Walking as exercise
They say that walking is the best exercise for you and it is. It’s especially good for you if you like walking and diabetes is something you want to control. Maybe you walk if you’re trying to lose weight like zillions of other people on this planet and who knows, maybe other planets too! But walking and weight loss go together and the more walking you do, the more weight you will lose and that helps control your diabetes. Walking is about the easiest exercise to do, for most folks anyway.
And there are many facts relating to walking that can help in losing weight and aiding in your overall health. For instance, do you know how many steps you walk each day? Do you know there are simple steps you can take that add to your total number by the end of the day? Well, there are and I want to let you know what they are because you want to lose weight and stay healthy and by doing this it will benefit you if have condition such as diabetes.
The benefits of walking
So if you’re regularly walking you can improve your health dramatically and really combat your diabetes by:
- Improving your mood. The more you walk the more your mood will lighten up and the happier you will be. This is due to the body’s natural pain killing endorphins that get released.
- Strengthening your muscles and bones. Your abdominal and leg muscles stayed toned and so will your arms if you’re pumping back and forth as you’re walking.
- Helping you lose and maintain a weight that is healthy for you. You don’t need much to burn a few hundred calories daily. It should only take about thirty minutes of your time. Walking and losing weight helps to lower your blood sugar! It’s worth your health.
- Improving your coordination and your balance as well.
- Lowering your risk of Alzheimers disease. According to studies, men (ages 70-95) have 50% less episodes of Alzheimers or dementia by walking approximately a quarter of a mile daily than men who didn’t.
- Supporting your joints. As we move around joint fluid circulates and provides the joint cartilage the nutrition that it needs. If you aren’t walking then the joints don’t receive this fluid thus speeding up the process of deterioration.
- Improving your overall sleep. Taking a morning walk for sixty minutes will help relieve your insomnia.
- Give your breathing much improvement. So what your body does while you’re walking is improve your energy levels and aid in getting rid of waste products and also helps in your healing ability.
- The improvement of your circulation. Walking is an excellent way of improving your circulation. While doing this, it strengthens your heart while raising your heart rate, which helps in fighting heart disease. Walking thirty minutes a day can also show a decrease in your blood pressure too.
- Leads you down the path of a longer and healthier life. If you’re over fifty and exercising regularly (about thirty minutes a day or more) then there’s a thirty five percent less of a chance of dying than someone not exercising. Get to walking!
- Building up those bones. If you have osteoporosis then walking can halt the loss of bone mass. The possibility of hip fractures can also be reduced by walking just thirty minutes a day.
- The more distance that you walk and the faster the pace will result in more benefits.
First steps- where to begin
So this is just not about walking as far as taking a stroll. You want to have walking as an exercise that will give you more benefits than just a casual stroll in the park. There’s nothing wrong with that because at least you’re moving and getting some exercise. You want to make walking a fun exercise and for me that means MUSIC! Whether I walk outside, in the park, along the beach, on the treadmill at the gym, I take my music with me.
This will become habit when you start walking every day. It’s a routine that your leg muscles will adapt to. So you may feel a bit sore at first so don’t overdo it and the soreness will go away soon enough. If you’re going to do this for losing weight and helping your diabetes and overall health then you want to get serious about it from day one. Diabetes is serious but you can control it if you know what to do and then take action to do it. Walking is really a great way to calm down your diabetes and keep it in check.
Weight loss and why you need a pedometer
Keeping track of how many steps you take each day is very beneficial in helping to lose weight. Your success rate for losing weight is much better when you are wearing a pedometer. Pedometers are easy to attach and fairly inexpensive. Once you know how to calculate how many steps you are taking and need to lose the weight, the easier and more routine it becomes.
So an example might be that if you’re walking 7,000 steps a day and you’re maintaining your current weight, then you need to take many more steps to actually lose some weight. It might be 10,000 or 12,000 or even more and also depending on how much you have to lose.
What is the number for you to lose the weight you want to lose?
An average person has to take approximately 2,000 steps walking the average mile. Walking one mile will burn about 100 calories. So you can figure out what you have to do to lose the weight by walking and calculating with your pedometer. If occasionally you do not have the time to exercise, then you can just add steps in your daily travels that can help with the weight loss.
There is a formula here that makes it very easy to understand. Start out at 2,000 steps as your standard. In order to lose one extra pound, you’ll need an additional 10,000 steps or 12,000 steps each day.
Best tips for planning your walks
First and foremost as with everything else, consult your physician first. Just let the doctor know your plan as far as your schedule and how much walking you’ll do. You want to know what your general health is and what your numbers are from lab results. Your goal is to lose weight, get healthy, and control your diabetes and any other health issues you may have.
The doctor will check you for any shortness of breath from exertion, heart rate, any pain or discomfort in your upper body, dizziness, or any possibility of mild swelling in your legs and feet. A complete physical is an excellent idea as well. You don’t want any hidden health issues.
Your own technique is something to consider. Your head should be straight up, eyes looking only forward and not downward, but you can obviously see where you’re walking along a path for instance. Your back, shoulders, and neck are not stiff, but relaxed. Tighten your muscles in your stomach and do not arch your back. It’s important to keep it straight.
Make it a nice smooth even walk regardless of speed. Your arms should be swinging evenly and freely. You can have a slight bend at your elbow and a slight “pumping” is fine. Just keep testing to see what feels right for you. Above all? Do NOT text or use your cell phone for searching or anything while you’re walking.
Getting the correct walking gear and equipment is essential. The most important thing is walking shoes that are comfortable and proper fitting along with a heel that’s firm enough, a sufficient arch support, and thick enough flexible soles that can absorb shock and give cushioning to your feet at the same time. You want to wear loose fitting and clothes that are comfortable for all types of weather. Choose fabrics (wicking) that “breathe” easily and that are able to let any moisture to transcend through them. This will reduce chaffing as well.
It is very wise to wear bright colors and reflective tape when walking at night. You want cars and vehicles to see you! Sports bras are very popular today and you should wear one that is of a wicked fabric and that fits you correctly. Okay wise guys, I’m talking to the ladies now! LOL
Plan your course accordingly. If you’re walking outside just be aware of your surroundings. It’s a jungle out there sometimes 🙂 There are many obstacles to watch out for. Uneven concrete walks, low hanging tree branches, and many others can be a hazard. Bad weather? Just head for the mall or your gym instead. Maybe you’re brazen enough to head for the hills. It’s like walking on an incline on the treadmill. Work your way up to it at least.
Hot and cold weather play a big role in your plans for your daily walks. In the sun and heat, you want a minimum sunscreen of SPF 30. Wear a hat. I always do. I wear sunscreen. I don’t take chances. Make sure you have plenty of water with you! Stay hydrated because you don’t want to overheat. In the cold you need to stay dry, dress in layers, stay clean, and remain as open as possible to avoid overheating yourself. You must avoid frostbite at all costs.
Always try and remain motivated because it takes a strong commitment to stay with it. You can make your plan to stay motivated by beginning with a ten minutes walk, whether it’s in the morning, at lunchtime, or before or after dinner. Adjust your plan every so often to bump up to thirty minutes or more each day, but don’t just write it down. Take action and do it!
Record your progress of how many steps you take each day, how far you go, and what time frame it took you to get there. Write it down, use a pedometer, or keep track on a spreadsheet.
Easy ways to get those extra daily steps
- You’re on the phone. Get up and walk around while you’re talking. Don’t sit. Walk up and down your stairs if you have them. If not, build them! LOL
- You’re at work. You need the restroom. Walk up or down and use the rest room there instead of the one on your floor.
- Yard work to do? Do it yourself instead of hiring someone. Saves you money and gets more steps in.
- Need something at the grocery store? Leave the car keys home and walk. It’s probably not that far so if it isn’t, then you should get going. 🙂
- I do this next one all the time. Avoid elevators and escalators. Use the stairs. It won’t kill you!
- When shopping, walk the aisles as much as possible. If you’re not in a rush, walk them all over again.
- Get to appointments early and walk around a bit.
- Find a walking buddy or make it a family thing after dinner.
- If your mall isn’t far, get there early and go mall walking. There are mall walkers clubs too.
There are many other ways to take more steps each day of your life. Be creative and use the most of the time that you have in your waking hours to come up with new ways of stepping it up. In order to lose the weight, look and feel better, and help keep your diabetes in check, just walk it off. Build up that routine and get that weight off. Walking is a normal everyday activity that we don’t even think too much about. But now let’s make it an activity that is fun and healthy. And don’t worry if you miss a day here and there. That’s life sometimes. It happens. Just get back on track and stay there. Don’t stress over it.
So now you know more ways than ever to step up your walking everyday and you will lose the weight you want at the pace you can afford. Please don’t ignore healthy eating and other exercise and by all means run everything by your doctor. And if you love walking and want the best walking shoes available then try these!
I would appreciate any comments you have by leaving them below. Thank you for reading and happy walking!