It’s easy to just walk as a form of exercise. After all, we travel the world this way every day. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we can use fitness by walking to lose weight or improve our well-being.
That been said, there is no better time to start working on you, to become a healthier and happier person than is today and now. Today, more than ever, there are numerous helping tools to achieve that, so start doing your homework and get inspired to achieve a great you.
Fitness by walking is well known to be one of the best tools to become healthier and happier. With a multitude of the well-researched topic of health benefits, it guarantees a successful outcome.
We all lack at some point in the life of motivation and it is darn hard to get back in determination, but with some help and small steps, I promise you it can be achieved.
The ultimate motivation tool is to find something you love, so it is important that when you go fitness by walking you pick landscapes that are appealing to you, ones that make you happy and relaxed.
Once you have chosen the perfect to visit or the good spots where to do your walking, it is time to choose your gear, what to wear on a daily walk or what to pack for a weekend getaway.
Furthermore, there is a lot of research made to determine the importance of sleep pattern, as well as a healthy eating approach to help us in our quest to lead a happy and healthy life.
So, in this article, we want to talk about the benefits of walking to lose weight, describe some walking techniques to help you in your endeavour, tips to prevent injuries as well as ideas of items that are indispensable for a relaxed and happy fitness by walking.
We’ll talk about our favourite and recommended items that will hopefully inspire you when gearing up. Lastly, but not least, we’ll touch upon the benefits of a healthy eating approach as well as the benefits of good night sleep and how to achieve it.
Fitness Walking To Lose Weight
You have probably heard a lot that walking on a regular basis is great for your body, mind and soul.
Recent research underlines the fact that people who are commuting or spend time daily walking through natural environments have better mental health but also feel more motivated to walk as the clean air feeds your brain and helps it release the feel-good hormones. Any outdoor space with green (trees) or blue (water) natural elements will have a great health impact on you – even choosing a side street filled with trees will do if you do not have nearby a park or countryside.
Also, the research result states that ‘both moderate-intensity exercises provided by a novel pedometer and supervised treadmill walking showed significant improvements in abdominal obesity and VO2max’. Source
Taking short breaks every 30 min and walking around the office or wherever you are working for 5-10 min ( source) can also reduce the risks and symptoms of many illnesses as well as prevent many of them, such as:
- prevent and tackle obesity,
- prevent and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes,
- improves your blood pressure levels,
- prevents and reduces your risk of heart disease,
- keeps your cholesterol levels healthy,
- help with back pain,
- reduces the risk of osteoarthritis,
- prevent some types of cancer,
- prevent the risk of dementia,
- boosts your mood by releasing happy hormones in the brain called endorphins,
- improves greatly your self-esteem and body image through losing weight and being fit,
- lose weight, especially burn off the belly fat
Health professionals recommend walking as the best way to help lose weight, along with getting fit and stay healthy. According to Mayo Clinic, as little as 30 minutes a day of fitness/ brisk walking helps you burn 150 calories.
For a healthier and happier you, plan to accommodate more walking into your day. Whether it’s on your commute to your workplace or a stroll in the park during launch break, an outdoor walk will help you get fit and improve your body confidence. As well as fill you up, on a sunny day, with the necessary vitamin D to keep yourself happy and healthy.
So you can see that the ultimate simple and fun way to weight loss and fitness is walking. Great for everyone, no matter the age or fitness level and most of all it is so easy to fit into your lifestyle.
Turn your walks into workouts by applying/ increasing the difficulty/ speed levels and variations to target different areas of your body. A casual stroll does not help great so you need to learn some fitness walking techniques to turn your walk into a workout.
Fitness By Walking Technique
Try to incorporate good walking technique for comfort, power and speed.
A good posture is important as it helps you breath deep, engage your core muscles, use legs and bottom muscles, relax neck and shoulder as well as avoid back and hip pain.
Stand tall by keeping as much comfortable distance as possible between your ears and shoulders.
Keep your head straight, looking in front of you and avoid looking down at the ground to prevent slouching.
Take deep breaths through your nose to fill your lungs and exhale through your mouth.
Keep your hands in a relaxed fist to avoid tension in your neck and shoulder.
Do not arch your back. Do not lean forward or backwards.
Engage your core by keeping your abdomen muscles slightly contracted. Pull your belly in towards your spine to help tone your waist and improve core stability.
- Foot and arm motion
Good use of foot and arm motion will add speed to your walk effortlessly. Use both legs and arm for maximum efficiency as the faster you swing your arms the faster your legs move.
When walking, try to land on your heel, roll through the step and push off with your toes.
Do not overstride. For a better posture take shorter strides rather than long ones.
Squeeze your bottom muscles as you stride to help lift and sculpt your tights and bottom.
- Tips To Prevent Injuries
How to protect yourself from injury?
Always warm-up before walking and cool down after walking to prevent injuries and increase flexibility in your muscles and joints.
You can do this by making sure you do some simple exercises such as:
- marching on the spot for a couple of minutes increasing speed gradually,
- circle your arms above ahead couple of times,
- do stretches
Adopt a good walking posture to avoid pain and aches afterwards.
What To Wear/ Fit Kit
Whether you are or want to become a weekend walker, an active commuter or just want to add as much walking into your lifestyle you will need some basic bits of kit to help you stay fit and dry. Depending on where you walk you can choose items ideas to have from the list below.
We recommend some items to consider for walking, which will ensure you stay not only comfortable and dry but also stylish on the go.
The 90s are back in fashion, so do not be afraid to go for bright, shiny colours – they will lift up your mood and make you stand out from the crowd.
Go on; put some colour on the streets.
This amazing Tommy t-shirt for women made 100% of organic cotton and promoting special care for our precious environment makes a perfect item for your commute as well as other walking adventures. It comes in two colours, blue and white so you can pick the shade that goes best for you. You can dress it up and get a smart casual look for the office or dress it down for a nice stroll in the park.
Go for mood-boosting coloured ones to help motivate you, especially in the cold and gloomy months. They are easy to layer and not only stimulate you but also have you stand out from the crowd – be awesome, be unique.
Check out this amazingly good looking top for men. Made out of quick-dry polyester fabric with a neck zip that makes it easy to layer and get you prepared for any weather. The model comes in various bright colours so you can choose based on your personal taste
Feather & down jacket
This casual, fully breathable, lightweight and ultra-warm is the perfect jacket for women to keep handy on colder days. The jacket comes with handy pockets to keep your hands warm and also the chest zip pocket can be used to pack up jacket small so you can carry it around in your purse. Comes in three other colours.
This is a high-performance jacket for men – is an item that combines elegance, craftsmanship and technical excellence. It is ideal for numerous and varied outdoor pursuits as it comes with many innovative features such as: regulate the body’s temperature, waterproof, windproof to keep you dry and fully breathable. Has a smooth fit for easy layering.
Patagonia jacket is an outdoor essential. Comes in different colours, for men and women, and it offers good freedom of movement. Also, it provides protection on changing weather and is water and windproof. Features underarm ventilation zips, breathable material and a hood to protect you from rain. Easily folds away into the chest zip pocket so you can keep it handy in your bag. A waterproof jacket is a must, whether you have it on your back or keep in your backpack to protect you from unexpected rain.
This Lands End lightweight, waterproof, high collar gilet is a must in your wardrobe. This stylish, insulated gilet with a stand-up collar protects you against the wind while making you stand out of the crowd due to its attractive shape.
Check out this totally affordable version for men.
If your wardrobe needs/must combine fashion with function, Sketchers leggings are the ones to go for. Although they are quite pricey, they are totally worth it as they will become one of the most ‘go to’ items in your wardrobe. The secure, high rise waistband means less slippage – no awkward mid-move pull-ups required. Also, no chaffing giving you the best walking experience. Furthermore, it comes with two great pockets for keys and phone and the fitting is so flattering and comfortable to wear
Check out the male version as well.
This footwear is for all types of terrains. Great for city walks and cross country adventures. Flexible and grippy, durable, shock-absorbing and lightweight, and most of all waterproof – one of the most important features nowadays.
These men shoes are ideal for city and country walking. They are waterproof, very comfortable to wear and look stylish enough to wear them to work but also on your daily walks. Comes in four different colours and the price is very affordable.
For those of you who want to go all green, these Vegan sneakers are the new on-trend trainers. It is so important to be environmentally conscious – think about tomorrow. Check out these amazing waterproof trainers made out from plant natural textile from waste plant fibres (pineapple leaf fibres). They come in three colours black and white and coral.
Also, check out the men’s vegan sneakers
This good looking adjustable rain hat comes in 10 different colours, with one size fits all. It’s lightweight and easy to fold making it the best item to have it handy on your daily walks to be prepared for any type of weather.
Check out this unisex great value backpack. The perfect item for your daily walking, and not only. Water repellent, lightweight, comfortable and with lots of pockets to keep your valuables organised. Folds down easily into a small zipped pouch so you can keep it stashed neatly and ready to use anytime. It comes in six different colours and most of them are bright beautiful colour to stand out from the crowd as well as keeping you visible in the dark.
Sports bra to give you the support you need and the extra comfort to help you enjoy your walk. Invest in a good, supportive and multifunctional sports bra. But most of all go for one that looks good on you and make you feel good. This multifunctional sports bra might just fit your requirements. Also, comes in four different colours so you can pick and choose the one you like.
Many of you would not have them on your need list but you should try them out, especially if you are struggling with heavy and/or tired legs. They do wonders, improving agility and muscular endurance. Start with a Class 1 compression and gradually increase the class based on your need. Check out this unisex and affordable pair of socks.
Or alternatively, have look at the following calf leg compression sleeves. You might prefer this if you want a sportier look, or you want your toes to wriggle freely. Very important when buying this type of compression socks, tights, etc is to measure correctly so you order the right size.
Track your progress with nice progress tracker – the hardest part when planning a healthy routine is to get started. But even harder is to keep going. So use the help of the fit bit to track your progress, help you set new goals and keep you motivated. One step at a time is all you need.
Check out this affordable, unisex model, which comes in six different options of colours. Not only keeps track for all-day activity but also records sleep and hearth rates. Furthermore, recognises automatically the type of exercise you are doing and keep track of the calories you are burning. Also, include a feature where you can set reminders to move.
Garmin Sporty smartwatch with built-in GPS, sports apps and wrist-based heart rate. Physical size:4.34 x 4.34 x 1.17 cm. Fits wrists with a circumference of 12.7-20.4 cm. Check out this high-resolution colour touchscreen display.
Check out this amazing apple Iwatch. It has GPS, always on a retina display, swim-proof, electrical and optical heart sensors, also built-in compass and so on.
Aim to be a responsible shopper and do your best to reduce carbon footprint by purchasing an environmentally friendly item. Look for products that are eco-friendly, which have a minimal environmental impact and they are sustainably made.
And remember always to choose items with feel-good fashion. Do not be afraid to choose colourful items.
Night Sleep To Help Increase The Benefits Of Walking
A good sleep routine is one of the most important things for a happier and healthier you. You need a good sleep routine to be able to keep yourself motivated and stick to your new walking routine. The powerful combination of good sleep and a daily walk will push tiredness and stress out of your life.
Tips for a good night sleep:
Choose a pyjama set that has an appealing design and good quality fabric. Quality fabric will not only offer the snuggle you need for a good night sleep but also really stand the test of time, ensuring a long-lasting item. Check out these models. The design is very appealing, good value and comes in 16 colours (colour combination).
Eye mask – keep it in your bag – you might find it very useful, especially when visiting other places and you are not sure of the room lighting.
Healthy Eating Habits
Lastly, but not least, we are all aware of the importance of good, healthy habits when it comes to eating. This healthy eating is a must habit to be acquired to accompany a good night sleep and daily walking for a healthier and happier you.
We are not talking here about dieting. No. We are only reminding you that in order to lose weight you also must ‘lose’ some food from your plate along with keeping up your daily walking.
Start with cutting a bit out of your daily portions, so maybe go for a smaller plate instead of a big one….in this way you will still see a full plate of food but it will actually be considerably small.
Also, try to incorporate at least weekly one vegetable and one fruit. In this way, you will gradually add more vegetables and fruits into your diet, which are healthy and nutritious, and get less unhealthy options. Do not exaggerate, take it slow and you will have better results than to cut off most of your usual and replace it with greens in one go.
Even more, do your best to drink at least 2 litres of water. Be smart and remember if your body is hydrated and filled with water you will not feel hungry. As the experts say that most of the time when we feel hungry we are actually thirsty as our body is sending us the wrong signal. The best way to know for sure is to try it out. When you feel hungry drink a glass of water, if after that you are still hungry it means you should eat something, otherwise keep going until the next time.
But remember, starvation is not smart. You need to keep your meals healthy and eat your meals at set times in order to keep yourself strong and healthy.
As mentioned above, just a little adjustment to the way you walk, some help in picking the right kit, but also tips on how to protect from injury will put you on the right path.
Remember that in order to accomplish your quest for a healthier and happier you besides daily walking you also must include a good night sleep as well as good and healthy eating habits.
Take it slow but be persistent.
Do not discourage if you find yourself cheating on a day or two – it is part of the process. Keep going and soon you will discover that the cheating as less and less and the changes are huge and rewarding.
Keep yourself motivated to stick to your walking routine by choosing areas and/or landscapes that make you feel happy.
Look around your area for riversides or parks or even some nice tree-lined back street might work. For weekends would be much easier as we are surrounded by lovely hills, and there are lots of parks and lakes that you can visit for a great getaway.
Start your amazing journey to the new healthy and happy you.
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Until next time, Oana and Paula