Walking is great exercise for weight loss! There is no need to pull a Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout to shed the pounds. Doing an intense workout too early can get you injured and lead to a setback. Instead be like Forest Gump lite and say, “From that point everywhere I went I was walking!” Here are eight reasons walking is the penultimate exercise for weight loss.
- You can get in touch with nature. Since I started my walking practice two years ago, I have been at all the great trails around Austin. I have used the app AllTrails to find trails off the beaten path and to discover new haunts. I have visited the seven lakes in and around Austin and also Lake Georgetown. My favorite trail of all time is in Georgetown Texas followed closely by Lady Bird Lake and Brushy Creek trail which is next to my house. I have a backway path to access Brushy Creek Trail which I affectionately call “Secret Passage Way”
- Walking allows you to destress. You can listen to music, a good book or the sounds of nature all around. It is calming and relaxing without overexerting yourself (unless you are walking in Hill Country in Texas in mid-August!)
- It can be done everywhere and it is easy to get 10,000 steps in or 5 miles. When on a work trip, walk from your hotel to the office and walk to dinner. You can also take breaks at work and walking around the office to talk to your colleagues instead of Skyping them.
- It is usually low impact but there is a bit of caution here. It was definitely not low impact when I started or even after losing the first 50 or so lbs. First, lugging around 300+ lbs. initially caused me often to throw my back out. Then when I lost a good chunk of weight, my gait changed causing more back issues. I eased into walking longer distances with comfort after first preparing myself on the Elliptical trainer.
- It is a good way to learn new things. I always listen to audiobooks and podcasts when not walking with someone. I have listened to over 300+ books on my walks and have learned about Ulysses S. Grant, the Power of Habit, and the latest crime solutions from Alex Cross and James Patterson! I use the app Overdrive and Podcast to get free books from the library and podcasts, respectively.
- You can catch up with loved ones both human and pets! I have had awesome conversations with my wife and family while taking a hike or walk. I also make Boots our dog extremely happy especially when he can walk off leash at Turkey Creek.
- You get to see new things that you would have missed at the Gym. I have been on the Appalachian trail, walked through Central Park, strolled along the river at Columbus and got familiar with the hill country around Austin.
- Related to number 4, when you lose significant weight, your body structure changes. It takes time to adjust to your new body and higher impact exercises can really injure you, until you get to steady state. Even changing your walking gait can be a challenge. It took me a few weeks to adjust to each significant weight milestone. Walking allows you to adjust to your new body.