How to Lose Weight by Walking Briskly
You can lose weight permanently by walking briskly every day. You not only get fitter, you burn lots of fat by walking at an aerobic pace. Walking is the easiest aerobic exercise and has an extremely low injury rate if you watch where you walk.
Some keys to success are to make your weight loss and exercise program a top priority in your life, schedule brisk walking on your calendar every day, and keep a written record of your progress.
Brisk Walking Program to Lose Weight
Here are several steps to help you to lose weight by walking briskly.
- Obtain medical clearance first. Make sure you share your plans with your doctor and get approval for aerobic exercise. Most people can walk aerobically at any almost any age but just in case, and especially if you have a chronic medical condition, check with your doctor before you start your exercise program.
- Set realistic, attainable weight loss and exercise goals and include interim or milestone goals. See examples below in the Setting Goals section.
- Begin each aerobic session with a warm-up of five minutes of slow walking and end with a cool-down slow walk for five minutes.
- Gradually, over several weeks, build up to an aerobic pace of 3.0 to 4.0 miles per hour. You will recognize when you are aerobic by a faster heart rate and a higher breathing rate, but will still be able to talk. If you can’t talk then you are going too fast for your physical condition. On the other hand, if you can sing comfortably then your pace is too slow.
- Be sure to choose a safe place and time to walk and wear good walking shoes.
- Try to get a friend, colleague at work, or family member to join you for support and extra motivation.
- In addition to burning lots of calories you’ll get important health benefits by walking at a moderate-intensity aerobic pace for 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week. But you’ll get the nearly all the health benefits possible by walking at the moderate-intensity aerobic pace for 420 minutes, or seven hours a week (60 minutes a day). These benefits of aerobic physical activity for adults include:
- Lower risk of premature death
- Lower risk of many chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, adverse blood lipids, metabolic syndrome, and even colon and breast cancers
- Improved cardiorespiratory fitness
- Reduced depression
- Better cognitive functioning (older adults)
So in the process of losing weight through a program of brisk walking, you will be improving the quality of your life and health.
Setting Goals for Weight Loss and Aerobic Exercise
Setting goals helps supply direction, motivation and energy for the tasks ahead. Here are some examples of ultimate and interim goals for weight loss and aerobic walking:
- Lose 33 pounds in six months, starting on January 1st
- Lose eight pounds in month one and five pounds each month thereafter
- Lose one to two pounds a week over the next 30 weeks
- Work up to walking 60 minutes a day, seven days a week within five months
- Start out walking twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes each session (20 to 30 minutes a day total) and add another five to ten minutes a day each month
Focus on the goals you set and develop a daily schedule or plan of activities to implement your goals.
Boost Weight Loss with Changes to Eating Habits
The brisk walking program will get you fit and burn lots of calories but you will probably also need to make permanent changes to your eating habits to achieve the most weight loss success. Serving smaller portions, drinking a glass of water before each meal and another one with each meal, eliminating or restricting high-calorie snacks and eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains would help. Good luck!
Related Articles on Weight Loss and References
The following articles on weight loss address related topics that can help you achieve your weight loss goals:
More by this Author
Walking every day is an effective but low-risk way to get fit. Review the many benefits of moderate-intensity aerobic activity to increase your motivation to get and stay fit.
The Mayo Clinic Diet offers a complete roadmap to healthy weight loss. Permanent changes to eating and activity habits are required, but there are sufficient resources for success.
Setting and achieving personal goals is a shortcut to success in many areas of life. Goals focus attention and energy on things that are important to achieve and then action plans detail what needs to be done to reach...