I will admit, I succumbed to the treats during Teacher Appreciation week. I ate cookies, donuts, pizza, and more. Yes, it was delicious. Yes, I was in denial about how much I was eating, but at the end of the day, the scale doesn’t lie. I probably packed on a good 5-10 pounds with junk foods from being appreciated. It is wonderful to feel appreciated. It isn’t so wonderful to deal with the repercussions of overeating a few unhealthy foods. I will be walking off the weight this summer!
So far, I’ve lost about half of what I put on simply by walking and cutting out all sugar. I also drastically cut back on my carbohydrate consumption, and it seems to be working. I’ve also been walking. No gym, no serious weight training program, just the simplicity of a daily walk. I add in Pilates and light weights or a rebounding exercise program when I have the time, but I focus on consistently getting in a daily walk.
Walking Schedule to Lose Weight
I’ve always set aside some time in the morning to exercise. Whether that exercise happened, was a bit inconsistent. However, one thing that I have learned over the years is that if you want to be successful at something, you should schedule it into your day. For me, this means that I’m scheduling in a morning walk for thirty minutes and an evening walk for thirty minutes.
Tips for scheduling your walk:
- Find a consistent time each day. This will help you to make your daily walk a habit.
- Schedule a time when you usually don’t have other commitments that will distract you from your walk. For example, you don’t want to schedule a lunchtime walk when your boss frequently schedules impromptu meetings or your co-workers invite you to lunch.
- Block off time for your walk first and foremost. Then schedule the rest of your day, so you won’t be tempted to do other tasks during your scheduled walking time.
- Schedule two walks if possible. For many people, this won’t be possible, but a morning and evening walk helps to keep my energy high throughout the day and ensures a restful night’s sleep.
Making Walking Fun
Let’s face it, putting one foot in front of the other on your treadmill for an hour a day is one of the most boring things that you can do with your life. There just isn’t that much to it and it isn’t that fun. However, there are some ways that you can make walking a bit more challenging and add some incentive to your routine.
- Get a FitBit – Fitbits can monitor your steps. You can even join walking challenges with your friends and see who can walk the most.
- Take a dog with you. My pooch passed away this year, but I have discovered that my neighbor’s dog enjoys walking with me as much as my own dog did. You can also turn your fitness routine into a bit of a money maker and sign up for Rover.com to earn money while you walk.
- Combine it with entertainment. I love to walk on my treadmill desk and watch silly youtube videos. The videos take my mind of the boredom that walking on a treadmill provides.
- Create a walking group. Many of your neighbors have the same health goals as you. It is a great idea to team up with some of them and walk your way to better health. Not only will you be healthier, but you’ll form stronger relationships with your neighbors in the process.
Health Benefits of 30 Minutes of Walking Per Day
- Weight Loss. You’ll be burning more calories per day that you had been.
- Reduced risk of chronic disease. According to the American Diabetes Association, walking will lower your blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. The researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee discovered that walking lowered blood pressure as much as eleven points. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 found that 30 minutes of walking per day lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30%.
- Improved Digestion. Some people who are sedentary have issues with constipation or diarrhea. When you regularly walk, you stimulate the peristalsis in your digestive system. It improves gastric mobility. When patients go through abdominal surgery, one of the first things that they do is walk because it uses the core and abdominal muscles. This encourages movement in our gastrointestinal system.
- Improve mood. Researchers for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health who studied the effect of an urban walk in the fall, found that a short walk in an urban park can induce parasympathetic nerve activity. It can suppress sympathetic nerve activity and decrease your heart rate. This will enhance your mood and reduce anxiety. A walk in the park can confer the physiological and psychological effects of relaxation.
- Goals seem achievable. When you are able to stick with a consistent routine, you become more confident in your ability to achieve tasks. Kim Evans, a personal trainer, says, “I firmly believe that walking regularly can help you accomplish the goals you set your mind to.” As you believe you can achieve more, you start to take the action steps that will help you reach your goals.