Start Walking for Weight Loss

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How to Start Walking for Weight Loss

When you have some extra weight that you would like to lose and are not very active, there is a simple way to start losing the pounds. This method to help you lose weight does not require any monthly gym memberships, a large financial commitment, and can even be accomplished by getting the whole family involved. The following 10 simple steps will help you Start Walking for Weight Loss and take control of you health goals.

10 Steps to Start Walking for Weight Loss

Invest in a good pair of shoes

Many people who decide to start walking don’t realize how important it is to have a good pair of shoes. A good pair of shoes helps to reduce the stress and impact on your feet while walking. Plus it will help you prevent injuries that can occur when wearing the wrong shoes. If you are not sure what shoes will be good for your feet, head over to your local specialty sport or shoe store and speak with a staff member who can help get you fitted.

Find a Fitness Tracker

Years ago the only way you could measure your steps was with a pedometer. While these are realativly inexpensive, there are many other ways that you can measure the amount of steps and distance you walk. Some popular FREE Apps include Map My Walk, Endomondo, and Google Fit. You can also purchase a fitness tracker that you can wear such as a FitBit, Jawbone, and Misfit Shine.  It doesn’t matter which option you chose as long as you have a way to track your distance.

Track Your Progress

Now that you are using some sort of a tracker to know how far and long you are walking, you will want to keep track of it. Create a writing journal and record every time you walk. Record the date, distance, and amount of time that you walked. You will use this to see how you have progressed and allow you to see the progress you have made.

Set a Walking Goal

Setting a goal will give you something to work towards. Try not to set a weight loss goal but a walking goal. Weight will fluctuate at times and you don’t want to get discouraged.  When you set a walking goal you have something attainable. This walking goal can include walking in a 5K, walking a 15 minute mile, completing a 5 mile walk, etc. Once you know what you want to attain, set a time limit to accomplish this goal. Be realistic in your time frame and then get to work on accomplishing your goal.

Start Slow

Don’t think you need to get off the couch and go walk 5 miles in the first day. If you have not been involved in any physical activity for a while, you do not want to hurt yourself. Start out by focusing on walking 3 days a week for 20-30 minutes. After a few weeks, increase your time and/or distance. Continue increasing your time until you are walking at least 5 days a week for 30-60 minutes. You don’t always need to add time but can focus on walking a longer distance in the time frame.

When walking for weight loss, a good goal to set is walking 10,000 steps in a day. When you are starting out see how many you walk in an average day, then make your goal for the next week to walk 1,000 more than that. Continue increasing by 1,000 until you hit the 10,000. See how far you can go.

Stay Hydrated

Doing physical activity depletes the fluids from your body and you will want to stay hydrated to avoid muscle cramps, overheating, and dehydration. A reusable water bottle is a great investment and will save you money over buying bottled water. A good guide is to drink 8-10 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of walking, 8 ounces within 30 minutes after finishing your walk, and 16 ounces a few hours before.

Break longer walks into shorter segments.

If it is hard for you to walk a long distance at first, break it into shorter segments to make it more manageable. This is also a great tip when you have increased your walking to 45+ minutes and don’t have the time. 3- 15 minute walks will be just as helpful. If you are keeping track of your steps you can also add them in during your work day by taking the stairs, parking at the other end of the parking lot, and walking the long way to places.

Get a Walking Partner/Accountability Partner

Nothing keeps you more motivated than having a walking partner or someone who will make you accountable. Schedule a few walks a week with your partner so that you don’t talk yourself out of going. You will be both be less likely to back out because you are depending on each other. An accountability partner is there to help encourage you and to talk you into doing the thing you are talking yourself out of. Make sure this person will not give into you and only tell you what you want to hear. If you don’t a friend who is available when  you are to walk, enlist your kids or spouse. The walking won’t hurt them and they will enjoy spending the time together.

Bad Weather? Walk Indoors

Many people self-destruct when the weather is bad because they use it as an excuse to stay home. If you don’t want to don extra layers, a rain coat, or other weather gear then take your walk inside. There are many popular DVD fitness programs that let you walk at home. One of my favorites is Walk Away the Pounds with Leslie Sansone.

Make it Fun

Walking doesn’t have to be boring and if you have a great attitude when you start you will find it easier to continue. Create a custom music list to listen to when you are walking. Make sure to fill it up with upbeat, inspiring songs to keep you going and encourage you all the walk. You can also take a virtual trip across the United States with the Webwalking USA Walking Program. This is a fun way to see how far you would have made it across the United States as you start walking for weight loss.

****Bonus Tip****

Reward yourself as you hit milestones. Some important milestones include walking your first mile, your first 30 minute walk, walking  your first 5K, completing a 15 minute mile, walking 10,000 every day for a week, and many more. Make sure your reward is not food based but instead focus on something you will have longtime. Your reward could be a new pair of earrings, new socks, a new water bottle, or even a certificate you create for yourself to hang on your mirror. This visual reminder will help to keep you motivated to continue walking for weight loss and to better your overall health.

Before you start walking for weight loss, make sure you check with your doctor to insure you are cleared for physical activity. Pay attention to your body and contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. 

Do you have any extra ideas how to start walking for weight loss? Share your ideas/tips in the comment section below.

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  1. says

    i needed this exact post at this exact moment. i’ve been looking at fitness trackers all week, and looking for a little motivation. im going to get started this weekend, thanks to your advice!

  2. Ricci says

    These are great tips! I love to take walks, for health and happiness!!

  3. says

    These are some really great tips! I love walking for weight loss because it can even be done with kids in tow. Sometimes we plan a scavenger hunt on a nature trail nearby so that I get my miles in all while spending quality time with my boys.

  4. says

    I love going for walks and i love that walking is such a great way to help with weightloss

  5. Jeanine says

    I walk all the time, everywhere! I wish it would help me more. After i have babies I always really struggle with the belly and weight loss. I wish walking helped more!

  6. says

    One of my coach friend has a weight loss program using just pure walking. It’s progressive but coupled with diet it really work. It’s really important to have the right pair of shoes for this.

  7. says

    Walking is a great way to get in shape. I could not believe the difference I saw and felt in myself from just an hour walk a day.

  8. says

    Walking is a great way to stay fit. I love going for a walk with my hubby and I also love the our treadmill which I’ve been using a lot since I got an apple watch.

  9. Dee says

    Weight loss is something that I have been trying to do for a long time. I have been working on my eating so I know I need to be able to move get some more weight off.

    • Finding Sanity in Our Crazy Life says

      It is amazing how much walking can make a difference.

  10. says

    These are tips for beginner walkers. I use to walk a lot more often than I do. I really miss it.

  11. says

    I just started walking recently again since the weather is starting to cool down. Great tips! I use a fitbit, but need to invest in a new water bottle.

  12. says

    These are great tips! I began working out using videos with two of my friends. We meet twice a week and I try to work out at least 2 more times during the week. Keep it up!

  13. says

    I love these tips!! I have been taking this year to focus on me and my health and walking has been a key part of it.

  14. says

    Walking really can help you to lose weight, pretty amazing since it is such an easy task to incorporate into your day!

  15. says

    Waking is a great way to get started on the road to weight loss. It’s low impact and it’s excellent for burning fat!

  16. says

    I love walking. It’s such an easy way to get a good work out in every day. I don’t need to head to the gym or invest in big, costly equipment. I just put on my sneakers and walk around the neighborhood.

  17. Anita Fonte says

    My MIL walks everyday and she started it gradually and increased it week by week to 5 more mins. She has lost 10 lbs and is the healthiest ever.

  18. says

    My favorite form of exercise is walking. It does a lot for your body without killing your knees. I love every single one of these tips and right now they work great for me because I’m trying to get into shape again.