Walk Your Way to Weight Loss

Perhaps you may have tried all you can think of and still have trouble losing weight. Like most people, you may be familiar with all the latest home gym equipment, and all the ab trainers and the latest fad diet. But have you ever tried the simplest and most effective exercise?

Walking is often overlooked as a healthy alternative to all the other types of exercises because it seems so simple. After all, just about anybody can do it, and many people believe it does not burn as much calories as, for example, jogging. But do you know that walking has many benefits that no other exercise program can have? Some of its advantages include the following:

1. It is so easy to do that it is easy to do it consistently. Indeed, walking is not as strenuous as jogging, but the mere fact that you can keep doing it for a longer time means you will wind up enjoying greater benefits. For example, if you can only jog for ten minutes at a time before you run out of breath, walking might be a better alternative, as you can walk briskly for about half an hour at a time, resulting in a longer period of raised heart and respiratory rate. Experts indicate that the longer you keep these high, the greater calories you burn.

2. Walking allows you to practice deep breathing while exercising. Proper breathing is extremely important, as increased intake of oxygen actually helps burn more calories, too. Unfortunately, if your exercise is a little too strenuous, you might wind up panting for breath halfway through the workout. As such, walking is at an advantage for allowing you to breathe deeply as you pump your way around your walking zone.

3. It works out your entire body. Riding on an exercise bike typically works your legs, but walking means you will use nearly all the big muscles in your body. Of course, it would help if you make a habit of pumping your arms as you walk, and if you want you can even carry light weights with you, but this is usually not advisable unless you’ve already reached a threshold with your current walking routine, because bringing weights might make you tired faster.

4. It allows you to see the sights! While this may sound irrelevant to most workout enthusiasts, for the average person, a main reason why he cannot continue exercise routines is because they are boring. For example, for a person to spend an hour a day pedalling away at an exercise bike, he must have extreme dedication—or a good TV show to watch at that particular time! Working out at the gym is similar, as the presence of friends can make a world of difference in terms of motivation. But if want to exercise alone without getting bored, you can pick different walking routes each day and wind up window-shopping if you plan your route right. Of course, just make sure you don’t make any unnecessary stops that might put a damper on your workout!

5. You can even use it to run errands, making it a part of your day unlike any other exercise. For example, if you normally drive to drop off stuff at the post office a few blocks away, you can decide to walk to and from there. Of course, if your errands happen to involve meeting other people, just make sure you make necessary adjustments if you don’t want to talk to people all stinky. Perhaps you can find ways to dry up quickly, or you can bring a change of clothes and some cologne just to be sure, as the sweat may not bother you as much as it will the other person.

These are just the basic ways that walking is more fun than any other exercise while offering you plenty more benefits. And before you know it, you would’ve lost some weight and as people ask you what you did, you can shrug innocently, knowing it may not have been too much of a conscious effort, and say, “I don’t know, I just walked around!”

Five Strategies To Beat A Weight Loss Plateau

One thing that occurs in almost every weight loss program that you’ll fallow is the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Even the best of programs can fall prey to this and unfortunately throw you off course.  You’re making great progress as you go about your workout programs and are really looking forward to seeing the end results and then everything just seems to stop.

What’s going on? You haven’t changed anything so why have the results changed?  This is often the question that gets asked time and time again.

In a truly great program, weight loss plateaus will be prevented before they even happen through proper planning and change throughout the program.  When that change isn’t there however, that’s when you invite the plateau to occur and when you’re going to set yourself up for this frustration.

So the solution for you is to take the following weight loss tips and make sure that you incorporate them into your current program plan.  If you do, that weight plateau should never factor into your life.

Vary Your Rep Ranges Across Weeks

The very first thing that you should be doing as you move about your workout program is making sure that you vary the rep ranges you’re using.

Rather than doing each and every set using a 6-8 rep range, in some workouts go higher – up to 12 reps.  There’s really no need to go much past twelve reps so don’t worry about moving into the 15 rep range, but do make sure that you aren’t always keeping it the same.

Moving through different rep ranges is going to change the type of stress on the muscle tissues and that is one key element for beating a plateau.

Aim to work within a given rep range for no longer than three weeks at a time before you change it and move onto a different rep range for another period of time.

Add One New Exercise Each Week

The second quick tip to see greater weight loss is to make sure that you add at least one new exercise to the workout program each week.  It doesn’t have to be a dramatic change – it could be as simple as changing your normal leg press to lunges instead.

What this is going to do though is challenge the muscles from a different angle, thus increasing the overall amount of stimulation and stress they experience.

If they’re constantly only being subjected to the exact same pattern of stress each and every workout, eventually they’re going to adapt and you won’t be seeing the results you were looking for.

Do One Thing Every Workout To Beat The Last

Moving on, it’s also important to make sure that you’re fully challenging your muscles with each and every workout you do.  The biggest cause of a plateau is simply because the person isn’t pushing themselves as hard as they could be.

Instead, they’re quite content going into the gym and doing the exact same thing over and over and over again.  To prevent this from happening, make sure that you try and out-do yourself with one element of the workout each and every session.

Whether you increase the weight, decrease the rest, or some other factor, just do something to move forwards. Little by little all these tiny changes will lead to gigantic results.

Make Sure You Have Sufficient Rest

In addition to continually pushing yourself as just described, another very important thing that you must do is make sure that you get enough rest in the week.  Those who aren’t resting enough throughout their workouts are going to find that they just can’t continually push that barrier further and further.

Their body hasn’t recovered yet and because of this, they can only handle what they could before.  Rest is vital to making constant progress forwards so be sure you’re not shorting yourself.

Aim to have at least one full day of rest each and every week, if not two if you can plan them in.

Schedule In A Complete Program Change

Finally, the last weight loss tip to use in order to ensure that you don’t reach a plateau is to actually schedule a program change right into your calendar.  If you plan for it then you won’t forget about it and that will be what keeps you moving forward.

Your entire workout program should be changed around the 6-8 week mark so after this amount of time has passed, be sure to find yourself something new.  Whether you consult a trainer or just try a new workout split is up to you but do make sure that it’s a fresh take on what you were doing before.

A plateau is definitely a very frustrating time for anyone but if you keep these tips in mind, you can get over it with ease or better yet, prevent it in the first place.