You’ve been walking since you were about one year old. So with decades of walking under your belt, you probably assume you know how to do it correctly. But if you’re walking for exercise, walking is more than just getting around. The right practices can protect your joints, help you burn more calories, and allow you to get the most out of your workouts.
Fitness apps are growing in popularity, and for good reasons. They’re convenient to use, are designed to help you stay on track, and take away the difficulty of making decisions about your workout each day. You just log in daily, do what you’re told to do, and (hopefully) start to see results over time. Plus, most of them are very affordable for almost anyone. Sounds great, right?
As you set goals to get healthier, walking is probably one of the first activities you will add to your schedule. It’s one of the most common forms of exercise, and even though it’s easy, it can be very effective at burning calories and supporting a weight loss plan.
But did you know that going for regular walks is also good for your mental health? Your walk can help you feel better in multiple ways, such as…
- Giving you time to de-stress by meditating during the walk
- Taking a break from a hectic office environment or the demands of parenthood
- Changing the route frequently breaks you out of a rut, both physically and mentally
- Serving as your alone time, allowing you to recharge
- And of course, a quick walk in the middle of the afternoon can energize you for the rest of the day’s tasks
For many people, working out alone can feel strange at first. Maybe you’re accustomed to workout classes, or prefer to walk and chat with a partner. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with either of those things! But when you work solo walks into your routine, you can take advantage of the alone time to fit in some self care techniques. For example, you can perform the following activities during a walk alone:
- Breathwalking – syncing your breath with your stride is calming and builds a stronger mind-body connection
- Listening to your favorite music can boost your mood or help you relax
- Listening to a podcast, self help book, or novel can add knowledge and entertainment to your routine
- Taking time to mull over important decisions or plans for the future
- Challenging yourself to a faster speed or more hills, or even jogging intervals (without feeling self conscious about a partner hearing your huffing and puffing)
And of course, we know that exercise in general produces endorphins, which boost your mood and help you to feel more energetic. So give it a try! Focus on self care during your next walk. And if you have any other questions about exercise or your weight loss plan, call us to schedule a consultation.
You know that a healthy eating plan is only one part of a successful medical weight loss plan. You also need to exercise… But for many people, that reminder elicits groans and eye rolls. Not everyone enjoys exercise, but that’s okay. We can help you try different strategies that will make your workouts more enjoyable, such as…
Choose an activity you like. Early morning boot camp classes aren’t for everyone. If you’re more of a salsa-dance-at-night type, then sign up for a dance class instead! Or try rollerblading, swimming, a spin class, or something else that has always appealed to you. The important thing is to get moving.
Try classes. If you’re the social type, sign up for a few different exercise classes. Experiment and find something that you enjoy. Not everyone wants to hike miles around their neighborhood, alone, and that’s okay!
Invite a friend. If you’re nervous about hitting up a new gym, recruit a friend to go with you. Or simply take this friend on your evening walk. The conversation and company will make the time seem to fly by.
Vary your pace. No, you don’t have to slog away at an activity you despise, huffing and puffing for 30 minutes or more. Vary the pace of your walk, jog, or bike ride. Add hills or change up the route to keep it interesting. Bursts of speed will serve to keep up your heart rate without wearing you out too early.
Train for an event. For some people, looking forward to a long term goal is highly motivating. If you train for a charity walk or run, you also earn a sense of satisfaction by helping a worthwhile cause.
Make a game of it. Fitness tracker apps don’t have to be boring. Turn your exercise routine into a game, by using an app that installs a storyline into your sweat sessions. Explore a virtual galaxy, run from zombies, or hunt for rare Pokemon on your hikes. And no, there’s no need to feel silly; no one knows you’re doing anything other than listening to music.
Try these ideas, and don’t be afraid to get creative! As for the dietary portion of your medical weight loss plan, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you identify your nutritional needs and make a plan to meet your weight loss goals.
If you’re bored with walking or jogging, and aren’t thrilled with your gym options, a jump rope routine might be right for you. Jumping rope can provide an excellent, calorie-burning aerobic workout that supports your fitness goals or weight loss plan. And best of all? All you need is a jump rope, a bit of space, and a few minutes of spare time. You can pursue a jump rope workout just about anywhere!
Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise there are, but at times it can get a little boring. If you’re using a walking routine to support your medical weight loss plan, you know that boredom can impact your progress. Every few weeks or so, change up something about your routine to keep it fresh and fulfilling, using ideas like…
Low impact workouts can be plenty effective, without adding stress to your joints. Due to the lower risk of injury, you might have chosen this type of workout to support your weight loss plan. But as time goes on, you’re getting into good shape and you want to add a bit of a challenge. Yes, it is possible to burn more calories and challenge yourself while still reaping the benefits of a low impact exercise routine. Just try these easy workout modifications.
As you’re putting together a weight loss plan, nutrition won’t be your only challenge. You also need to exercise, and for some people that’s an entirely new frontier. What types of activities do you need to do, how long do you do them, how often do you do them, and how much should you challenge yourself? These are just some of the question you’re probably asking yourself.
Regular exercise is critical to your weight loss plan. But what happens if you find yourself feeling fatigued and sluggish every time you head out for a walk? You’re probably more likely to give up and call it a day, but of course that’s not going to help you reach your goals.
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: