How to Walk Off Weight

Losing weight has become an obsession for some people. If they’re carrying a couple of extra pounds, they may go to extremes to get rid of it, and that’s not healthy. Going on a crash diet or exercising until you drop may shed some pounds, but your overall health may suffer if you do. The best way to lose weight is to do it gradually–cut back on calories, eat the right foods, and exercise moderately but regularly. Walking is a good form of exercise. It’s relatively easy to do, and it isn’t high impact, so your body won’t be overtaxed. Following are a few tips on how to walk off weight.

Start Slow

If you’re overweight, your muscles are most likely not toned. If you begin an intense regimen of exercise, even if it’s only walking, you may actually cause yourself harm instead of improving your health. Essentially, it comes down to the fact that if you try to do too much exercise too quickly, you could pull a muscle or strain a tendon, and then you won’t be able to do any more exercise for awhile–which defeats the purpose of starting an exercise program. On the other hand, if you start slowly, by walking at a moderate pace for a few minutes on the first day, and then gradually increase both the pace and the length of time you walk on successive days, you will steadily improve your muscle tone.

Stretch First

A good rule of thumb is to stretch before you do any form of exercise. It will loosen your muscles, warm them up, and prepare them for the exercise to come. Stretching should be done slowly–if you try to stretch out too quickly, you could pull a muscle, which will delay your exercise program. Some good stretching techniques are yoga, dynamic stretches, and pre-run poses.

Work Your Way Up to a Long Walk

As you gradually increase your muscle tone, you’ll be able to walk faster and further. The more time you spend walking, the more calories you’ll be burning. Like any other form of exercise, walking to lose weight means you’ll have to do it on a regular basis. Walking a couple of miles one day, and then not doing it again for a week or so, probably won’t help you lose weight. It would be better to make out a schedule and stick to it.

Power Walking

Power walking is a proven weight-loss method. There are many variations of power walking, but it essentially means you’re not merely out for a leisurely stroll, but are walking for a purpose–to lose weight. You walk quickly and with enhanced arm motions. The more energy you expend on your walk, the more calories you’ll be burning.

Alternate Speed

Another way to walk to lose weight is a variation on the power walking theme. Instead of keeping a steady pace, you should alternate the speed at which you walk. Do a certain number of minutes at a brisk pace, and then slow down for awhile before speeding up again. This will allow you to tone different muscles, and ultimately burn additional calories. Keep this up for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and do it regularly, and you’ll be healthier and in much better physical condition.

Tone Your Upper Body as You Walk

Walking is a good form of exercise and will help you lose weight if you do it long enough. However, walking won’t help you tone your upper body. Fortunately, there are some things you can do while you’re walking that will help your upper body muscles and your cardio vascular system, as well. As you walk, swing your arms in rhythm in with your stride. Some people keep their elbows close to their side, and swing their arms vigorously, while others prefer keeping them straight. Either way, the swinging motion will keep the blood flowing to your upper body.

Keep a Log

Some people find it helpful to keep a log of their exercise regimen. It helps them track their progress. Your log could contain such things as how long you walked, how many miles you traveled, and you could also include a record of how much you weigh each morning. The log will make it easy to see if you’re making any progress.

Eating the Right Foods

At the same time as you’re walking to lose weight, you’ll need to monitor the foods you’re eating. The combination of getting enough exercise and eating the right foods is the best method of losing weight and keeping it off.

Guest post from Payton Price. Payton writes for


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