Walk Don’t Ride on Your Weight Loss Journey
The beginning of your weight loss journey may seem daunting, but every small step brings you closer to your ultimate goal. In fact, one of the simplest forms of exercise — walking — can be most effective for maintaining good health. Weight loss doctor Dr. Wendy Scinta notes that incorporating extra walking into your daily routine can facilitate weight loss, boost mood, prevent chronic health conditions such as diabetes, and strengthen your bones.
Think of walking for health as a marathon, not a sprint. For many people, trying to walk a mile on the first day is not only intimidating but may be far too strenuous. Instead, look for ways to stretch your daily routine to include more walking. For example, you might begin parking at the far end of a parking lot to get a few hundred steps on your way into the store. Alternatively, commit to taking your dog for a walk each night or joining a friend for a brief morning walk.
Invest in the Right Shoes for You
The DeWitt and Fayetteville, NY, areas have several fitness stores that supply high-quality walking shoes. Your first step in the right direction shouldn’t be made in the wrong shoes or you may experience knee pain or have problems maintaining a proper gait. Ask a knowledgeable sales consultant for advice on your walking gait. He or she can recommend shoes with proper arch support, flexible soles that absorb shock, and a firm heel to keep your legs aligned. After several months of walking, you may need to replace shoes that no longer provide good arch support or appropriate cushioning. This is an investment in good health so don’t stick with a favorite pair of shoes once all the protection is gone.
Set Walking Goals and Stick to Them
As part of your weight loss program you know that the best way to stick to a new exercise plan is to set concrete goals. Begin by wearing a pedometer every day for a week to get a sense of how many steps you walk. Then, add an extra 500 steps to your routine each week. Keeping track of your steps in a spreadsheet or smartphone app is a great way to track your progress.
Although the ultimate goal recommended by doctors is 10,000 steps per day, most people don’t walk that many. Don’t be discouraged if that goal seems far away. As with every aspect of your journey to better health, slow and steady progress is better than taking on too much at once.