Walking for Health and Weight Loss
Taking up a new exercise routine for weight loss can be intimidating. Many exercises require special equipment or mastering new skills. But there’s one aerobic exercise proven to help you maintain weight loss and improve heart health that doesn’t require any special equipment outside of a good pair of comfortable shoes: walking.
How to Get Started Walking for Health
You will need a comfortable pair of walking shoes to avoid blisters or sore feet. They don’t have to be expensive or specialized. Pick a pair that is lightweight, flexible and not too tight. They should move easily when you bend the shoe, and there should be about a thumb’s width of space from the end of your big toe to the front of the shoe.
To get a good aerobic workout, you’ll need to keep up a good pace. Experts recommend about 4.5 miles per hour to burn calories and work your heart and lungs. If you can’t do this at first, don’t worry. After a few weeks, you will find that your pace and endurance increases.
Increasing Benefits with Intervals
You can get more benefit out of your walking workout through interval training. Intervals refer to walking faster at certain times than others to exert more effort. A good way to break your walking exercise up is to warm up for about five minutes at about half your top level of exertion. Then, alternate doing two to three minutes at your normal pace and one that’s about 80 percent of your top level of exertion. Perhaps the simplest method for doing intervals is to preload your phone with a selection of tunes with varying tempos. Walk in time to the music. Fast when the beat is fast and slower when the music is mellower. There are several apps that you can download to tell you the beat count of the music in your music library. Simply mix and match the beat counts to give yourself different intensity interval workouts. Do intervals a couple of times a week.
Staying Comfortable While You Walk
Make sure that you are well-hydrated when you go walking. Bring along a water bottle to sip. To avoid overheating, dress in layers when you walk. Even if you feel fine in a track suit and jacket at the beginning, you will find that you get hotter as you get into your walk.
Dr. Scinta, your weight loss doctor in Fayetteville, NY, will prescribe the amount of exercise needed as part of your medical weight loss program. Generally, people will aim for exercising at least 30 minutes a day five days a week.