You have wanted to lose weight for so long.
You changed your diet - and it helped, but not enough. You tried jogging, but your knees and ankles hurt so badly you barely moved for the next three days. How is that going to help you lose weight?
You tried going to the gym, but perhaps you felt intimidated by all the ultra-fit gym buffs, and frankly, uninspired by the machines, classes and indoor environment?
You tried Zumba, but after the third time you flailed into the person next to you and vowed never to go back!
You just need something simple, that works.
It's time to try walking.
Yes, Walking Works...In 2002, researchers compared weight loss in three groups of women: The first group implemented a change of diet only, the second group changed their diet and walked for 30 minutes 5 days a week, and the third changed their diet and walked for 60 minutes 5 days a week.
Both groups that walked lost more weight than the group that only dieted, and researchers found there were no significant differences between the amount of weight lost between the group walking 30 minutes and the group walking for 60-minutes.
You'll start losing weight with just 30 minutes of walking a day.1
...But You Have to Walk the Right Way
Any type of physical activity will help you lose weight, but for best results, you need to walk fast.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. To lose a pound a week, you generally need to eliminate 500 calories a day."2
Need more convincing? Check out this chart provided by the University of Arizona.
You Still Have to Watch What You Eat
In all the studies that looked into the effectiveness of walking for weight loss, changes in diet were shown to be essential.
Walking alone won't help you reach your goals, so keep up the good work with your dietary changes and just hit the treadmill (or, even better, go outside and enjoy some fresh air.)
How to Keep the Momentum GoingWe all know life gets in the way, so when you miss a day or two, it's easy to stop what had been good progress. Here are a few ways to stay motivated:
-Walk with friends: Organize a group and walk together to encourage each other.
-Take advantage of work breaks: You may not be able to sneak out for a walk once the kids are home, so use your work breaks instead.
-Keep a journal: Write down how far and long you walked. Refer back to it when you lose your drive, it will remind your how much you've accomplished and help you renew your resolve.
-Give yourself small rewards: When you walk a certain number of days in a row, do something you enjoy, like taking an hour to read or cross-stitch.
Keeping It Off
Are you worried that once you get the extra weight off, it'll just come right back? Don't be.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says, "Research has shown that ≈20% of overweight individuals are successful at long-term weight loss when defined as losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining the loss for at least one year."3
So lose the weight slowly and steadily, and keep up your diet and exercise, you'll keep it off and be healthier and happier for it.