There are many women I come in contact with on a daily basis that are looking for a way to lose weight. With 70% of women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, being obese (drastically higher than in the general population where 30% of women are obese), it is no wonder that weight loss is one of the largest concerns in women!
There is good news! One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get started on your weight loss goals is to start walking on a regular basis. Walking can help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, increases energy levels, and makes you feel great!
Walking does not require any special equipment or a gym membership to get in a great workout. All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes and you can do this pretty much anywhere. It is especially great for those of you who travel so much!
Getting out there and walking the block in your own neighborhood for 30 minutes 4-5 times a week can make a huge difference in how you look and feel!
In order to give you the nuts and bolts of what you should know if you are going to kick off your weight loss program, I have put together a list of the 15 top tips for walking for weight loss.
Gear: First up, you will need comfortable, well-fitting shoes with great support. I encourage you to go to a sporting goods store and have them fit you with a pair of shoes that work well for your feet. Also, you will want light-colored & reflective clothing if you plan on walking in the evenings or at night. If you are only going to be walking during the day, bright or neon colors work great to make sure that traffic sees you.
Goals & Rewards: Before you even start your walking program, sit down and actually write out your goals. What do you plan to do this week and this month for walking? What is your reward if you meet these goals? Make sure your goals are small and achievable which will help you stay motivated as time goes on. Make sure your reward is something that you really want like that high-speed blender.
Music: Create a fun playlist that you can listen to on your phone, iPod, etc. while you are walking. If you would prefer to listen to a book on tape, make sure you have a few to choose from and have them loaded onto your player.
Weights: Buying hand weights that are 3 pounds or less is optional but it is a great way to increase the intensity of your workout a little more!
ID & Water bottle: Never go walking without your ID in case something happens along the way. A water bottle is a necessity if you are going to be walking to replace the water loss during exercise. Get a great water bottle that is fun and BPA-free.
Against the traffic: When you are walking along roads, a good rule of thumb is to go against the traffic. Walk on the left side of the road/sidewalk. This allows you to see drivers and for them to better see you.
Hills/Terrain: Another way you can increase the workout intensity is to change up the route. Add a few hills or a different type of terrain. In the desert, there are roads, gravel, sand, or even hiking up the mountains we have. It all makes your muscles work a little differently and are great ways to change things up.
Fast: Don’t just stroll along on your workout walk. You will not get much out of a slow walk. Pick up the pace and go as fast as you can handle. As your body gets better and better with dealing with regular workouts, you can pick up the pace or add a little more distance
Heart monitor & pedometer: These help you know if you are actually getting a good workout. You can see if your heart rate is just a little elevated that you are walking at a good pace. If you wear a pedometer, you can make sure you get at least 1,000 steps per day which is a great motivating tool in getting up more active on a daily basis.
Buddy: Find a walking buddy. It is easier to get yourself motivated when you are going walking with a friend. For example, I would never go hiking by myself, but a group of us women from work plan at least once or twice a week to meet at a trail for our hiking adventure. When you have a friend or group of friends to go with, it is more fun and you are more likely to stick with it!
Charity walk: There seem to always be charity walk/runs going on. See about signing up for one to walk in. This is a great motivator to improve your fitness level so you are ready for the event and a great way to support a charity of your choosing.
Cool down/stretching: Every workout, including walking, needs a cool down. This can be 3-5 minutes long and can consist of your walking at your beloved stroll pace and some stretching. This is very important because it is what helps bring your body back to its normal state and will help prevent injuries.
Don’t forget that while walking can be a big part of your weight loss program, you still should have fun! Make walking fun and do what you enjoy. I prefer to choose places to go hike that have lots of interesting things in nature to see. Figure out what works for you that will help you enjoy your time of getting healthy
Name the easiest tip from the top 12 that you could add to your weight loss program. Leave your answer in a comment below.