The basic foundation towards gaining a healthy body or to maintain the health you are already blessed with is to take small, but steady steps.
Losing weight is not a sudden event. It takes small victories day by day to finally reach the destination. As humans are only mortal and begin to age soon, maintaining healthy lifestyle is also very important as it slows down the adverse effects of aging. Keeping healthy allows you to live almost problem free as health is, after all, truly wealth.
Keeping this in mind, one must think of ways to reduce stress in their lives and give more time for their selves. Making time is the hardest part. Now, to fit in activities that boost health in the daily routine, one must consider what works best for them.
There is one activity, though, that will fit into anyone’s calendar with ease. And that is walking. Taking long walks is not only a calorie buster but also very refreshing.
Many people do not take enough walks until their doctors order them to take a minimum of 30 minutes’ walk every day. In this age of sedentary lifestyles and too high dependence on technology, we have surely become lazier. For that reason, let us alter a famous proverb and say, ‘A 3o minute walk a day keeps the Doctor away’.
Why it Works?
Taking long walks has long been recommended by many health experts as one of the best and most important activities for losing fat slowly and permanently. Walking every day helps both males and females burn the unwanted fat gradually in little victories day by day. Walking every day means improvement in minor things that add up to the big picture.
1) Fitness levels increase
2) Stamina improves
3) Reduces weight
4) Manages weight
5) Brings you closer to nature
6) Reduces Stress
7) Improves mood
1) Raise good (HDL) cholesterol
2) Reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol
3) Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
4) Lower high blood pressure
For all these benefits, it is very simple to make it an everyday practice and safe too. As it is a low intensity exercise, you would not actually work very hard but watch your health getting better slowly. Besides, anyone can go and take a walk. It is a perfect form of exercise for people from all ages and fitness levels.
Walking never puts you through dangerous situations that could harm you. Nevertheless, a little preparation would help to make it more worthwhile. Muscle pains and blisters in the feet are common with walking and they can be avoided.
Footwear needs to be comfortable. Make sure that you choose footwear with flexible, thick soles, firm heel and correct arch support. Always walk in the shoes before you buy them at the store. Comfortable clothing that is loose fitting must be preferred. Take note of the weather before stepping out and most importantly, wear bright colors if walking after dark.
Maintain the right posture while walking as it takes you a long way in improving your overall carriage and look. Though it is simple, the right movements are essential. Find the correct technique and stick to it consistently. All health experts recommend a brisk walk with wide movement of the limbs.
Take five minutes before and after the walk to warm up and cool down respectively. Stretch the muscles, including calf muscles, quadriceps, sides and hamstrings. It reduces stress on both the muscles as well as heart.
For the lazy ones, starting it slow and taking it easy is a good way to begin. If you are the type to tire easily and haven’t had much activity for a long time, walking slowly at first is best. Even if you walked for just a few minutes, you have made a start.
Short sessions daily will gradually improve both your mood and stamina. In a few weeks’ time, you can increase the time to 15 minutes and later to 30 minutes. Later, walking for 60 minutes would feel quite normal. All this time you are on your way to lesser fat and better fitness.
The seasoned, frequent walkers must continue walking – no doubt. Secondly, measure your workout intensity constantly to avoid going overboard or having too less. There are electronic devices displaying heart rate that one can wear. Otherwise, you can check the heart rate manually at the neck or wrist.
Set targets realistically so that you will stay motivated and consistent. Do not aim for short term results; rather keep going at a pace that suits you – without fail. To make sure you have begun walking more than earlier, keep a record of your steps (from one place to another place). You can either pen it down in a journal, type it in to a spreadsheet on your computer or use a pedometer that calculates time and distance.
Importantly, keep the motivation levels up through,
• Having walking partners
• Altering routes
• Listening to music while walking
• Taking your pet along
• Keeping the goal in mind always.
So, how many calories do you burn walking?
Let us see how many calories an average person weighing 60 kgs (130 lbs.) burns during various walking activities.
• Walking slow – 150 calories
• Walking moderate – 197 calories
• Walking briskly – 224 calories
• Walking uphill – 350 calories
• Walking downstairs – 180 calories
• Walking your dog – 175 calories
• Pushing wheelchair – 240 calories
These values apply for an hour of the activity and the amount of calories burned is higher for those weighing more than 130 lbs.
For every kilometer you walk, one calorie is burned per each kilogram of weight in the body. From that perspective, the amount of calories burned per kilometer varies from person to person depending on their age, gender, height and weight.