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11 ways you can use walking for weight loss

These days, a lot of people use vehicles even for travelling short distances. While it may feel comfortable, it is one of the reasons why obesity and diseases related to sedentary lifestyles is rising.

Walking is great and necessary for anyone and everyone, especially for people who want to lose weight. However, you need to modify your walking regime in order to lose weight effectively. Here are some tips to help you do that.

1. Increase the distance you walk everyday by 0.5 km

Nobody achieved anything by stagnancy, and you too won’t be doing your weight loss regime a favour by walking the same distance every day. Increase the distance you cover by 0.5 km every day, and this will give you many benefits like enhanced stamina, more energy and stronger leg muscles! According to a research, you should try and reach a level where you can walk 10,000 steps a day in order to lose weight. 

2. Make sure your heart is pumping

If you want to walk for weight loss, it is important that you walk at a pace where breathing becomes more difficult than normal and you can feel your heart pumping.

3. Keep your limb movements right

A lot of people walk in the wrong manner and with a bad posture. Moving your arms in the right manner and keeping your chin parallel to the ground is extremely important. Also, try and keep your elbows close to your body.

4. Listen to music

Walking just for the sake of walking is a thought that doesn’t excite many people. That is why you should do it along with listening to a new album or revisiting some old songs that are close to your heart. Read more about how music can help enhance your workout regime.

5. Walk with a friend/sibling

Walking with a friend or a sibling is a good idea as it will help break the monotony of the routine and will give you a sense of competition which is a great motivator.  However, make sure you don’t slow down your pace while you gossip and never use the excuse of your partner being unavailable to skip your walking routine.

6. Wear the right shoe

There are several lightweight shoes available in the market today which don’t put too much pressure on your knees and your feet while walking. Just make sure that you are comfortable with the shoe, and don’t get blisters if you walk long distances. Also, if you want to just walk and not run then you should wear a shoe with a flat heel.

7. Keep changing your routine

Even with music and friends, walking can get boring. You can vary your routine by walking slowly but for a long distance on 3 days of the week, and walking fast but for a shorter distance on the remaining days. Also, changing the place where you travel can be a good idea too – walk one day on a beach, another day in a park and the third day on a hill. Find out which is better – walking outside or on the treadmill.

8.  Have a fruit or a salad after walking

It’s obvious for you to feel really hungry after walking for a long time, but if you want to lose weight, you must make sure that you don’t indulge in lots of food. Try and eat a fruit or a salad which will energize you but won’t add too many calories.

9. Try to jog in between your walking

While walking itself will help burn calories, it’ll be a good idea to intersperse your routine with little jogs.  Walk at a brisk pace for 15 minutes, and then increase your pace and jog for 5 minutes. Make sure that you continue walking after the jog or else your legs will feel tired and it’ll be difficult to break into a jog again. When it comes to burning calories, running burns more calories, but since you can walk for a longer time, it may actually be better for weight loss. For example, walking 3 kms in 30 minutes will burn approximately the same amount of calories as bicycling 5 kms in 15 minutes and running 1.5 kms in 8 minutes. 

10.   Avoid muscle cramps by drinking fluids and stretching 

A lot of people who are not used to walking experience sudden muscle cramps when they suddenly start walking long distances. To counter this, you must make sure that you stay hydrated as cramps are often caused due to lack of salt and minerals. Warming up a little by doing exercises like jumping jacks before walking can also help prevent cramps. 

11.  Keep a notebook to track your progress

Several mobile apps like Runtastic can keep track of the distance you’ve walked and downloading one can be extremely helpful. Additionally, you can also keep a notebook where you note down the date, the route, the distance and the speed at which you walk. You’ll see how your strength and stamina increases over time with continued effort, and that will motivate you keep walking.

Besides walking, you can also choose to run, cycle or swim to lose weight. 

You may also like to read:

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  • Can weight training help you lose weight?
  • Get fit at your workplace with these expert recommended exercises and tips
  • Why is high intensity interval training better (HIIT) for weight loss?
  • 4 sexy and unusual ways to lose weight    

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