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August 13, 2008 at 8:24 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Walking Can Be The Key To Weight Loss: Find Out How

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Walking is something you do everyday. It's a part of normal life and you probably don't think much about it. What you may not realize, however, is how important walking is to weight loss.

Americans aren't walking

Our modern lifestyle has continually reduced the amount of walking we do. Many people sit all day at computers and drive to the store because it is too far to walk. Neighborhoods are built without sidewalks, parks or playgrounds nearby. And, unfortunately, America has gained weight as it has reduced walking. It's time for that to change. By cutting walking out of our lives we deprive ourselves of a valuable form of exercise and an important tool for weight loss. Walking can be the key to your weight loss. Find out how:

Why walk?

If you have gained weight, you might blame it on a slow metabolism. But for most people, their metabolism has nothing to do with their weight gain. While there are some people with slow metabolisms or thyroid problems, most people gain weight because they are eating more calories than they burn each day. Walking is a good way to add physical activity to your lifestyle and burn more calories. If you have been sedentary for a while or are out of shape, walking is a good place to start. Walking is good for everyone, beginner or expert. Try to walk 30 minutes or more on most days. The good thing about walking is that you can do it inside, on a treadmill or around a mall, or outside. Added bonus: walking can also lower your blood sugar and blood pressure.

How much should I walk?

A study in 2004 found that women who walk 10,000 or more steps each day had lower body mass indexes, body fat, and waist-to-hip ratio. Taking 10,000 steps in a day is a lot; in comparison, the average sedentary person walks around 2,000-3,000 steps each day. If you are on the sedentary end of the scale, you will need to make some lifestyle changes to meet this goal.

How to reach a 10,000 step goal

10,000 steps may seem like an unreachable goal, but you can do it if you are motivated. The key is to change your daily habits a little bit to sneak in more steps. Give these a try:

  • Get a dog: Dogs need to be walked every day at least once.
  • Take the stairs: Climbing stairs builds muscle too.
  • Park farther away: You will also save time and gas when you don't have to drive around looking for the closest spot.
  • Walk during work breaks: Added bonus... fresh air.
  • Devote Time: Get in a fast walk at the end of the day to get in more steps and get your heart rate up.

References:

http://mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006

http://mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/HQ01625

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20040506/walking-weightloss

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