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Lose Weight Walking and Enjoy the Health Benefits of Walking

Menopausal flab? Lose weight walking - learn how walking to lose weight can work for you in midlife.

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Like many a woman in her forties and beyond, I'm sure you can often be seen walking. And while you pace along, I'll bet you're thinking how healthy you're being, and how much leaner you're going to be if you carry on like this.

It's true that there are loads of health benefits of walking.

But if you want to lose weight with walking, you have GOT to do it right.

Lose Weight Walking: How To Walk to Lose Weight

Pump those arms, as you walk to lose weight
ŠIstockphoto.com/ranplett

Strolling down to the shops, ambling round the park, even walking along at a good speed are not enough to help you shed the pounds. One study into walking for exercise discovered that only one person in four walks fast enough to meet US health guidelines. Walking for weight loss takes technique! Here's how to do it.

- Check your posture. Your back should be straight, not hunched, your head held up and your gaze lifted so that you are focussing on the path roughly 2-6 metres (10-20 feet) in front. Straight posture means your lungs can expand and supply you with plenty of oxygen, so breathe deep and fill up with air as you walk.

- Don't let those arms dangle pathetically at your sides! Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and pump them energetically back and forth. This is exercise, and you mean business! When you go for a weight-loss walk, you've got to stop worrying about appearances and give it a bit of welly.

- Now your legs. No loping along with giant strides. It's better to keep your step shorter, but faster, to cover the distance. Think about how you walk, making a conscious effort to roll through your back foot to propel yourself forward.

- Start your walk at a gentle pace for 5 minutes to warm up your muscles before you get into a faster stride.

- Find some varied terrain for your walks. Include a couple of good gradients if possible, to give your walk some extra oomph.

- Equip yourself with a pair of walking shoes for women. The right shoes protect and support your feet and ankles and make walking even more of a pleasure.

- For variety, try doing short bursts of power walking at high speed. Keep it up for 30 seconds, then drop back to a more manageable pace for a couple of minutes, then power up again.

- You know you need to walk briskly, but what exactly is a brisk pace? You've got the speed about right when you can cover 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) in an hour. You can map yourself a test distance in your neighbourhood using the free Google pedometer to measure your route.

- Keep your mind set on your speed and maintain pace without slacking off.

- To lose weight, you need to build up to frequent walks, each lasting from 30-60 minutes.

Lose Weight Walking: How Far and How Fast to Walk?

Shedding pounds as you pound the pavements is all about the calories burned by walking. Half a kilo/ 1 lb of fat equates to 3500 calories, and that's what you need to burn to start seeing the difference in your waistline.

  • Novice walker? Take it easy to start with. Get some good walking footwear and build up your stamina over several weeks.
  • Once you can maintain a brisk walking pace (remember, it's 5.6 km/3.5 miles an hour), schedule between 5 and 10 hours of walking per week in order to lose weight. You should be walking almost every day, and never have a gap of more than a couple of days in between walks.
  • On days when you don't walk, do some strength training exercises. Increasing muscle will make your walking more effective.
  • Keep a record of your walks and your weight, and enjoy monitoring your progress.
  • Make sure you eat healthily as well as exercising, and follow a good menopause diet. No junk snacking as you walk - take some healthy snacks along instead.
  • Research several different routes to add variety and interest to your walks. Ask a friend to join you in the bid to lose weight walking, or join a walking group. Taking part in a sponsored charity walk is another great motivator.
  • You'll get the best out of your exercise routine if you vary the kinds of exercise you do, so from time to time have a break from walking and try another type of aerobic exercise.

Health Benefits of Walking

As well as helping you to lose weight, walking is good for your wellbeing in many other ways. As a form of regular exercise, walking can help to ease many menopause signs, including hot flushes, depression, mood swings, and menopause insomnia.

Other health benefits of walking include helping to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and easing arthritis

A regular walking program can lift your spirits, boost self esteem and enhance your sense of wellbeing. Lose weight walking, and these other health benefits are all part of the package. What are you waiting for?

Go from Lose Weight Walking to Types of Aerobic Exercise.

Go from Lose Weight Walking to Beat Menopause Weight Gain.

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Walking in menopause

"Menopause does mark a major transition in most women's lives...and regular exercise, like walking, may be one of our safest, most reliable allies from this point forward."

Walking expert Maggie Spilner, author of Walk Your Way Through Menopause


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