Prior to the 21 Day Ab Challenge, walking was my primary form of exercise. Walking has been a major contributor to my 108 pound weight loss over the past year. I’m going to share 10 Tips to Walking Your Way To The Best You.
The reason why walking is so coveted to me is that almost everyone can do it. While you may not be able to do one sit up, push up, HIIT training, yoga pose, etc TODAY… most people can walk. Let’s talk tips!
- Walk Outside. I love walking outside. The ability to actually go somewhere when you’re walking outside (vs a treadmill) just gets me going. You can sightsee, take different routes, absorb your vitamin D, and inhale fresh air. I think it is the ultimate form of unintentional meditation. But I can’t resist a good treadmill walk when the elements warrant it.
- Walk in the morning. I prefer walking in the mornings for multiple reasons. First, you avoid the heat of the day. Second, with any exercise—getting it out of the way in the morning prevents you from making excuses throughout the day to avoid exercising at all. I find it also makes me more energized and efficient the rest of the day as well. Set your alarm!
- Track your progress. It doesn’t really matter what app you use, but the most motivating thing you can do is use an app that tracks your miles, calories, etc. I use the Nike Run app which also lets you join challenges with friends and walkers/runners across the world. Extra bonus that you can connect your Apple Music, train with guided runs, and achieve different challenge medals.
Start Small. Don’t expect to go out and walk 5 miles on your first day. Like everything else, start small. Allow yourself to enjoy the walk. Start with a mile, even half a mile if you need to. Work until you can walk at least 30 minutes a day. Then you can choose to continue to go short distances or work yourself up to long distances like the one I did today (whew!).
Adjust your speed. As I mentioned above… Start slow, let your body enjoy your first few walks. Then alter your speed, adjust to a brisk walk or a power walk, whatever is comfortable for you. Over time, you may find your body actually urges you to run or jog. Go for it, even in short intervals, a run here and there will help build your endurance and get your heart pumping.
Bring your water. Even for those of us, who aren’t super fans of water (see Alternatives to Drinking Water), I love water on my walk. By drinking water on my morning walks, I’m getting my first 16oz in without anything else first. This is a good time to take your morning medications or vitamins as well before you head out the door. Make this all a part of your morning routine.
Walk on an empty stomach. Research has shown that morning walks on an empty stomach help contribute to weight loss since you are walking your way into a calorie deficit before you break your fast.
Wear proper attire. Invest in a comfortable pair of running shoes and outfits that you will enjoy to walk in. If you look good, you feel good!
Check the weather. Dress for the season—hoodies for winter, sleeveless for summer. If the sun is going to be beaming, be sure to slather on the sunscreen. If it’s cold, don’t forget the hoodie. Better to dress in layers, you can always tie an unneeded hoodie around your waist. Some even prefer to wear hoodies year round in order to promote sweat (water loss).
Protein. If you’re walking to lose weight, remember to eat protein found in lean meats, beans, eggs, cheese, and/or protein shakes. Protein will help you build lean muscle.
This isn’t a tip, but a true suggestion—Have a NO EXCUSE attitude. Don’t let daily distractions get in the way of this important time with yourself. Grab your water and some good music and get going!
Looking for an advanced work out or want to tackle stubborn belly fat? Join the 21 Day Ab Challenge for FREE, featuring a daily tracker, workouts, and additional tips/tricks to tone your abs and kickstart weight loss.