Walking for Fitness

Walking is great exercise for weight loss and fitness - here's some facts, figures and tips to get you motivated.
y to Lose Up ToPounds of Pure Body Fat in the Next 30 days


 

Take the Walk the Weight off Challenge

Walking is one of the most effective forms of exercise. It can be done almost anywhere and it is free!

Walking helps to improve your overall health and fitness and is a great way to lose weight, tone your muscles, strengthen your heart and instil a general feeling of well-being and positive self-esteem. Turning walking into a regular activity and focusing on the pace and distance covered will greatly increase your fitness.

The Weight Loss Resources Walk the Weight Off Challenge aims to get you motivated to get out and walk and help you to keep track of how much you are walking.

What are the benefits of walking?

  • It burns calories

  • It can help towards maintaining a healthy weight

  • It helps to boost your metabolism

  • It helps to reduce body fat

  • It boosts your energy levels

  • It strengthens your legs

  • It helps to strengthen the immune system

  • It improves your circulation

  • It lowers your blood pressure

  • It helps to prevent and control diabetes

  • It promotes positive mental health, including higher levels of self-esteem

  • It helps you to manage stress and release tension

  • It helps to improve the ability to fall asleep quickly and sleep well

  • It may motivate your children to walk more if that’s what they see you doing and provides an activity to share with family members and friends

  • It can be done almost anywhere

  • It’s more environmentally friendly than driving

  • It’s free

Fit More Walking Into Your Day

At Work:

  • Park your car in the space that is the furthest away and walk to the office

  • If you take the train/bus get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way

  • Walk to work

  • On your lunch break go for a walk around the block

  • If you need to speak to somebody in the office walk over to them instead of phoning them

  • Walk to the local shop to buy your lunch

  • Don’t take the lift, use the stairs

With the Kids:

  • Walk the children to school/playgroup

  • Walk to the park and back with the kids at the weekend

  • Find the time for one walk each week with each child - make this your special time when the two of you are alone and you can chat / catch up

  • Plan fun exploration walks for the kids - get out and explore your local neighbourhood

  • Make it your mission to plan a new walk for each weekend - look out for local parks, country walks, etc

  • If you drop your children at clubs / parties, don't spend the time driving back and forth, go for a walk instead

With Friends:

  • Plan to go walking for fitness once a week with a friend

  • If you plan to meet friends walk to their house, or get them to meet you half way

  • Offer to join your friend when they are walking the dog

  • Rather than meeting your friends for coffee, suggest going for a stroll

At Home:

  • Get up early and go for a walk

  • Cancel the paper / milkman and walk to the shop instead

  • If you run out of essentials, walk to the local shop to buy them - don't take the car

  • Walk whilst talking on the phone

  • Set yourself a goal to walk up and down the stairs a certain amount of times per day

  • Use the upstairs bathroom

  • Whilst watching T.V. always get up and walk around during the adverts

How many calories will you burn walking?

To give you an insight of how many calories you could be burning by taking part in this challenge and getting some extra walking into your life we have worked out a couple of examples of how well you could be doing.

Female, Age 40, 5ft5 tall, Weighs 12st 7lbs and has a Moderately Sedentary lifestyle.

Walking Speed

Calories Burned In

10 Mins

20 Mins

30 Mins

2 Mph

26.4kcal

52.7kcal

79.1kcal

3 Mph

42.7kcal

85.4kcal

128.1kcal

4 Mph

61.4kcal

122.7kcal

184.1kcal

Male, Age 40, 6ft tall, Weight 14st 7lbs and has a Moderately Active lifestyle.

Walking Speed

Calories Burned In

10 Mins

20 Mins

30 Mins

2 Mph

21.6kcal

43.3kcal

64.9kcal

3 Mph

40.6kcal

81.8kcal

121.7kcal

4 Mph

62.2kcal

124.5kcal

186.7kcal

What's My Walking Speed?

When you enter your walking into your Exercise Diary be sure to select the correct walking speed (you can choose 2mph - 4mph). If you are walking to improve your fitness 4mph will be more appropriate.

You can calculate your walking speed in two ways:

Time how long it takes you to walk a mile (pre-measure it in the car)

or

Count the number of steps you take in 1 minute

Look up your figure on the chart below and read across to find your walking speed:

Steps/Minute*

Minutes/Mile

Mile/hour

70

30

2

90

24

2.5

105

20

3

120

17

3.5

140

15

4

*Based on a 2½ foot stride

Your 8 Week Challenge Walking Plan.

Having a plan to stick to will help to keep you motivated and encourage you to stick with the challenge.

Once you have started walking confidently you may find it easier to build up your speed and earn yourself some extra calories.

Week 1

30 minutes 5 days this week.

Week 2

30 minutes 5 days this week plus 1 minute speed walking.

Week 3

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 2 minutes speed walking.

Week 4

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 3 minutes speed walking.

Week 5

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 4 minutes speed walking.

Week 6

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 5 minutes speed walking.

Week 7

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 6 minutes speed walking.

Week 8

30 minutes 6 days this week plus 7 minutes speed walking.

As you are walking alternate your speeds. Start of slowly and build up to a brisk pace and then slow down again as you near the end of your walk. Once you have started walking regularly, increase your pace, try including a few hills to walk up and down, increase your distances and time taken to do certain routes.

The more adventurous of you can try Power Walking. Power Walking involves walking at a fast pace with a more athletic gait. It takes some practise but get into it and you will burn those calories and improve your overall muscle tone, getting the benefit from this very effective form of exercise.

Ideas to make walking more enjoyable

  • Walk your dog and let him take the lead

  • Plan a route so that you can visit friends/family along the way

  • Stop off half way at the park if you are walking with kids/dogs

  • Arrange to meet a friend half way

  • Take a Walkman with you

  • Treat yourself to walking equipment, this may motivate you to walk more

  • Contact local walking associations and join in

  • Plan fun exploration walks for the kids - get out and explore your local neighbourhood

  • Make it your mission to plan a new walk for each weekend - look out for local parks, country walks, etc

  • Pick different routes each week so that you don’t risk getting bored

  • Walk at various times of the day. The sights to see first thing in the morning are bound to be different to those of the afternoon or early evening

Safety tips for walking

It is very important that you keep safe and don’t put yourself at risk when walking:

  • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your walk, especially if it’s a warm day Make sure someone knows where you are and what time you are expected home

  • Think ahead and be aware of your surroundings

  • Always carry a small amount of emergency money and a mobile phone

  • Make yourself as visible as possible. Wear bright clothing during the day and white or reflective clothing at night

  • Wear appropriate footwear

  • Always walk facing oncoming traffic if you have to walk on the road