For many people, losing weight is a challenge that seems insurmountable. However, it’s not as hard as you might think. If you’re imagining spending hours at the gym every day to shed pounds, it probably doesn’t take that much effort to reach your goals.
In fact, all it can take is a brisk walk to get the ball rolling.
As far as exercise goes, walking is an excellent way to get your body in shape. Unlike other workouts like running or jogging, this is a relatively low-impact affair, and the benefits are substantial.
Best of all, you don’t have to sign for a gym membership to get started.
Today we’re going to outline the steps you should take to incorporate walking into your weight loss schedule. Whether you’re trying to lose 10 pounds or 100, the right plan can make all the difference. Just be sure to stay committed, and you’ll see results.
Use The Right Gear For The Best Results
Fortunately, walking doesn’t require a significant investment to get going. That being said, you can drop some hefty cash if you’re going to get serious about losing weight this way. We suggest that you start with the basics and then switch things up after you’ve established a good routine. Overall, there’s no sense in going overboard on gear if you’re not going to use it.
- Walking Shoes
- Comfortable Clothes
- Sports Bra (if applicable)
- Petroleum Jelly
- Moisture-Wicking Clothing
- Fitness Tracker
- Hot/Cold Therapy Packs
Why Shoes Matter
No matter what, you want to be comfortable while you’re walking. If you don’t have the right shoes, then your feet will pay the price. Standard work or dress shoes are not going to cut it. You need something that can support you for sustained periods without making you sore.
When picking out walking sneakers, be sure to try them on first. Also, it’s crucial to know that your feet will swell while walking, so if they are too tight, it will only get worse as you go. In fact, you should plan on buying a pair that’s one size above your standard setting.
Wear Clothes For Comfort, Care Less About Style
At first, shorts and a t-shirt are perfect walking clothes. Also, a sports bra is necessary, and you’ll see why after your first round. When testing out a bra, it helps to do some jumping jacks while wearing it. This will show its capabilities and ensure that it will feel comfortable during your walk.
TIP: How To Reduce Chafing
The petroleum jelly is there to reduce chafing. If you’ve ever experienced this before, you know that it can turn you off of the idea of exercising altogether. After your first couple of walks, you should have a good idea of where to apply the jelly. Common areas include the thighs, the nipples (for men), and the armpit area. Basically, anywhere you notice excessive rubbing.
Keep Track Of Your Stats
When talking about upgrades, these items are there to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Having a fitness tracker can help keep you motivated over the long term, and clothing that wicks away sweat can make you feel more comfortable after a long session. Ultimately, however, it’s up to you if you want to invest in such gear.
Step by Step Guide
Overall, the most critical step in your weight loss journey is finding your motivation. Unfortunately, you can’t lose all of the weight over the weekend (believe us, we’ve tried), so you have to stay persistent if you’re going to see the results you deserve.
That being said, once you’ve found that motivation, here is a guide to help you succeed.
Step One: Assess Your Goals
Although you will have to take it one day at a time, it’s a good idea to start with an overarching goal to achieve, such as losing 10 pounds. We suggest that you start small so that it seems much more attainable. If your goal is too ambitious, it’s easy to lose sight of it when it starts taking longer than you’d like.
During this time, you also want to assess your physicality. If it’s been years since you’ve exercised at all, then you will have to start slow and work your way up. Depending on how out of shape you are, it may even be a good idea to talk to your doctor about your plans to make sure that he or she doesn’t have any particular concerns.
Step Two: Find a Route
If you don’t want to join a gym just to walk for 30 minutes, then you should plan to walk around your neighborhood (or work). When deciding on the best route, you should estimate how long it will take you to complete it. Since most of us have busy schedules, you have to be sure that your route isn’t going to affect you drastically. Also, with that in mind, remember that you will want to change (possibly shower) after your walk, so take that time into account too.
Another thing to remember with your route is that it can be changed at will. You can start out with something light and then work your way up to a more challenging circuit. There are no right answers here, so do whatever seems best and adjust as necessary.
Step Three: Start Slowly
As we mentioned, weight loss is a long-term commitment. Thus, don’t worry about your intensity level when you begin. The goal at first is to make time for walking and to get out there and do it. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, it’s better than nothing.
When you’re starting out, see how you feel and make notes for any adjustments needed. Is the walk too short? Too long? Too challenging? Figure out a solution and then tweak your workout until it feels just right.
Step Four: Ramp it Up
If it’s been ages since you’ve exercised, then you have to be careful not to overdo it. However, once your body starts getting accustomed to walking, you’ll have to do more to get the same results.
Overall, the goal is to get your heart rate up. If you can do that, you will shed pounds. On average, you can expect to lose between ½ to two pounds per week, depending on your exercise level.
When ramping up, a good rule to follow is to increase your time by five minutes every week until you’re at about 30-40 minutes. If you can make the time, then 60 minutes of walking is going to deliver the best results.
Also, it’s important to note that you don’t have to do all of your walking at once. If you prefer to walk three times a day at 10 minutes each, then it will deliver the same effects as one 30-minute session.
Once you’ve reached your time goal, then the next step will be to increase the difficulty. Start finding routes that have hills so that you can build your heart rate more easily and burn more calories.
A good way to know if you’re walking fast enough is if it’s hard to carry on a conversation. While you should be able to speak without too much difficulty, talking for a while should be hard to do. If you can talk to your walking buddy throughout the whole session, then you need to step it up.
Step Five: Check Your Body
Although walking is low-impact, that doesn’t mean that you can’t overdo it. When that happens, you’ll feel it the next day. Minor aches and pains are to be expected, but if you notice severe pain or limited movement, it’s time to take a break and figure out what’s going on.
This is where ice packs can come in handy. As a rule, muscle aches and soreness can be soothed with ice (followed by warmth), but if your joints or tendons are hurting, it could be a sign of something worse.
If you do encounter severe pain that doesn’t go away after a few days, it’s time to consult your doctor.
Step Six: Track Your Progress
One of the reasons that weight loss can stall is that it feels like you’re not achieving anything. To fix this issue, you’ll want to keep track see of your progress throughout.
Before you begin, note your current weight and physical level. For example, if a 10-minute walk left you winded, make a note of that. If you decided to buy a fitness tracker at the beginning, then it will make this process a lot easier. Otherwise, you can keep a journal and write it down.
Monitoring your progress will help to keep you motivated. Once you start seeing the pounds come off and you notice that you’re able to sustain yourself for longer periods without collapsing in exhaustion, it will show you that your efforts are working. Over time, it will inspire you to push yourself harder so that you can meet your goals.
Speaking of goals, be sure to update them as you reach them. We suggest to start with 10 pounds and then repeat it a couple of times. You can compare how long it took to lose it the first time with the second, and then try to beat that record.
Other goals could include fitting into clothing that you weren’t able to wear before, or measuring your waistline. Whatever is going to help motivate you the most, that should be your focus.
Thanks for reading our blog! Reaching your weight loss goals through walking is much easier than it looks. All it takes is the right plan of action and a healthy level of perseverance, and you should see the pounds melt away. We hope that you take this information to heart, and we’re excited to see your progress! Happy walking!