Walking For Weight Loss - 4 Facts to Know Before You Start

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Walking, according to many experts, is one of the best weight loss exercises you can do. It's free - making it probably the most affordable exercise, it's efficient - giving your whole body a workout instead of only one or two muscles, and it's available - you can do it whenever and wherever you happen to be. But more than that, it makes you healthier (heart, bones and reduced chances of cancer and type two diabetes), improves your brain function, and makes you 47% less likely to be hit with depression! And that's besides for making you fitter, and getting you to lose all that weight and reach slim heaven.

But before you strap on your sneakers, there are a few things you ought to know to maximize your weight loss effects.

#1: Running vs. Walking

You'd think that the faster you go, the more fat you burn, and the more calories you burn, right? Wrong! The calories you burn running for a mile are about the same as the calories you'd burn walking that same mile. That's without even considering that when running, unless you're an olympic marathon competitor, you burn mainly sugar, while with walking, you're burning fat. So, save your breath, and focus on distance rather than speed. It will make walking more fun, and make you more likely to stick to it.

#2: Short bursts, or all in one long walk?

Doing accumulative walking (e.g. 3 sets of ten minute walks instead of one long 30-minute walk) burns at least the same amount of calories as doing it all in one shot. So fit walking into your schedule wherever you can- during your lunch break, in the morning, or whenever it's convenient for you.

In fact, because the caloric burn continues even after you've finished walking, spreading out your walking throughout the day means you're increasing the amount of calories your body burns throughoug the entire day. But with accumulative walking, make sure you're completing your "quota" of walking time every day. If you decided to spend 40 minutes walking every day, and do it in two 20-minute stages, don't let yourself 'forget' the second walk!

#3: Where to walk

Did you know that walking on different surfaces actually gets you to lose more calories? You see, when you walk on sand, earth or pebbles, crunch on grass or up the hill, your body is meeting more resistance, and walking actually uses up more energy, meaning that without really increasing your exercise intensity, you're losing more weight. Walking on cobblestones has the added benefit of stimulating acupoints on your feet, increasing your energy flow and improving blood pressure. So go for textured walking!

#4: Keep it going

You don't want this attempt at exercising and losing weight to peter out like all the rest of your ambitious weight loss plans did. So try these three tips to make sure you keep it going:

~ Make a walking plan at the beginning of the week, detailing the amount of time you're going to spend on the go, then check off every day as you complete your walking time.
~ Find a buddy. You'll feel more accountable and have more fun!
~ Get a pedometer. Knowing how many steps you make each day will stop you slacking, and motivate you to keep it up!

So get those sneakers on and start walking!

For lots more helpful information, inspiration, tips and advice about weight loss from Lizy Hall - and to download your free copy of the report: "The Hidden Secrets of Weight Loss - Uncovered" (facts that most people do NOT know) visit: Stay Fit Forever. Check out her blog for more fun diet stuff.

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