Walking to Lose Weight and Gain Health
Walking is Good for Health
Walking to lose weight and gain health works and will help you if you're looking to improve your overall fitness and appearance.
I looked up my stats weight and height age and body mass. I am not very happy because I am a stone OVERWEIGHT! I clearly spend too much time working on the computer so I am on a mission to lose this extra stone ASAP and with no pain!
I am making a kind of public commitment my plan is to cut out eating before bed, drink Green Juice every day, drink 750 ml of water with half a lemon squeezed into it every time I walk, and start a regular walking regime. I will start gently and progress from there. I shall listen to great tunes when I am walking, and learn to love the weather!
I will be posting my progress on this page so come back and see how I'm doing. I need all the support I don't want to do this on my own!
'Walking is Man's Best Medicine' - Hippocrates
This video makes the point so well please take a few minutes to watch it. I'm really glad I did!
My first 6 months
Diary of my progress:
- First 2 weeks : I have walked 9 days out of 14. I have quite a steep hill near my house and I walk up and down that hill when I go out and then round some flat ground.
- I started by walking up once and after 9 days I have increased it to 7. Big mistake! Too much too soon - I feel like my tummy is dropping, it hurts a bit and feels very strange! I advise to take it more slowly. I should have increased the hill walk by 1 every 3 days or so. I will rest now for a couple of days.
- May - 6 weeks: I have lost 5 lbs. I feel and look so much better.
- I am walking 4 times a week up and down the hill 7 times.
- I have had to stop again! Pulled a muscle in my thigh - funny I was walking quite slowly on flat ground when it happened. I have to rest up.
- I am really enjoying this - so much. I miss it when I can't go. PS I haven't given up eating either! I am drinking freshly made green juice and more water with fresh lemon juice in it. I have cut down on sweet things.
- 13th June : I've just weighed myself and I am down a one more pound! My target is to get anywhere within the 10st region. But I'll be happy with 10st 12lbs.
- I have cut the hill down to 5 each time now because I feel really tired and my muscles ache quite a lot - so 7 times is obviously still too many for my strength. Boy I was so unfit. Too much screen time! BTW I have raised my computer to tummy level so now I work standing up. It's all the rage in offices. I was slouchy - no good.
- My weight has dropped by 2 lbs.
- July: Continued walking 3 times a week.
- August: I've had to stop walking during August because Italy is just too hot! I am swimming most days though. I will start walking again when I get home. Keep you posted!
- September: Hi my plans to start walking when I got back home have come to nothing because I have a very bad cough, earache etc and I have to take it easy. I caught something in Italy and it's been 6 weeks now!
- The very interesting thing about this is that I haven't put the weight back on. This means that, even though I ate more than usual when I was in Italy, I still am 11st 4lbs! Amazing don't you think!
- October: I am so fed up because I'm still under the weather so I haven't been out walking! I have not put weight, but I feel sluggish and horrible. I've been on 3 very gentle strolls -obviously I have to work up to where I was before!
Wish me luck I plan to start next Monday!
- November: I'm walking again! I've walked twice this week, each time for an hour and three times up and down the hill. I am going to pace myself. Take it easy. I haven't weighed myself in a while -I'll do a couple of weeks and then weigh in.
- December: I only walked twice this month! I am being so honest here... I have had a great Christmas eating lots of great food and just taking it easy. I have planned to start walking again in mid January. Then I'll get back on the weighing scales and keep you updated on my progress. Happy New Year!
My Second 6 months - This is me walking on a beautiful beach in Scotland
My aim is to encourage everyone to have a go at walking because it really does have great health benefits and I'd like to give you a kind of benchmark. Judge yourself against me. Are you doing better than me? Are you struggling? Are you already a keen and very fit walker? Please leave a comment below - I thrive on positive thinking!
It's been quite hard to keep the routine going and that's because I work from home. The frustrating thing is that I decided to take up walking precisely because I no longer have to get up and go to work. I typically get up and sit at my computer! I hated that I had put on weight over the years I was working very hard mentally but physically I was doing nothing.
Life Gets in the Way
I'm so fed up because I haven't been walking nearly half as much as I planned. For example my son broke his leg and had 2 weeks at home with me, and I caught a very bad cough which put me out for 6 weeks! And boy doesn't the time pass quickly!
This means that I haven't been able to keep those extra pounds I shed in the first 6 months off. But I have noticed that I am much stronger when I do walk.
I have strengthened my leg and back muscles so when I do walk it feels much easier. I can walk for longer distances at a much faster pace now, which means that I have made quite a lot of progress.
I think any walking is better than no walking. So all in all I feel as though I have done very well so far. I will be building on this progress without a doubt as walking is becoming a real part of my life. I miss it when I don't go and I even get quite grumpy! I am determined to make it really work for me. Perhaps I should join a group? I'll give that some thought.
My progress -poor!!
A year has passed and life has got in the way. I haven't walked for almost 6 months for a variety of reasons. They are genuine reasons BUT I haven't given up - I'm just not walking at the moment.
It's a shame but I don't fell too down because I know I shall be taking it up again asap! I know what to do now and that it works and that I really enjoy walking, so that is all positive!! How are you getting on? Please leave a comment, I'd love to know.
Medics Talking about the Benefits of Walking
Choosing the Right Walking Shoes - It's simple!
Regular Vigorous Walking is Best - A note about walking shoes
One of the best things about taking up walking as regular exercise is that is doesn’t cost anything because all you really need is a decent pair of walking shoes.
Walking or running shoes need to be well made in order to support your feet properly. They must not twist in the middle or rub off the back of your heel. They have to support your arch and ankle. They should be designed specifically for purpose so don't buy a fashion shoe. Many of the highly priced popular brands on the market are charging you only for the brand name!
We all know that fancy labels don't mean the shoe is going to the best. There are plenty of really good walking trainers on the market that have not got an expensive brand name attached.
So once you've got your shoes on you need to start a regular walking routine to improve your overall health. But what does that actually mean? The American Heart Association says:
You gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of vigorous exercise you do.
Also if you keep up a good pace you could burn over 100 calories for every half hour you put in.
So I walk at a 'good' pace when I go out. I use music to keep up my efforts. The rhythm of dance music really helps and it's uplifting too. Sometimes I feel like bursting into song, but so far I have resisted the urge - happily!!
I walk for 10,000 steps up two hills that aren't too steep but steep enough and then I walk round my town, which is flat ground. I do this circuit twice and that takes me just over an hour.
I plan to start walking round three times, but I would like to get my current walk down to under an hour. In other words I'm planning on speeding up just a bit.
I can feel that my legs are stronger than they used to be but my muscles ache the next day. That's a very good sign because it means that I have worked hard enough to make a difference.
Posture When Walking - 60 Second Solutions!
A Pedometer will give you incentive and help you plan
Pedometers will help you to walk the correct amount by counting your steps. Some people wear them all day long and then they can judge how active they have been.
Others wear them when they go for their walks to make sure that they're keeping up the correct amount of steps. They are a help with incentive too.
Moderate Walking makes your brain grow!
Here's an article that explains that research shows that moderate walking three times a week increases the size of your memory hub
20 Minutes Play Time!
Children are kept too still
My child was only 4 years old when he started a nursery group in London. It was a state school and part of the UK's national curriculum, so they followed government guidelines.
His day stated at 9 am and they made him work on developing literacy and numeracy skills till 10.30. They he was allowed out into a green field with toys like bikes, and climbing frames etc - for just 20 minutes!
After which he was put back into a classroom where he got on with activities to develop his reading an writing skills till 12.30. Lunchtime was no better, just 50 minutes, but most of that was taken up with eating. In the afternoon he had a sleep!!
That routine continues right up into secondary school where they get 20 minute breaks in the mornings, and none in the afternoon! They wonder why our children are unfit and call them 'lazy'! I got fed up with all that and took my boy out of the state system.
I could go on and on about this because it's obvious that active play in the fresh air is an essential part of a child's development. It is at an early age that kids learn to love to be active and develop routines that they will take with them into their adult lives.
I am a teacher - I have never understood why we cage our kids in (rant over!)
Even though walking is the most natural thing in the world starting a regular walking routine that you are going to keep up needs a little bit of bit of planning.
When will you walk? I have found that walking early in the morning is not a good thing for me. Everything feels more difficult, so I wait until mid morning or sometimes after lunch and then go for a brisk walk.
I have decided that walking on my own suits me best because I have my pace and route worked out and it seems to have turned into quite an exact science for me! I have tried walking with a couple of friends and my husband but they all seem to cramp my style! Inviting someone to walk with you may make sure you are more committed, but it may also mean that if that person quits you will too. I walk where I feel safe so it's not a problem that I am on my own.
I wear whatever I feel comfortable in, but usually I wear long shorts and a tee shirt. I take a waist bag with me for my keys etc. I carry a bottle of water and my son's ipod. After the walk I go home and shower.
This routine worked itself out as time passed and as you can see by my experience it's not difficult stuff to get together.
One thing I think I should point out is that you'll have to learn to love the outdoors no matter what the weather holds, otherwise the first sign of rain or wind will put you off going out. I happen to love the rain and dislike the heat so I'm living in the right country as far as walking is concerned.
For the first 2 weeks you should aim to stride. While you are walking you should be a little out of breath - you'll be able to talk but breathlessly.
Walk for 10 minutes slots, 3 to 4 times each week. In the second week add another couple of minutes to each walk.
The aim for these two weeks is to walk from 20 to 30 minutes each time - getting a little faster. By the end of the month you should have added an extra day's walk.
Don't Walk into Trouble
Although it is not common, you can get into trouble if you walk in secluded places.
Tips I follow:
- Be aware for example that during the winter months places like public parks are less busy and you could find yourself on your own. It's a shame to have to include this in what is otherwise a very positive page, but we should all to be sure that we are not putting ourselves at risk.
- Think carefully about where you walk, especially if you're going to be by yourself. This applies to men as well as women, by the way.
- Make sure you plan your walk, go on well-lit paths and try to stay where there are people. The idea really is that you should be able to see anyone who is approaching. This is not possible in a wood for example, and although a wooded area is a beautiful place to walk, you would be ill advised to do so on your own.
- If you're walking by traffic, make sure you walk facing the oncoming cars, this avoids people stopping or curb crawlers bothering you while you walk.
- It is very wise to change the route you take every so often so people don't get used to seeing you in the same place everyday.
- Make sure you have the energy to run the distance it may take in order to get to help. Don't walk for miles off the beaten track.
- You can buy a personal alarm and use it if you feel that you want to attract attention or even call for help. You should also have your phone with you, but out of sight of course!
- It is wise not to wear headphones, because you will be less aware of your surroundings, and you won't be able to hear if someone is unusually close to you. I wear inconspicuous ear plugs.
- Also, if you suspect that something is wrong then it is! Just get out of there as quickly as possible.
Getting Rid of Tummy Fat
without painful crunchies!
My tummy has never quite recovered since having my baby. So I'm going to try this simple exercise:
Sit up and relax
Breathe in through your nose
Pull in your tummy muscles
Hold for a few seconds - as long as you can without passing out!
Breathe out through your mouth and release muscles
Repeat several time a day
You may as well do your pelvic floor while you at it! Kill two birds with one stone :0)
This works. After about 2 weeks you'll notice a difference - your tummy will feel and look tighter. So I've been told!
It's nice that you can do this exercise anywhere - you don't need to make time to do it just fit it in where you can.
Shall we have a go? Who is up for it? Let me know how you get on.
I haven't remembered to do this so I can give you no feed back whatsoever. I am determined to try though.
My trip to the Lake District - A real walking holiday!
I had a few days in the Lake District, Cumbria, England last week and I really surprised myself because I went fell walking again after many years and I felt great!
I used to do this about 20 years ago, and I found it very, very hard going. I was younger, but I had very stressful job at the time, and I very unhappy about some areas of my life.
All this made the hill walking very hard, I felt as though I was carrying myself up not walking! Afterwards my legs would sting with pain and my breath would run out very quickly.
I now can see that I was going through a very unhappy time in my life and that was having a negative effect on my health.
I still can't seem to keep up any sort of exercise routine unless I feel happy. I wonder if that's the case with you?
I hadn't been back to the Lake District since then so I had very low expectations of my abilities when we set off on our fell walk. I thought my son and husband would leave me standing as they strode up in front but this was not the case.
I wanted to get to the top of Harrison Stickle, that's the highest peak in the picture above. is something many people enjoy but fell walking is not for the faint of heart.
The photo is a picture of Langdale Pike, my favorite place and we got to the very top. I don't know exactly how high the Pikes are, but it took us about 4 hours to get to the tops and 3 to get down again.
It was an exciting day but my son did not enjoy it as much as I hoped. He hated the rain. Well to be fair to him it was more than just rain - it pelted down for at least 2 hours!
The picture shows the Pikes in snow, but we had torrential rain, wind, and hail stones! We we were told to come down because the weather was about to turn bad! The lakes are like that - very dangerous. In fact as we were coming down about 10 rescue volunteers were making their way up because climbers were stuck on a rock face. They were not very happy - but boy were they fit! My son didn't enjoy the walk until about a month later when he asked me when we were going to do that again!
I had one of the best days I've had in a long time! And my legs didn't hurt and I could keep up with the men!
Eureeka! I'm back on track.
I think it would be fun to keep a record of when, where and why we walk. I'd love to know who is walking with me. So come on! Write what you're up to here and let's see who is doing what!
© 2013 Giovanna Sanguinetti