In recent times, particularly with the Coronavirus, walking for weight loss and fitness has become a common pastime for many of us. Hitting a certain number of steps per day can be motivating for many people, while others prefer to walk when they can, or fit in a certain number of hours per week.
Either option is great, as long as you’re actually walking!
We all know we need to move more and sit less during the day, and any physical activity is better than none. Walking can be a particularly useful weight loss tool, and it’s good to know that you can absolutely burn fat and improve your overall health by walking. It’s worth noting that walking has the added benefit of promoting mental health, which can decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Here are 10 tips for when you’re walking for weight loss, so you can maximise the benefits!
1. Get the right gear. I really like to wear nice workout gear when I go walking, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. If the only thing you do is put on a good pair of sneakers and a hat, that’s enough. Just make sure you’re not walking around in uncomfortable shoes or without sun protection!
2. Focus on your form. Walking is something that most of us do without having to think about it, but considering your posture can really enhance your walk. Your core should be slightly activated (without sucking your stomach in) and your shoulders should be back.
3. Find an incline. Choosing a walking path where there’s an occasional steep hill (or even a slight hill) will make a really big difference in your heart rate, the muscles you use, and calories you burn. You’ll also feel really good if you get that heart rate up by releasing those feel good endorphins.
4. Pick up the pace: Walking in intervals is a great way to help you burn more calories and keep things interesting. You can go at your usual pace for 5 minutes, then walk briskly for 5 minutes, and so on. As your fitness increases you may like to improve your fitness by power walking the entire distance.
5. Set goals and record your times: Let’s say you’ve allowed yourself 40 minutes for a walk. How many kilometres can you do in that time? You will soon find as your fitness increases, you’re covering a lot more area in the same amount of time.
6. Walk with a friend: An accountability buddy can make your walks so much more interesting! Just remember not to give up on your walk if your accountability buddy decides they can’t make it – it’s all up to you to keep going!
7. Walk with a Fitbit. Curious to see how many calories you’ve burnt? Keep yourself motivated with your Fitbit or download an app on your phone to track your calories.
8. Catch up on your listening. Love a good podcast? Use the time when you’re walking to reward yourself by catching up on some podcasts you love (particularly good for when your accountability buddy doesn’t show!)
9. Check the weather before you go. There’s nothing wrong with carrying an umbrella ‘just in case’ if the forecast looks like some wet weather is on the way.
10. On that note: don’t let the weather stop you! If it’s raining, hailing or snowing way too much and you can’t get outdoors, there are walking workouts you can do inside. I love these workouts so much that I’ve created my own, my latest one is here:
If you give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think!
While you’re there, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and tick the notification bell, so you never miss a new workout. You can also sign up for workout calendars that I send out for free every month, and feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I share loads of new workouts and ideas.