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How to Start a Simple Walking Weight Loss Program

People today are interested in learning how to lose weight, but many are not sure about incorporating exercise into a weight loss program. They are not sure what would be the best exercise for weight loss, how much of it to do, and, perhaps most important in their minds, how to get started exercising for weight loss.

Many people will be comforted to know that it is a well known, and well documented, fact that a walking weight loss program has to be one of the most effective, and healthiest ways to lose weight.

While all kinds of exercises can, and when done properly, will produce many different, yet positive, health benefits, walking as an exercise for health and fitness is a natural form of exercise which stands out from all the rest.


A walking weight loss program is simple to start, easy to keep going, and can be incredibly effective. While no single exercise is perfect, and many can provide a range of health benefits similar to walking, it is very hard to find a weight loss program of more value when taken as a whole.

No exercise is perfect, and walking is no exception.

A walking weight loss program does not build much muscle, does not directly increase flexibility to any great degree, nor does it necessarily prepare someone for any specific activity other than...well...walking.

I would like to digress for a moment, however, and point out that any walking program, for weight loss or otherwise, can be very important to seniors, as it will not only strengthen and protect vulnerable bones and joints, but will also help prevent falls that are sometimes common in senior life.

However, back to our discussion about how to start a walking weight loss program. That previous point about walking not being applicable to much other than walking is not necessarily a bad thing.  Many people who started out walking to lose weight or get healthy have moved on to other activities such as hiking, running marathons, and a wide range of other positive opposed to sitting in front of the TV worrying about their health, weight, and growing medical bills.  

Whatever they DO wind up doing it was getting up and moving, getting fit, losing weight, improving health, increasing energy, and creating a better self image through deciding to  start a walking weight loss program that got them to a new level of enjoyment and pleasure in life.

Some more great things about exercising by walking is that you need little in the way of equipment, other than a good pair of shoes.  A walking weight loss program requires little space and no real training at all, although most will require a bit of a conditioning period at first, so start slow and increase the challenge gradually.

Additionally, walking is a natural activity all the days of our lives, and most of us can easily find ways to simply incorporate more walking in our lives, no matter how hectic, without creating some formal workout routine.

To illustrate this, I first came up with the basic idea for this article while lying in bed this morning.  Later, while watching CNN, I saw a story by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, in which he focused on a woman who had lost 40 lbs and was able to stop taking her blood pressure medication simply because she decided to start riding the train into Atlanta and getting off and walking several blocks from the station to her office instead of just driving in and parking nearby!

Still, many people are just not sure of what to do, or what to expect, and want what my wife refers to as a "recipe" for a walking weight loss program.
They want specifics!

They want to be told how often to walk, how far and how fast to walk, and what they can actually expect from following that recipe all the days of their lives.  A failure or breakdown in providing in-depth information on any of these aspects often leads to the individual dropping out of their walking weight loss program or not starting in the first place because it all seems too complicated or too difficult...or doesn't give the desired results rapidly enough!

Any exercise program, and walking is no exception, is often at risk with people new to exercise.  This is simply because of expectations being too high, and knowledge about exercise on the part of the individual being too low.

Let's talk about the expectations and knowledge part up front before we get to the subject of possibly establishing a personal walking weight loss program.

Researchers in a controlled lab environment can establish averages and baselines for weight loss, burning fat, and the use of calories.  These figures are based on data obtained from several different participants.  In fact, information about the participants is often an important piece of data as well.  In the final analysis, however, this data can only represent an overall average of these several different paticipants performing specifically selected exercises within the parameters of the trial as set by the researchers.

You, on the other hand, are a single individual whose sidewalk may be different from the research facility's track and whose parents are different from those of the subjects in the study.  Not only is your basic genetic makeup different, as is everybody else's, but what you had for breakfast and how long ago you had it is different, as is your current personal level of health and fitness.

Do you see the point I'm trying to make here?

You cannot directly compare your activity or results to those of the official studies themselves.  Nor, by the way, can you compare your abilities or results to those listed in books on the subject.  The people who write those books are often writing about what they KNOW you should be doing, but what you might not be ready or able to do at the moment.  It can be very disappointing to try to follow a walking weight loss program, or any exercise program, designed for one level of fitness when you are presently at a lower level.

I discovered this when I first became interested in exercise in 1970 after reading Dr. Kenneth Cooper's book, "Aerobics".  I was so out of shape that I did not even begin to show up on his charts until I had been walking regularly for some time.

On the other hand, the data collected by controlled experiments DO definitely show that regular walking can help you lose weight and increase your health.  Just because you cannot duplicate the results of a study exactly, or even perform the exercise program followed by the participants exactly, does not mean that you should give up on the idea of creating your own walking weight loss program.  You just need to begin at a point which suits your current abilities and progress slowly upward.

Additionally, many such controlled studies have been able to produce the same basic results while using varying walking programs.  This shows that it is not absolutely necessary to follow any one specific program to the exclusion of all others.  

To put it another way, when it comes to your personal walking weight loss program, yours has as good a chance as being effective for you as theirs do!

How much weight will you lose on a walking weight loss program and how fast will you lose it?

That is going to depend on many factors as well.

For example, your sex, age, weight, current physical condition, and diet will be just a few of the determining factors which will come into play.  How often you choose to exercise, how intensely you exercise, and your long term commitment (extending over many months or even years) to your walking weight loss program will all have an impact on your final results.

Is walking the only exercise you will need to lose weight?

Not necessarily.  While many people may be able to lose all the "weight" they need to lose through walking, using resistance exercises in conjunction with a walking weight loss program in order to build lean muscle tissue can cause you to lose weight more effectively and during periods when you are not specifically exercising.  Walking will certainly build a small amount of muscle tissue if you are not in shape at first, but once that tissue is built, that's all you're going to get and you will have to walk farther, faster, or more often in order to burn more calories.

Lean muscle tissue is important because it raises your basic metabolism and burns fat even when you are at rest.  Aerobic activities such as walking primarily only burn fat while you are performing them.

In fact, some people will only be able to burn fat or calories up to a certain level, and may find themselves at a new, though healthier, level of weight and fitness without having reached their original weight loss goals.

This is why you see many people who walk a lot who are still overweight.

In many cases, they have not modified their eating habits, they have not added resistance training to their exercise program, or they have not increased their walking program by going farther, faster, or by adding more difficult terrain or having regularly challenged themselves to reach a new level of health and fitness.

The good news is, however, that if you, like the lady in Atlanta I mentioned above, simply start a walking weight loss program by finding a way to add some additional walking to your daily lifestyle, it will not be immediately necessary to take on the demands of a formal fitness program.  Keep finding ways to add more walking to your daily activities, however, and you will see a definite loss of weight and improvement in many other health areas as well.

If you have hesitated up to now to start walking for weight loss, or for health in general, because of issues with time, equipment, and/or because you think you must have some particular goal or structured guidance, get over it.  

You just need to find a few minutes somewhere in your day, get a good pair of shoes, and pick an area to walk in; and you can start your own highly effective Nordic walking weight loss program.

Read a Review: Walking for Weight Loss - The Six Week Fat Elimination Plan
This revolutionary walking program uses an unusual and extremely effective twist to using walking to burn through your fat stores. One of great things about walking is that itís one of the easiest things in the world to do.

I also recently posted an article entitled 2 Steps to Weight Loss to this site.

P. S. If you want to learn more about why Diets Don't Work, please click here.

If you want to learn how to burn fat, a great book to read is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto

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Walking Weight Loss Program

Page Updated 11:59 AM Thursday, December 23, 2021