as you keep exercising, you’ll feel your absolute best.
A Word to Beginners
If you are emerging from a state of couch potato-ness, you’ll need to break yourself in gently and gradually. You’ve got to build up a little at a time. Let your physician know that you plan to start an exercise program and get an okay. The clock is ticking, if you continue to remain inactive, then the days, months and years will be wasted. But start today! Take a walk outside, even as brief as ten minutes. I guarantee that you feel better mentally, you’ll be energized, and you will have a better frame of mind and outlook on what lies ahead.
You’ve just got to make the move. Get those feet walking, it’s your weight, your health, and your life at stake. To help you get started, follow these 7 Tips for Walking for Successful Weight Loss.