If you are looking for an easy way to exercise and lose weight, consider walking the weight off. Just 30 minutes of exercise each day along with a sensible diet may help you lose up to two pounds a week. Sound simple enough? Why not give it a try.
Walking is one of the most inexpensive physical activities that you can engage in. All you need is a good pair of athletic shoes that are designed for walking. Since you will be putting in a lot of miles over a period of time, you will want a pair of shoes that give you the support you need. Spend time picking out your shoe and ask a shoe specialist to help you choose the right one for you. Don’t be shy about walking around the store in the shoe before you make the decision to purchase. Wear the thickest sock that you might possibly wear with the shoe, too.
Choose an area to walk that is safe but offers pleasant scenery. You might want to bring along an iPod or other MP3 so you can listen to music. You might even find a walking buddy to keep you motivated. But don’t be disappointed if you can’t find someone to join you, just get out there and get moving.
If you have a dog, remember that they love to walk, too. Usually your pet will make a great companion for walking and will help to keep you motivated, as they like to remind you that it is time to go, each day.
Begin walking for 15 minutes in one direction. Wear a watch and a pedometer if you have one. Once you return from your walk, you will have walked for 30 minutes. Now, you have started your 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Of course if all you do is walk for 30 minutes every day, you might begin to get bored. So I suggest for the best weight loss and fitness results to alternate your days with strength training exercises. Also called resistance training, these types of exercises will increase flexibility, build endurance and help to strengthen your muscles. The better developed and stronger your muscles, the less impact to your joints and bones when doing cardio or aerobic activities, such as walking.
One of the great benefits of walking is the ability to simply clear your mind. I believe it helps to lift my spirit and I return refreshed after a 30-minute walk, then I’ll follow that with about 10 minutes of stretching. It’s a great way to start the day.
Now you don’t want to start an exercise program without first getting an okay from your doctor. Always follow your physician’s advice before beginning any diet or exercise program.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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