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When it comes to losing weight, physical activity is a must. You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day most days a week in order to avoid an increased risk of many chronic diseases. The reality is that only about 20 percent of us actually get that amount of exercise into our schedules. We simply don’t have the time or energy, or so we think. This is when walking is a great way to lose weight and get healthy. Here’s how!

The benefits of walking

There is no denying the powerful benefits of walking. Not only is it easier on your joints than running, you can also accomplish another task while you are doing it: You can get somewhere! A walk to the grocery store or library is a great way to fit in your daily 30 minutes of exercise. Take a look at the many benefits of walking:

Heart health- The heart is a muscle, and it gets stronger with exercise, just like any other muscle. When you get your heart pumping on regular basis, you can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease great. A strong heart means that it is likely to keep working well for a longer time.

Diabetes management- Type 2 diabetes is often associated with weight gain in adults. Regular daily walking aids in weight loss and helps to regulate your blood sugar through the energy demands of exercise. It also builds muscles tissue, which helps to regulate your metabolism.

Weight management- More physical activity is a surefire way to lose weight, and walking is a great way to get moving. Those who walk moderately on a daily basis and eat sensibly are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Keeping off the weight is just as important as losing it, and walking can greatly help.

Osteoporosis prevention- Strength training exercises combined with a walking routine greatly help to prevent osteoporosis, which is of great concern to aging adults, particularly women.  Maintaining bone density of the utmost importance for older individuals, and walking is good for the bones.

Keys to weight loss and walking:

Long walks- At least two days a week, lengthen your walk to 45 minutes to an hour. You can easily burn 300 calories by walking just a little longer.

Fast walks- On your short walk days, go faster to burn more calories in less time.

Strength training- Two or three days a week, add a simple routine to boost your metabolism.

Tips for walking for weight loss:

  • Wear a pedometer on your walks.
  • Log your progress daily.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take one day off a week.
  • Be sure to add stretching to your routine.
  • Break up your walking if you need to.
  • Mix up the intensity.
  • Challenge yourself
  • Have fun!

As you can see, walking offers many benefits that will result in weight loss and overall good health. Plus it’s easy to do, so get out and start walking!
James Christopher, Creative Writer