Best Beginners Exercise For Weight Loss
Updated: Apr 15
When we consider exercising for weight loss often times we think about high-intensity cardiovascular exercises like running or CrossFit. However, an often overlooked exercise is one of the easiest forms of cardio, walking.
Granted, the results of walking will be slightly slower than with high-intensity training, the fact of the matter is that we will get results. There is a three-pronged strategy we incorporate into our weight loss lifestyle that includes diet, rest and exercise.
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain our overall health, is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day, any where and can be performed at our own pace. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce our risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training. We can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some other form of vigorous exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
Let’s look at some reasons why we should incorporate a daily walking exercise into our lifestyle routine:
Feel Better: One of the highlights of our day can be getting out of the house for a little fresh air. For those of us who are involved in a daily exercise program what better to warm up and get prepared than to start our routine with a brisk walk. For those who are currently not getting enough physical activity, a walk is a simple way to fill that void.
Strengthens Our Joints And Bones: Walking prevents or delays the onset of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis by strengthening the bones. People with these problems have noticed an improvement in their condition when they started walking three to five times a week.
Low Impact: Walking is relatively a low-impact exercise. If you’ve not exercised in a long time, walking will be a great way to start getting active. If you’re overweight, it will also be easier on your joints. This is very important as we age our joints may hurt, and we do not want to aggravate our joints. We are less likely to develop joint pain or delayed onset muscle soreness. Ideally, our walks should be brisk and purposeful. This will get our heart pumping and boost our metabolic rate.
Improve Coordination and Balance: Daily walks will improve coordination and balance because our body needs to adapt to the changes placed on it. When we walk daily, our leg muscles are more toned and even your core is stronger. This is immensely beneficial as we get older.
Improves Sleep: Studies have shown that people who walked 3 to 4 times a week for 4 months were able to fall asleep faster and for longer periods. The goal is to walk early in the day so that your body is calm by bedtime.
Helps Relieve Stress: Stress causes a plethora of health problems. Walking helps to relieve stress. It gets better if you walk somewhere scenic where you can appreciate your surroundings. It’s a wonderful and natural form of stress relief. What better way to stop and smell the roses than to go for a walk by the park.
Walk Almost Anywhere: Walking can be done basically anywhere. We don’t need a gym or any fancy equipment. All we need is a good pair of shoes, which can be much better on our wallets. Since I experience some cold Canadian weather all I do is bundle up, put on some nice snow boots and enjoy the invigorating chilly climate.
Burns Calories and Fat: During my pre-contest preparation I wanted to ensure I burned calories without losing too much muscle mass. Walking was my favorite calorie burning exercise. It may not burn as many calories as other types of training but it does burn calories and that’s what matters.
Exercise Becomes A Routine: While high-intensity interval training and weight training are very useful for getting fit and healthy, it is a strenuous regime and not for everyone. For many people this form of training is not applicable to their lifestyle and often times they will simply “throw in the towel”. How often have people purchased a gym membership for their New Year’s resolution only to quit within a few weeks? Walking is an excellent habit forming alternative and is much easier to adopt.
Lose Weight: Walking burns calories and that means it burns fat. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle it is easy to gain weight especially if you have a sweet tooth. Walking will help you shed excess pounds and lose weight in the process.
What Are The Best Times To Go For A Walk?
First Thing In The Morning: This is my favorite time since I just woke up and have not eaten since last night. I am in a ketosis state that is a metabolic state in which our bodies use fat and ketones rather than glucose (sugar) as its main fuel source. This is the most pure energy source for burning fat.
Prior to Lunch: Since I am a proponent of Intermittent Fasting I am still in a state of ketosis because I haven’t had my first meal prior to lunch. From personal experience lunch has never tasted better than after my mid-morning walk.
Evening: Many people have finished a hard day at work and often times have some built up frustration and/or stress. What better way to decompress than going for a walk to “clear out the cobwebs”. Having an evening walk with your partner or friends is a nice way to finish off your day. Additionally, you will have a more relaxing evening and better prepared for a good night’s sleep.
What Are Some Different Types Of Walking Exercises?
Lifestyle Walking: This is what you’ve probably been doing. This is your basic leisurely walking where you can take your time and move at your own pace.
Fitness Walking: This is meant to get your heart pumping. You’re not quite jogging, but you’re briskly walking with a more accelerated pace.
Power Walking: This is a step up from fitness walking. You’re picking up the pace and taking shorter steps. Try adding small hand weight, which is referred to “Heavy Hands”.
Ski Walking: This is also called Nordic walking and requires that you walk with ski poles and take long strides.
Walking Groups: My spouse is a “Social Butterfly” and she loves hanging out with people while walking. Basically, she gets “Two-In-One Deal” since this gives her the opportunity hang with friends, meet new people while keeping up with her daily exercise.
The important factor is work at your own pace and find a routine that best works for you and your weight loss and lifestyle goals. Walking is free, low-impact, and simple to do. No equipment needed (except a good, comfortable pair of shoes). Unlike many other forms of exercise, walking can be done by those with weight issues and those with no athletic ability whatsoever. Just put on your shoes and get out the door!
About The Author: Steve is a Christian Blogger, Videographer, and Personal Trainer. His content creation focuses on Societal Lifestyles, Health/Fitness and Faith. #healthylifestyle