Tips: Walking for Weight Loss

  1. Start with a small goal of 15 to 20 minutes per day. Add a few minutes each day, and your total time will increase before you know it.
  2. Start out slow as a warm-up, pick up the pace in the middle of your walk, then slow down towards the end for the cool-down. As your total walking time increases, make sure that the middle period is longer.
  3. Always wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Tight pants might help you avoid overeating, but they will cut your walk short. Wearing breathable fabrics, instead of nylons or other fabrics that make you sweat, will help you to walk longer.
  4. Prevent chafing by using a product such as BodyGlide, a non-oily sports lubricant.
  5. Invest in good walking shoes. Don’t rely on cheap sneakers or other shoes not designed for this purpose. Good walking shoes will support your feet
  6. Practice good posture. Carrying yourself properly will improve your strides and minimize any aches and pains later.
  7. Be Safe. Walk in familiar, well lit areas. Carry a cell phone, in case you need help.
  8. Have fun with it. Bring a friend, walk a dog, or wear headphones and listen to your favorite music.
  9. If you wear headphones, make sure you keep the level low enough so you can be aware of what is happening around you.
  10. Move your arms. You can increase your stride and add power to your walk if you move your arms correctly. Bend them at a 90 degree angle and pump up and down as you walk.
  11. Earn your trip to the mall by briskly walking the perimeter at least once before you even think about going inside a shop.
  12. Keep a log. Track your progress by logging your steps, mileage, or time walked. Buy a small notebook.
  13. Encourage a longer walk by packing a snack or drink for a break. Carry in a fanny pack or a very lightweight backpack. Pick your destination, enjoy your snack and break, then walk home.
  14. Don’t leave home without a couple of bandaids, just in case you get a blister.
  15. Walk after work to relieve any stress from the day. You’ll look forward to this peaceful time of day.
  16. Go back to school and use their track. You may need to call in advance to learn when it is open to the public.
  17. Avoid concrete if possible, as it is harder on your feet. Choose softer pathways such as dirt or grass.
  18. Park at the far end of the parking lot. It’s more fun than driving around endlessly looking for a close parking space!
  19. Hide your remote control. Take advantage of the extra steps you’ll get if you keep walking to the tv to change channels.
  20. Turn off the TV. Forget reality TV. Go outside for a walk, experience reality as it was meant to be.
  21. Mow your yard more frequently. You not only get extra steps, but you’ll make your neighbors envious.
  22. Buy pedometers for everyone in the family. Comparing steps can help encourage everyone to walk more.
  23. Pay for your dessert by walking it off. If you can’t resist the slice of pie that contains 400 calories, determine how long it will take to walk it off, and get to it.
  24. One mile = 100 calories. This is the general rule of thumb for a 150 lb person. This varies, based on your weight and age. The more you weigh, the more calories you burn walking the same distance.
  25. Join or start a walking club. Organized walks can be fun, and a great way to meet others that enjoy walking.
  26. Keep it up for 21 days. Research has shown that it takes 21 days to establish behavioral routines. Make yourself walk 21 days and you will likely stick to it without thinking as much about it.
  27. Borrow a dog. If you don’t have your own dog to walk, volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog.
  28. Do you daydream? Start visualizing new walks, adding extra steps, and planning your walking activities. If you think about it, you are more likely to do it.
  29. Walking reduces your appetite. What better way to spend your time before a meal?
  30. Save your heart: According to JoAnn E. Manson, professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, brisk walking three hours a week can cut the risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent.
  31. Change your route. Plan a variety of walking routes, so you won’t become bored. If possible, have a different route for each day of the week.
  32. Take quicker steps, not longer strides. Your stride length may increase naturally, but focusing on quicker steps will help you burn more calories.
  33. When shopping for shoes, bring along the socks you will be wearing, for proper fit. Make sure you have wiggle room.
  34. Walking vs. Running. According to Dr. Dean Ornish, "All things being equal, you will burn more calories by running an hour than walking an hour. It is true that walking a mile will burn more calories than running a mile — although it takes longer to do so. When you run a mile, you’re burning mostly sugar, or carbohydrates, which is how your body gives you fast energy in bursts. When you walk a mile, it gives your metabolism time to switch from burning carbohydrates to burning fat.

    The risk of injury — whether shin splints or knee injuries or back pain — is directly proportional to the intensity of exercise. So is the risk of sudden cardiac death. Walking gives you most of the health benefits of more intensive exercise while minimizing these risks. More is better, but only if you do it consistently.
    So, if you want to burn the maximum amount of calories, then run for an hour rather than walking for an hour. But do it consistently; otherwise, you’re better of walking.

  35. Walking improves older arteries. A 12 week study of women over 60 that were healthy, but did not exercise, showed that walking caused a 50% improvement in elasticity of arteries. The women added just 45 minutes of walking, 5 times per week.
  36. Invest in a treadmill. If you don’t live where you can regularly walk outdoors, investing in a treadmill can be very worthwhile. Most people find a motorized treadmill is easy to use and encourages more walking. Manual treadmills are often difficult and clumsy, and more likely to turn into coat racks.
  37. Walk more than once per day. You may find it easier to schedule 2 (30 minute) walks instead of one hour. Plus, spreading the walks out helps keep your metabolism boosted, so you burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising.
  38. Walk by Video using a walking DVD/VHS program such as Leslie Sansone’s Walk off the Pounds.
  39. March in place while watching your favorite tv shows.
  40. Compete with your coworkers, see how can get in the most steps around the office.
  41. Walk on water, or rather IN water, by taking a water walking class. This method can make your leg muscles even stronger.
  42. If you enjoy yard sales, park at a corner and walk to each sale in the neighborhood, instead of driving.

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  • Jago Holmes CPT

    Great post, some really good walking tips here.

    For many people, a walking program would be a great start and for others it could be all they need to fit and stay in shape.

    I think the real beauty of walking is that it isn’t seen as over demanding and all but the more seriously overweight can do it easily.

    Some really interesting facts too, they really make you think.