Exercise! - Is walking really enough?

View Full Version : Is walking really enough?

03-26-2011, 12:50 AM
I know that regular exercise is a major, major aspect of weight loss, and I don't have a problem with exercising. My problem is that I can't afford to join a gym (there's only one in my area, so they have a monopoly, and their prices reflect that!). So my exercise comes solely from walking.

I walk every single day, for an hour. I try to vary my routes, so that I can incorporate some hills into my routine, and I walk pretty fast (for example, I cannot carry on a conversation while I'm walking.) I'm not totally sure of my speed, but I think I'm at about 2.5 miles an hour.

I guess what I'm wondering is: Is walking really enough in terms of exercise? I keep hearing how important weight training is, but honestly, I'm not -- really into that.) Eventually I would like to work my way up to jogging/running, but I need to see my doctor first (I have early-onset osteoarthritis.)

So I guess I'm just looking for some opinions from people who are farther along in their weight loss journey than I am. Has anyone had success with walking alone? Or am I going to be forced into joining a gym just to do weight training?

03-26-2011, 12:56 AM
I'm guessing you're walking closer to 4 mph if you're unable to carry on a conversation - test it by driving a route and seeing how many miles it is, then walking the route at your speed and seeing how long it takes you.

I lost a good deal of weight about a decade ago by just walking an hour a day and doing ww/calorie counting. I walked regardless of what else - it was a part of my day like brushing my teeth and showering. Wish I were that committed every day here! ha ha

There's plenty of strength stuff you can do at home - yoga, resistance bands, pilates, etc. Those are great for working your core, etc.

03-26-2011, 01:05 AM
Thank you for the quick reply! :)

I've heard that pilates is great (actually, my doctor recommended it when she first diagnosed me with OA), but there's no place around here that does pilates classes. But there is a yoga class at the local Y, and I'm thinking of trying that. And my mother mentioned resistance bands to me the other day (she saw them being used on "The Doctors" and called me right away, all excited...*L*)

I will definitely try to measure my speed a bit more accurately. I don't drive, but I think what I'll do is look up the distance between my home and a specific destination in town, and then see how long it takes me to walk there. :) That should give me a pretty accurate measure.

Thanks again for the tips! I really appreciate it. :)

03-26-2011, 01:19 AM
I also have not had a gym at any point during my weight loss. Almost all my exercise has been from walking. So it is definitely possible to lose with that.

However, the closer I got to goal, the more I started running. I also bought some three and five lb weights for some toning. You might also consider (if you don't already have one) buying a yoga ball. I got mine for maybe $10-$15 at target and it's great for ab workouts.

I'm a huge believer that weight loss should not be torture. If I told myself I had to get up and run five miles at 4am everyday it would never happen. Ever. For me, an evening walk is something I actually look forward to and enjoy. So if walking is something that's working for you, just keep at it!

03-26-2011, 02:34 AM
Ive been doing alot of walking. I take my sons for walks, pulling them in their little red wagon. I also have a 5 Mile Fat Burning Walk dvd. I've been using a Firm video and online videos on top of that. Sometimes I just use the treadmill I have. I'm not working and I'm raising two on my own so I didnt have the time or money for a gym.

03-26-2011, 04:51 AM
A few years ago, I lost 106lbs through diet and walking alone. I don't suppose walking will ever tone wobbly bits like arms and bellies but it worked very well for me in terms of general fitness and calorie using.

03-26-2011, 08:15 AM
You don't need a gym to do weight training. You can buy handweights to have at home. I started off with 3 pound ones, the 5, then 8 and now I think they are 10. I have some little routines I do and sometimes pull routines out of Shape or Fitness Magazine. I also do yoga which builds muscle and tones everything.

03-26-2011, 11:42 AM
Thank you all for the helpful comments! Knowing that others have actually seen great results from walking is definitely going to keep me motivated. And I do plan to get some resistance bands and hand weights for myself -- they'll help greatly, especially on the days when I can't walk outside because of the weather (I live in Newfoundland, so snow is still part of our weather forecast at this time of year!)

03-26-2011, 12:07 PM
Brisk walking is more than enough, I have a friend who has lost and maintained her weight for the last 20 years with walking along.

Try out Map my Run (http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/create/) or walk to see how fast and how far you are going...

You should incorporate weight training into your routine eventually, if not sooner, it is VERY important especially if you have early-onset osteoarthritis... Weight training will help maintain bone density.

Here a video (http://www.ehow.com/video_4979747_weight-training-osteoarthritis.html) explaining the benefits of weight training and osteoarthritis...

03-26-2011, 12:27 PM
Hi walkers. I've been a walker since Peace Corps when I had to walk miles and miles (to avoid overcrowded buses). I got to love it. I married over there to a local gentleman who walked all his life for almost all travels. We both came to the US as avid walkers. I walked so much more than I ever did growing up so was surprised at gaining weight lost from Peace Corps life. I was totally ignorant about food, calories, portions, etc.

After we moved to our current area, we committed permanently to living without a car because we're in an urban area. When my kids were babies, I walked probably five miles a day (100 minutes). I lost maybe a few pounds but not much. I gave up meat and that helped to drop. I walked and walked; famous throughout all my neighborhood, kids' schools, and colleagues as a walker. But I was still 180 to 190. Walking usually burns for me 80 calories per 20 minutes.

For 10 years now, I have worked out at home with DVD aerobic workouts (find excellent clips, reviews, and huge inventory at www.collagevideo.com). I used exercise bands or weights depending on the dvd. I used to use a step but I have bad joints so now I'm only low-impact, "advanced" workouts. Now I have one very favorite video I use four times a week.

Walking is super great but it's recommended to raise your heart rate for at least 20 minutes (plus warm-up/cool-down) several times a week. Also, using weights for women is important for bone retention. As women get older, it's likely they'll reduce the intensities of workouts but should keep at the weights. So, I'd recommend (and I'm not an expert) mixing in weight and aerobic exercise. Don't have to launch all at once but continue to increase intensities, durations, and pounds of weights.

03-26-2011, 12:35 PM
I have lost weight in the past with walking and healthy eating alone and it is still part of my exercise. :) A long walk in the evening and coming home to a cup of tea can be bliss sometimes..