Finding the exercise that is the perfect fit can be tough, but for many, walking for weight loss is a great option. This is especially the case for the elderly, handicapped, or those with knee and back problems, though walking can be an enjoyable way to get up and moving for anyone. It has the added bonus of being a great way to relax and get some fresh air.
The key to losing weight is to eat less calories and burn more calories. For many, the burning calories is the real challenge. Really though, the best way to get started is to just stand up and move around! This is why walking can be a wonderful choice for losing weight. No matter what level of fitness, walking gets you moving. Walking at a moderate pace for half an hour to an hour burns fat, helps build muscle, and can help speed up your metabolism. It can also cut your risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke!
The first step to walking for weight loss it to make sure you have the right gear. There a few things that it is a good idea to buy before starting your new fitness routine. The first is walking shoes. Walking shoes are a little bit different from normal shoes. The shoe must have a good fit and support in the right places. It is a good idea to go to a shoe store and ask for recommendations. You will want a shoe that is light and breathable with a flexible sole. It is suggested that you wait and shoe shop when you have a bit of time and have already been walking around a bit that day, that way if your feet tend to swell up when you have been on them for a while you know they will fit. This can help prevent your feet from feeling squished part way through your walks. You should also break them in by wearing them around the house for a few days.
Once you have the shoes figured out, the other items are a bit easier to come up with. You will want a water bottle, some breathable clothes, some type of music player if you wish, a watch, and a pedometer. A pedometer keeps track of how many steps you have taken. This can be very useful for keeping track of your progress.
Now you have your gear and are all ready to go out on your walk. Walking trails are nice, but you can generally walk anywhere. Before you head out, take a minute or two to stretch out a little bit. If you are new to walking for weight loss, start with a 15 minute walk. After a week, add five minutes. Continue this until you get to a half hour. From there you can try walking twice a day, or adding more minutes until you get up to an hour a day.
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Some things to watch out for while you are walking include tightness in your chest, palpitations, chest pain, severe shortness of breath, wheezing, dizziness, severe pain, and nausea. Increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, sweating, and muscle aches are normal, but if you encounter any of the former you should stop what you are doing right away.
Walking can be a great way to get active and lose weight, but be sure to talk to a physician before starting any work out routine. Walking for weight loss also has the added benefit of being a great way to relax and improve your mood. This single positive life style change can improve many aspects of your life in under an hour a day, what is there not to love?