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Is Walking For Weight Loss Effective? 
Start Slowly, Be Consistent, Get Results.

Walking for weight loss seems almost too easy. But for sedentary people, walking can be a good "first" aerobic exercise. You can walk almost anywhere. You don't need any equipment except a comfortable pair of shoes. 

For many people, walking is the best of the fat-burning exercises. Walking is a good way to build up strength and endurance without getting injured. 


Omron pedometer
One nice gadget to have for your walking program is a pedometer.  We like this one, which is made by Omron. Consumer Reports gives it a top rating. The model number is HJ-112.

Wear your pedometer and count your steps every day for a week while you go about your daily activities. Are you walking less than 10,000 steps a day? If so, it is time to make a plan and start walking for weight loss.

You should be walking an average of 10,000 steps per day, or 70,000 steps per week. If you have been sedentary, start slowly. Begin by walking around the block. Increase your distance gradually. Don't try to go too far too soon. Return home before you are sore and exhausted.

Have a light snack before each walk and take a bottle of water with you. Invite a friend or family member to join you. Or get a portable radio or CD player to listen to as you walk. Jerry on treadmillWalk during your lunch hour, or walk around your neighborhood. When the weather is bad, walk in the mall.  

If you would rather join a gym, walk on their treadmill. Or buy your own treadmill and keep walking to lose weight while you are reading or watching television. Don't forget to drink your water while you are walking.

Walking 10,000 steps will take roughly 90 minutes, depending on your speed. You can break it up into two 45-minute sessions, three 30-minute walks, or whatever works for you.

Every step counts when you are walking for weight loss! Figure out ways to get extra steps. Pace the floor while you talk on the phone. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Shoes, socks, blisters, and rashes

It will take a while to toughen up your feet for distance walking. Be sure your walking shoes fit properly. There should be 1/2 inch of space between your toes and the end of your shoes. Your shoes should fit well in the heel and not be too loose. If there is a running store in your town, buy your shoes there. They can help you choose the right shoes.

There are two ways to protect tender feet from blisters. One way is to buy double-layer socks. The socks slide against each other instead of causing friction on your skin. Wrightsocks are an excellent brand. Another way to prevent blisters is to smear vaseline on any "hot spots" before they develop into blisters. It is a little messy but it works very well.

Vaseline also works to lubricate any other areas where you have chafing. Rub some between your thighs or under your bra strap. Be generous with the stuff. Use a big glob!

If you develop blisters, protect them with Moleskin until they heal. You can buy Moleskin in any drugstore. In a strip of Moleskin, cut a small hole the size of the blister. Press it to the blistered area so the blister rests in the hole and is protected. With a big blister, you can put another strip of moleskin (with a hole) on top of the first one.

Although walking is a low-impact exercise, some people do develop overuse injuries from walking or other aerobic exercises. If you have any problems, here is a site that discusses painful foot, ankle and lower leg disorders in easy to understand language, from a podiatrist with over 25 years of clinical experience.

Advanced walking

Once you get comfortable walking in your neighborhood, you might want to search out hiking trails in your area. Check the weather report before heading into wilderness areas. Start with short, easy trails and always go with a friend. Walking for weight loss is even more fun when you can get away from the city and enjoy some beautiful scenery.

Take a walking vacation and continue your weight loss program. One vegan-friendly country is England. Walk for miles in the museums of London, or walk in the English countryside. Here is some information on the walking trails in southwest England to get you started.

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