You’ve been walking for most of your life, so you might think the idea of making “mistakes” is amusing. Surely you know how to walk correctly by now!
But if you’re walking for the purpose of weight loss, or simply to get in better shape, you actually can make mistakes! Most of these blunders won’t actually harm you, but they can undermine your exercise program and make it less effective. To better support your weight loss plan, make sure you aren’t making one of these walking mistakes:
- You set unrealistic goals
- You never vary your distance
- You never vary your speed
- You aren’t strength training, too
- You’re using weights incorrectly
- You always take the same route
- You’re still sedentary for the rest of the day
- You haven’t established a routine
To start, make sure you’ve set realistic goals. If you haven’t exercised regularly before, you probably won’t be ready for a marathon within a month. Likewise, adding a daily walk to your routine won’t cause extreme weight loss within just weeks. Set realistic goals so that you will feel encouraged, rather than discouraged, as you make slow but steady progress.
Gradually increase the distance that you walk each day, and aim for longer hikes on occasion to test your endurance. Vary your speed, adding bursts of intensity to increase your heart rate (and calorie burn).
Add strength training to your regimen, because muscle burns more calories than fat. Increasing your metabolism in this way will aid your weight loss plan.
If you use ankle or wrist weights while walking, don’t choose overly heavy ones. Wear them every other day at first, so that you don’t strain yourself in the beginning.
Vary your route so that you don’t get bored with your routine, and to continue challenging your body. Climbing hills is extra beneficial for your leg and butt muscles, and they increase your endurance too.
Remember that if you’re sedentary for the rest of the day, you won’t burn as many calories as someone who gets up to move around regularly. You’ll achieve better results from your weight loss plan if you stay more active throughout the day.
And finally, make sure your daily walk becomes a part of your regular routine. After a few weeks the new habit will become ingrained, and you’re more likely to stick with your weight loss plan in the future.
If you have any questions about your walking routine or weight loss plan, give us a call. We can help you by prescribing a balanced eating plan that helps you meet your goals.