Walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do and it offers incredible health benefits.
Brisk walking helps you lose weight, develop and tone existing muscles, and even maintain bone density. And you can incorporate it into your routine pretty easily.
Can you walk to work or at least get off the bus a couple stops early to get some walking in?
Take the stairs instead of the elevator?
Park in the furthest parking spot?
Even a little bit of extra walking can make a big difference if you do it every day. Just by adding a deliberate 15-20 minutes of walking to your routine you can lose a few hundred grams every single week, that’s before you set foot in your local EFM club!
How much weight do you lose while walking?
How much weight you’ll lose depends on your current body mass and the speed you walk at, but most people will lose around 60 calories per kilometre. If you walk 6 kilometres per hour (this is a fairly common speed) you will burn 360 extra calories for each hour of walking you add to your weekly routine. Can you see how adding 15-20 minutes per day of extra walking can really add up?!
One of the best ways to track your progress and stay motivated is to purchase a high quality pedometer. A good pedometer will allow you to set a number of steps you want to take each day—10,000 steps is a common goal—and track your success in getting there. Many also come with little games and rewards programs designed to keep you motivated to walk more.
You want to purchase the pedometer before you start walking more. This way you can track yourself on a normal day and figure out how many steps you currently take each day. Once you know how many steps you take normally you can figure out how many steps you need to add in order to actually start losing weight.
Some pedometers also track the number of calories burned and/or kilos dropped as you make progress.
For most people, it is suggested that you aim for 10,000 steps per day to start consistently losing weight.
10,000 extra steps sounds like a lot but you’d be surprised how easy it is to incorporate the extra steps into your day. Here are some ideas for getting more walking into your day:
- Go outside for lunch – Get away from your office, down the stairs and out of the building. If you can find a green space to eat lunch in you’ll really start to love this part of your routine
- Take the stairs – Nobody really likes climbing stairs but it is certainly a great workout. Opt to always take the stairs and you’ll be amazed by how many more steps you’re taking
- Walk to the supermarket – Forget to purchase something on your last big grocery shop? Need something from a convenience store a few blocks away? Walk there instead of taking transit or your car
- Walk to work – You don’t have to walk the whole way and you don’t have to walk both ways, but at least try walking to or from the station
- Walk the kids to school – Do you usually drive the kids to school on your way to work? Leave a little earlier and walk them instead—it’s good for everyone
- Always park at least a block away from your destination and walk the extra distance
Walking is one of the easiest, most effective ways to lose weight and improve your overall health. Incorporate more of it into your weekly exercise routine and you’ll reap the rewards.