There’s this crazy notion that’s been going around for decades, which tells people that you need a gym membership and tons of fancy equipment to hit your goal weight. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we can say with absolute certainty and passion that this is simply not true. A fit and healthy body is made in the kitchen and your exercise is what helps speed the process along and get you lean. you can just walk for weight loss.
While we love new and innovative work out machines just as much as the next gym buff, that doesn’t mean that we think they’re necessary to get your sweat on. Take walking, for example, it’s simple and it’s something that we do every day, and yet many of us fail to realize that just walking could really help us lose weight. So, why should you walk for weight loss?
Reason 1: It’s Free
You don’t need any fancy equipment or a high-priced gym membership to get a walk in every morning. We’ve never heard of anyone having to pay a fee to step out of their door and walk around their neighborhood either. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to get some decent exercise in, walking is a great place to start.
Reason 2: It Helps Manage Stress
There’s a direct correlation between losing weight and your ability to manage stress levels. When your stress levels are on the higher side of the spectrum, you’re more likely to binge on not-so-healthy foods. Stress is also the number one culprit when it comes to the release of hormones that make you more likely to eat and crave food that isn’t good for you.
Reason 3: Mood Enhancement
Have you ever heard of the runner’s high? There’s something similar with people who walk regularly, because walking (and exercise in general), helps with the release of the body’s natural happy pill – endorphins. Generally speaking, the majority of people who walk daily see an improvement in their overall mood. So, if you’re ready to kiss those mood swings good bye, you know, the ones that make it difficult for you to stick to your eating plan, then lace up and head out that door.
Reason 4: Getting Started is Easy
We understand that other forms of exercise come with a certain level of pressure to perform. For example, some people are easily discouraged when they aren’t able to run for as long or as far as they want. When it comes to cycling or spinning, people get discouraged when they can’t keep up with the rest of the class. With walking, on the other hand, there’s really no pressure involved and it’s extremely easy to get started.
If you’re not used to getting any physical activity in whatsoever, then a short 15-minute gander up and down the block could be how you start. If you’re sedentary but can manage a longer walk, then you can start with a 20 minute walk every day. As you get stronger and more used to the exercise, you can bump your walks up to 30 minutes and then start adding some run-walk intervals.
Reason 5: Lowers Blood Pressure
For individuals who are overweight, one of the most frequent side effects is high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure can be debilitating and it affects a lot of your body’s other functions. Not to mention the fact that it puts you at a higher risk for strokes and heart attacks. One awesome thing about walking regularly is that it helps to lower your blood pressure and even your levels of LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol).
Reason 6: Enhances Quality of Sleep
Studies show that walking regularly improves your quality of sleep. It’s possible that this improved sleep is a result of the energy that you expend during your walk. Whatever the reason, however, there’s no denying that getting more sleep is important for your weight loss journey. When you get good sleep, you’re also much more rested and energetic the next day.
Reason 7: Strengthens Your Cardiovascular System
When we live sedentary lifestyles, our cardiovascular system takes a hit. Walking for 30 minutes every day at a brisk pace does wonders to improve this problem. Not only does walking improve circulation, it also helps to ward off heart disease. By increasing and decreasing your heart rate when you add intervals to your walk, you can also improve the recovery time of your heart and strengthen it.
Reason 8: Builds Muscle Strength
People like to call walking the lazy man’s work out, but you really shouldn’t knock it until you try it. Walking helps to tone the muscles in your legs and your abdominal muscles, too. If you’re the type of person to pump and swing your arms while you walk, then you can look forward to toning those up as well. As an added bonus, as you build the strength in your muscles, you increase your range of motion.
Reason 9: Lessens Joint Pain
Often times, people who are overweight experience joint pain because they’re muscles are bearing the weight of their body like they should. Since our previous point talked about muscle strength, it only makes sense that the next positive part to walking daily is enhanced joint strength too. Apart from that, however, walking helps to improve the circulation of our synovial or joint fluid. It’s the circulation of this fluid that helps keep our joints healthy.
Reason 10: Leveling Up is Easy
What’s awesome about walking is that you can continue to push yourself to improve. As you continue to walk, you can start building on your strength and endurance by increasing speed, incline and distance.
Eventually, you can even start adding intervals to your walks wherein you run for a short while before reverting back to walking. As you continue to push yourself and level up, you’ll be able to move on to taking short jogs regularly. The best bit? As you improve, you’ll also your body tone up more.