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An Easy Exercise Program Suitable For Everyone - and guaranteed to melt off unwanted pounds.

Updated on January 2, 2013

This information is not for those who are already deeply immersed in the world of fitness and exercise. It is more for those who have no real experience with exercise and for those who, for whatever reason, feel that they may as well give up because the cause has already been lost.

The easiest, safest, and most guaranteed way to lose weight, is by simply walking. Virtually everyone can walk, regardless of age, size, and medical condition. The truth is that walking, in addition to helping control weight, actually improves many existing medical conditions, and diseases..

I am not suggesting that everyone rush out and start this program. If you are extremely overweight or have any concerns about your health, consult your doctor before starting this or any exercise program.

All you need to walk is a pair of sturdy shoes, and a tiny bit of will power. You simply have to open the door and move out.

Choose a level, safe place to start walking, and begin by checking the time. Walk at what is a moderate pace for you. If you can carry on a conversation, (with yourself or someone else) without becoming breathless, then you are walking at a moderate pace.

See how long you can comfortably walk, either in time or distance. If that is only ten steps, or for one minute, fine. That is your starting point.

Choose a specific time of day for your exercise and try to stick to it. One of the nice things about waking is that you can do it anytime of day and anyplace, around the block, in a mall, or in the great wild outdoors. You also do not need any special equipment to walk or any special clothing. Walking is not only effective, it is cheap.

Say you can walk comfortably for ten minutes. This is your exercise that you will do every day, for one week. After one week, walk an extra block or an extra few minutes. You will have to decide what, for you, is a good increase. Push yourself, but do so gently. Always walk the same route, so later you can extend it.

You will continue at this increased time, or distance, for one week. Continue increasing your time gradually, until you can walk, comfortably, for thirty minutes.

Check your walking route. Now is the time to speed up your walking. You will continue to walk for thirty minutes, but you will speed up until you can walk further in that thirty minutes. Do so slowly and keep track of your progress. Remember, you must stay at each level for one week before advancing.

Now is the time to invest in a pedometer that will tell you how fast you are walking, and also how far. They are quite inexpensive. If you prefer not to invest, you will simply walk at your fastest speed for a measurable distance.

Continue walking until you reach your maximum speed. Depending on you age, size, and level of fitness, this will probably be from three to four miles per hour, so from 11/2 to 2 miles in a thirty minute period. If it is less, so be it.

You will maintain your maximum walking speed, and then can, if you wish, start to add ankle or/and wrist weights. Do this gradually starting with eight ounce weights. Walking weights strap on and are quite comfortable. If you have strong hands, you can simply carry weights. Begin to bend your elbows as you walk for a more vigorous upper body workout.

Now is the time to consider walking to work, or to other destinations, within your walking range. Try taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

At this stage, you may want to start walking on more uneven surfaces. If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, sand gives walkers an added challenge. Consider adding hills, and starting hiking.

There are marathons which give walkers the option to walk for five miles of the total distance. Consider working yourself into shape to try one of these. You will see walkers of all ages, shapes and sizes happily crossing the finish line of many marathons.

Walking is a wonderful way of seeing both city and country sights. There are walking and hiking tours in many parts of the world, so consider one of these destinations for your next holiday.

Exercise, not only helps control weight, it also reshapes the body, replacing fat with muscle. Muscle uses up more calories than fat - another advantage. You may feel that you are tired after exercising, but exercise actually increases energy, as you will soon find out. Exercise also causes the body to release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers and give one a feeling of increased well-being. Runners, talk about an endorphin rush which fills them with a joyful rush of energy.

A word of caution. Please do not constantly weigh yourself. It can be discouraging. You want to loose weight gradually. As you slowly drop pounds you will see that you clothes become looser, and what a joy that is. People that lose weight rapidly tend to gain it back just as rapidly.

Remember to improve your eating habits, in conjunction with your walking. Eat more lean meats, like skinless chicken, more brightly colored fruits and vegetables and more whole grains, instead of that pulpy white bread. Cut down on fats and refined sugars. An improved diet will improve your overall health, boost your immune system, and protect you from disease.

I hope this has inspired even a few to get out and walk. It is something most of us can do from shortly after we are born, and all throughout our lives. It's easy, fun, and oh so good for us.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for reading and commenting Teaches12345 - congratulations on working up to the gym - gyms are not for everyone, but as long as we keep active, we are winners - nice to hear from you - B.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Great advice on an easy exercise plan. We started out walking three years ago and have built up to working out in the gym. Agree that weighing yourself often doesn't help. Voted up!

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi again Phoenix - I must commend you for doing some breed-research before you choose a dog - choosing the wrong breed so often leads to puppy-dumping - I only keep rescued dogs now (hence my article 5 Rescued Dogs - about my daughter's five dogs) but then I'm pretty dog tolerant - if you take a puppy, or a mature dog, I wish for it and for you all, a long and happy relationship - best wishes, B.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Cartero6 - thank you so much for reading and commenting on my hub - you are absolutely right, walking does sooth the mind, and it if doesn't need soothing, then you have some time for quiet thought - regards, B.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      I want a dog. A cute, wriggly puppy. I miss having a pet and would get us all walking more.

      This is not a casual comment. I've been thinking about it for awhile and been researching for ideal breeds. I know this is a big commitment and wouldn't adopt a pet for the sake of physical fitness.

      But I still want a puppy.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Yep totally agree with you here! A sure help with weight loss walking is amazing for the mind as well...(Def a good point about the shoes Till)

      Voted UU & shared...Cheers

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Kashmir56 - thanks for reading and commenting - I would imagine that you probably don't need to lose weight, because you have always been a faithful walker - we used to walk more, out of necessity, but that has all changed, as we get larger and larger - B.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Tillsontitan - I agree, good shoes are a must, especially for those that have any foot or weight problems - it's good to hear from someone else who has benefited from walking - I think exercise and diet go hand in hand - you get benefits from either but together they are a winning combination - nice to hear from you - B.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Best advice! When I dieted I lost a few pounds, but when I started walking I lost a lot more. I think the most important thing is GOOD SHOES!

      Voted this up, useful, and interesting.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and advice within in this well written hub. I do walk everyday but do not need to lose any weight, but i do it because it is a great way to get some good exercise .

      Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Phoenix - congratulations - sounds as though you really have things under control - you certainly have some great walking opportunities in your part of the world - it's good to have the option of a treadmill - my option is my dogs who would give me no peace if I didn't walk - thank you for reading my hub Phoenix,and taking the time to comment - regards, B

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good plan, Bill. I've already started walking. Since it's been so windy and rainy I've opted for the old treadmill. It's been a challenge since the treadmill is on a permanent incline so I'm having to work harder. I started walking a mile a day, as you suggested in a previous hub. Once I get started, it's not so bad. The real challenge is getting started.