Walking your way to fitness

Walking is free; it’s very easy and accessible. It absolutely affects fitness and it requires no special planning, preparation or gear. You may have heard that walking is good exercise and if you want to lose weight – in addition to whatever other workouts you’re doing – walking more is essential.  Even if you hate working out and refuse to do anything else, walking around 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day will help you lose weight fast.

Walking 10,000 steps per day for health and weight loss was popularized originally in Japan. Research studies show that 10,000 steps per day isn’t a magic number, but it is a good indicator of how much activity a person is achieving in a day. Walking more steps per day is also associated with being healthier. A study of steps per day and weight, body mass index (BMI), and other indicators for men and women showed that the people who logged more pedometer steps per day weighed less, on average, and had a lower BMI.

Some believe that you can eat anything as long as you reduce the portion by 25 per cent but you must balance this with plenty of steps. You can eat all types of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and healthy fats, basically, there are no forbidden foods. If you want to splurge, on say, a bag of plantain chips or a pack of small chops, simply compensate with the additional number of steps.

If you find that you are not losing weight or maintaining your weight even after hitting 10,000 steps, then the key is to add another 2,000 more steps per day while eating the same amount or less. You can use many tips to find ways to add more activity throughout your day and to set aside time for dedicated moderate to vigorous intensity exercise. If that still doesn’t work after a couple of weeks, add more steps or eat less.

Logging more steps becomes time-intensive at this level. You can burn more calories in the same time period by increasing your exercise intensity – taking more of your steps at a brisk walking or running pace. You should also work on eliminating empty calories and getting good nutrition from everything you eat. Keeping a food and exercise diary can help you spot where to make improvements because a lot of people engage in mindless eating and don’t take that into account. This is a fantastic way to keep yourself in check and monitor everything that goes into your mouth.

Research shows that an inactive person takes 3,000 steps or less just in their daily activity of moving around the house or office. If you take 10,000 steps, you are walking approximately five miles throughout the day. Unless you have an active job, such as a marketer or nurse, it would be difficult to log 10,000 steps with daily activity only. 10,000 steps can be achieved by taking one or more sustained walks or runs, the equivalent of 30 to 60 minutes of walking per day. That equals the minimum daily exercise recommendation from most health authorities to minimize health risks.

Now you might be thinking about how to track your steps daily as you definitely cannot manually do this. There are pedometers, fitness bands, and smartwatches that detect how many steps you are taking per time. Many designs track your exercise minutes per day automatically to show whether you are meeting the goals needed for fitness and good health. If you’re unable to buy any of the mentioned, there are mobile phones that track your steps while you carry it. You can also download a pedometer app instead.

The bottom line is cut back on your serving sizes and increase the number of steps you take throughout the day to increase energy expenditure and you will lose or maintain body weight.

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Bunmi GeorgeFitness
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