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Start your walking regimen slowly.
When beginning any exercise program, you should start out gradually. Pay attention to your body and increase your distance when you feel you are ready. You will need a good pair of walking shoes and comfortable clothes. A good weight-loss program works better when you combine exercise with a lower-calorie intake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 47 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time.
Walk for five to 10 minutes one way and walk back. Do that for two days, then walk for 15 minutes one way and walk back. Work up to walking for 60 minutes. You will burn more calories if you walk briskly rather than slowly. Your metabolism increases while you are walking and continues at this increased level for a short time after you finish -- especially if you have walked briskly. Take one day off each week to heal.
A walking program combined with lower calorie intake will help you lose more weight than just walking alone. You should eat smaller portions and cut 300 to 500 calories a day. You should not lose more than 2 pounds per week. People who keep food journals and read food labels lose more weight. When you work out, you are more likely to make healthier food choices.
Make the time to walk. Schedule it in your calendar. If you see it written down, you are more likely to stay motivated. Walking can be done indoors or outdoors. When you walk indoors, you can march to a DVD or use a treadmill. Focus on minutes rather than miles. To keep yourself accountable and make walking a sociable activity, get a walking buddy. Be consistent, and make walking a priority. Reward yourself for meeting your goals.
Health Benefits and Tips
A regular brisk walk can help you maintain your weight and live a healthier life, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your walking speed should be at a pace where you can breathe and speak easily without gasping. Drink plenty of water while walking to keep yourself hydrated.
Avoid carrying hand weights when you walk, as they can increase your blood pressure and cause joint problems. Do not start a running program until you are sure you can walk 1 mile. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any health conditions that require medical attention.