If you would like to lose weight then you have to look at your calorie balance. If you consume fewer calories as a result of eating and drinking than you burn off by physical activity, you will tend to lose weight. Physical activity includes just about anything you do. You use up calories all the time during the day. Reading the newspaper, surfing the internet, doing the ironing – all of these perfectly normal activities use up calories.
Your metabolic rate is the speed at which you burn off calories. It’s important to know that not everyone has the same metabolic rate. We all know some lucky (if slightly annoying) people who just don’t seem to gain weight no matter how much they eat. They probably have a high metabolic rate.
That’s the reason why you should really include a certain level of regular exercise in your weight loss routine. Obviously when you perform exercise you will burn off some calories, which is great of course. However, what’s even more important is that, as long as your exercise is conducted on a consistent basis, it will actually raise your metabolic rate. You will burn off more calories than before – even when you’re not exercising – and that could help you see better results, and a lot faster, than if you rely solely on dieting to lose weight.
The key thing is consistency. You don’t need to visit the gym or get all hot and sweaty, a low intensity workout will do the trick – as long as it is performed frequently. Walking is a very popular form of exercise. You already know how to do it, it’s cheap – there are no costly monthly membership fees, you can accommodate it in your day to day routine whenever you it suits you best and you don’t need any special training or equipment. The health benefits of walking are numerous and, due to the fact that it’s a low impact way to take exercise, the risk of injury is low.
If you want, you can increase the efficiency of your walking workout using the latest design of fitness footwear. You can now purchase specially designed shoes like Skechers Shape Ups, Reebok Easy Tones, MBT’s and Fit flops sandals – all of which use specially designed soles to raise the amount of work carried out by your lower body muscles and to help tone your legs and trim your butt. However, even if you don’t feel the need to try any of these, then do be absolutely certain to get yourself a pair of shoes that are a good fit and are comfortable. If your shoes give you blisters or cause you any discomfort then it will be difficult to keep your walking program on track.
Lots of people want to know just how many calories they will use by walking. It depends upon your weight. A heavier person will burn more calories per mile than a lighter person – just because they are carrying more weight over the same distance. An approximate rule of thumb is that a 180 pound person will use up about 100 calories per mile walked. A 130 pound person will use about 84 calories when walking the same distance. If you would like to know more accurately how many calories you are using up then an Omron pedometer is accurate to within 5% and can show your results in terms of distance covered, calories burned or the total number of steps taken.
Most health advisers recommend a target of 10,000 steps daily in order to get the full benefits of walking, including weight loss. But you don’t need to do this immediately. Take your time and build up slowly. If you have any medical conditions, or if you haven’t taken any regular exercise for a while, then it would be advisable to seek the opinion of your doctor before you embark on any new exercise program. Remember, the most important thing is consistency and taking your exercise on a regular basis. Short periods of high intensity activity are nowhere near as good as repeated low level exercise. That’s why walking is such an ideal exercise solution.
Tags: Health and Fitness