One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight is motivating yourself to get up and go. In an ideal world, it would be easy to lose weight without having to put much work into it, but the unfortunate fact is that there is no quick and easy way to shed those pounds. It requires persistent effort and a long-term commitment, and you have to be motivated to get moving on a daily basis.
This is the main reason why so many people fail in their weight-loss programs. Not only do you need to keep yourself motivated to eat well over a period of months, but you also have get yourself up and moving on a daily basis, and exercise isn’t always the most fun thing in the world.
Weight loss through walking
The good news is that with dedication and persistence you don’t actually need vigorous exercise in order to lose weight. With a light and balanced diet, you can actually shed your unwanted pounds just by walking on a daily basis. And what could be easier than walking? You don’t get out of breath. It’s useful for getting places. It’s scenic and refreshing. All in all, it’s one of the best weight-loss strategies out there.
But of course, no exercise program is perfect, and walking for weight loss does have its down sides. For one thing, you have to have patience. Losing weight through walking takes a lot longer than other weight-loss program, and you have to be willing to give it months before seeing the results. You can pick things up by increasing your daily distance walked, going faster, or introducing other exercise to your routine, but if you’re just doing basic walking, it’s going to take a while.
The American National Institutes of Health has found that adults require at least 10,000 steps per day in order to keep a healthy weight. However, the key component about this recommendation is that the 10,000 steps is for maintaining weight, not losing it. If you want to shrink your waistline through walking, it’s best to up this total to 12,000 or so, or else eat less food. Depending on the length of your stride, 10,000 steps works out to around 4 to 6 miles, or 60 to 90 minutes of walking.
Effective walking weight-loss program
The key to losing weight through walking is to make it a part of your everyday lifestyle. You’re not going to have success if it always seems like you’re forcing yourself to walk. This routine gets old after a while and can be hard to keep up. For real results, it’s important to adopt a more walking-based lifestyle. This is harder for those of us who live in areas that are not very pedestrian-friendly, but it can be done.
Everyone’s life is different, so it’s ultimately up to you to determine the best ways to integrate everyday walking into your life. But as a general guide, here are some important ideas that you might want to consider:
• Drive less, walk more: Look for aspects of your daily routine where your driving can be reduced in favor of walking. Unfortunately, many of us simply have to use our cars to get to work and even just to the store, but if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where walking places is safe and easy, then give up your car wherever possible. Meanwhile, you can increase your daily steps by parking further away from your destinations.
• Pedometer: If you respond well to goals, then you might want to actually count your steps by wearing a pedometer throughout the day. This way, if you get toward the end of your day and your pedometer shows 8,000, you’ll know to take a quick walk before dark.
• Walk early: If you save your walking until the end of the day, the pressure to get those steps can become a stressful hassle. Make things easier on yourself by walking early. Even if you don’t get your full 10,000 steps first thing in the morning, your morning progress will take away the strain.
• Give it time: Again, the only way to lose weight through walking is to give the program enough time to work. It’s going to take months, so keep it up and have faith that your efforts will pay off.