Walking for Weight Loss and Health

Walking for Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight or looking for an easy way to get some exercise, walking is one of the best methods not only for losing weight, but for improving your strength and endurance as well. There have been recent guidelines published suggesting that walking 10,000 steps per day is not only an effective way to drop the pounds, but will provide many additional health benefits as well.

Many weight loss programs are now coming out with their own 10,000 step programs. This is a program designed to help you get walking and increase your steps until you reach the 10,000 steps per day goal. A 10,000 step program is a great way to boost your level of activity and begin feeling great.

Walking for Weight Loss

How many steps?

To start with, you will want to get a pedometer, a small device that will track the number of steps you take each day. Pedometers will have a variety of different features and functions depending on the model you choose, but even the most basic model will be sufficient for this walking program. The idea is to put the pedometer on first thing in the morning and then carry on with your normal activities. When you go to bed at night, record the number of steps you have taken and reset your pedometer so that it is ready for the next morning. Continue tracking your steps for five to seven days and get an average for the number of steps you walked over those days. This will be your starting point.

You goal is to increase the number of steps you take, so you need to determine what your increase amount should be. For most people adding an additional 500 steps to their day is a good place to start. So take your beginning average and add 500 steps to get your target goal for the next seven days. Continue to work towards reaching this new higher number of steps each day. Then, at the end of seven days, you will add an additional 500 steps and continue on for another week aiming to meet this next milestone. Continue in this manner until you have reached 10,000 steps per day.

How far is that?

The average stride for most adults is approximately 2-1/2 feet. That means that it will take a little more than 2,000 steps to walk one mile. Walking 10,000 steps will be almost 5 miles worth of walking. That’s a great daily goal, this is almost the minimum recommended by the CDC for daily exercise.

People who are mostly sedentary might only average between 1,000 and 3,000 steps in a day, while more active people will of course have a higher average. Continuing to increase your steps will provide many health benefits, especially for people who have become accustomed to not getting much exercise.

How to Increase Your Steps

There are many ways you can get in additional steps. Look for opportunities and use your imagination to keep working towards your goal. Walking to lose weight is a great way to lose belly fat and get fit at the same time.

  • Take a walk
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Get up to change the channel on the TV
  • Go to the mall and walk around and window shop
  • Walk to places that are close by
  • Get outside, walk around the yard, the garden or whatever
  • Take the kids on an outing to the park
  • Take the long way back to your desk
  • Walk through the house while you are waiting for dinner to cook
  • Walk while talking on the phone
  • Get up from your seat and take a short stroll around the room, the house, the yard or the block
  • Offer to get something for someone else

With a little creativity you will find dozens of ways to sneak in extra steps throughout the day and these steps will all help bring you closer to your target for the week.

Walking for Weight Loss

If you are walking to lose weight, it’s important to understand how walking can impact the rate at which you lose you drop those pounds. 10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles for most adults, which means that an average 150 pound person would burn about 500 calories a day with this walking plan. Since there are 3,500 calories per pound of fat, burning 500 additional calories each day would result in a 1 pound weight loss each week. (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories lost or 1 pound of fat). Add a healthy eating plan and you will quickly increase the rate at which you are losing weight.

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Comments 20 comments

2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I started walking about 4 years ago, and now walk every day.

I always walk to the shops - it saves the stress of finding a parking place.

How do I carry my shopping? Simple - once a month I order all the heavy items on line - and have them delivered.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

I haven't heard of the barefoot shoes, but they sound like the Earth Shoes everyone wore back in the 70's. Great for your feet!

AshleyGreen profile image

AshleyGreen 6 years ago from Going for a stroll

Has anyone tried the barefoot shoes? They seem to be coming in in a big way. They are supposed to be better for our feet because our feet can mould naturally to the earth. Sounds fun huh?

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

fucsia, yes walking is a great exercise and requires nothing but a decent pair of shoes. Thanks for reading and commenting.

fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

One of the best tip, and easier to follow too ,that I have read.

Let us walk!

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

BJBenson, I agree. I get out walking and everything just melts away. I can let my mind wander ... it's a great time to just think and enjoy some solitude. Thanks for reading!

BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

I love to walk . It relaxes.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Great point agusfanani, a daily walk, even when it's just part of your regular routine adds up to better health and fitness.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

ed77burns, it really is a great way to lose weight, many people don't realize just how healthy a daily walk can be. Thanks for reading.

agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

I like walking and I've felt the benefits for a long time. Thanks to my daily walking (from train station to my office) so that I stay slim and healthy.

ed77burns 6 years ago

Walking is really a great option or a tip to lose weight and maintain fitness.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks Sally's Trove! I agree, we always seem to be after the next best thing. sometimes the simplest methods are the best.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

This is such a refreshing Hub. The temptation to buy a piece of equipment that you put in your house that accomplishes the same things as an outdoor walking plan is always there because of TV advertising or the need some feel to be "keeping up with the Joneses". Voted up and useful.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

His daughter, cold weather can make it hard to get out and walk. Have you tried going to the mall and just walking and window shopping?

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comments mikeaustins! I think walking is a great way to relieve stress as well. I love to just get out and look around, kind of relax and think by myself.

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His daughter 6 years ago

I am so thankful I don't always have to get wrapped up in some aerobic type exercise. I enjoy the walking. Thanks for the encouragement to get back at it. So hard when it is bitter cold out there. :(

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

katrinasui, walking is such as great form of exercise and it requires so little. It can also be a great way to unwind and relax when you're stressed out! Thanks for reading!

katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 6 years ago

Its true that 15 to 20 minute walk daily makes a huge difference in our health. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions.

Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago Author

Thanks Jai Warren. I agree, people need to just realize how much a walk can not only improve their health, but even help them lose weight. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Jai Warren profile image

Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

Really great advice, Lamme! If people would just realize a 15-20 minute walk daily makes a huge difference in their health. And, it can be at any pace... a leisurely stroll or a power walk. Perfect New Years resolution for people wanting to live a healthier life. Thanks, Ciao!

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