Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

Walking is one of the easiest and simplest ways to become physically active, manage obesity, and get healthier. Although sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, a quick 30 minute walk a day, can help you build stamina, burn excess calories, and make your heart healthier. It is also proven by various studies that walking regularly helps control blood pressure and blood glucose level.

Can anyone walk off their extra weight?

When we think about losing weight, walking is definitely not the first thing that pops into our head. But it should!

“Fast-paced walking, when combined with healthy eating, is hugely effective for weight loss,” says Art Weltman, PhD, director of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia.

A brisk walk every day, can have a great impact on your overall health. Walking also reduces the risk of every chronic illness, from heart disease to depression. If your daily strolls haven’t made you skinny so far, your speed may be the problem. Try walking at a pace that makes you sweat and increases the heart rate.

Walking workout plan for weight loss

Start initially with a goals like 15-20 minutes, once or twice a day, depending on your energy level or time availability. Slowly increase your pace and duration until you reach 30-60 minutes daily. Our everyday walking workout sessions should have a warmup and cool down session.

Warmup: Start walking at a pace that requires half of your maximum effort. Once your legs start to feel more loose and relaxed, slowly increase the pace.

Stretch: Don’t forget to stretch after warming up. Stretching gives you increased flexibility and reduces the chances of injury.

Walk: When your body is loose, try walking faster. Keep your chest upright and your shoulders relaxed. Allow you heels to hit the ground first. You can pump your hands to propel your body and burn more calories.

Cool Down: Try to take it easy for the last 3-5 minutes, allow yourself to catch your breath. Finally complete the cool down process by doing some more stretching.

As your stamina and energy level improves, try adding 5-10 minutes of time every couple of days.

How to keep yourself motivated?

You want to walk, but don’t know how to you get yourself outside the door? That’s the toughest challenge many people face. But you can always try new ways to motivate yourself to be active and get healthy:

 Setup a realistic walking goal: Setup a realistic initial goal at first for walking every day. From there slowly start to increase it every 2-3 days, to reach your actual goal. Walking goals will always need to be individualized, based on your current physical fitness level and goals. Unrealistic goals not only damage your moral but can also cause injuries.

Use a step counter:
Using a step counter can help motivate you to increase your physical activity. When you wear a fitness band or use a smartphone app to count your steps, you start paying attention to the steps recorded and try to find ways of adding steps to your days.

Compete with friends and family: There are some apps like CircleCare that motivates you to be more active by ranking your daily steps against your friends and family members. The App motivates friends and family members to walk more by encouraging a fun and friendly walking completion to rank first in the daily step count.

Celebrate your achievements: Reward yourself with a gift or something you like every time you are able to increase your walking time or reach your daily best record. It will give you a sense of achievement and associate a positive feeling in your mind about walking. Smartphone App CircleCare lets users celebrate their walking distance milestones with achievement badges.

Find a buddy to walk with – A family member or friend.  Studies have shown that people who exercise with a family member or a friend, are more likely to stick with their walking routine and lose more weight.  You might not feel like going for a walk somedays, but if you know your friend is going to be waiting for you, your moral obligation will make to you stick to your walking routine.