How to Start Walking for Weight Loss

Use Walking to Lose Weight Faster

Are you trying to lose weight? A healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan will help you slim down. But if you also start walking for weight loss, you're likely to see results faster. Not only will you see positive changes on the scale, but you'll like the way your body looks and feels when you add physical activity to your day.

So how do you begin a walking program? If you are new to exercise or if you haven't worked out in a while, start slowly and focus on consistency. Schedule your walking workout just like you schedule all of your other important activities. Put a daily 10-15 minute walking session on your calendar and post your calendar in a place where you see it on a regular basis. 

After one to two weeks, you'll notice that your body getting stronger and more fit. Extend the length of your workouts and try to walk a little bit further during each session. Gradually extend the length of the workout to 20, 30 or 45 minutes.

As your fitness level increases, you'll be able to take on additional challenges. Use the workouts and tips listed below to boost your walking program. 

Get Walking Shoes

weight loss by walking
Cultura RM/Corey Jenkins/Cultura/ Getty Images

Before you start walking to lose weight, you should get properly equipped with good shoes. Of course, you can walk in your regular sneakers, but a dedicated walking shoe will make your work out more comfortable, safer, and more effective. 

Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, explains that its important to have a separate shoe for walking workouts.  "Your gait changes with casual walking versus walking for exercise, as does your cadence." As a result, she says casual shoes and workout shoes break down differently. Wearing the wrong shoe can lead to injury and pain. 

So what kind of shoe should you buy? Dr. Sutera says that it depends on the terrain. "When walking trails and hills, the better shoe option is a cross training or trail sneaker. For more flat terrain, a walking, jogging or running sneaker is appropriate."

And of course, fit is essential. Dr. Sutera works as an expert in the Vionic Innovation Lab team. Vionic makes sport-specific walking shoes in a wide variety of widths and also provides orthotic inserts to support your feet during walking workouts and other activities.

Lastly, don't forget to replace your walking shoes on a regular basis. "The general rule of thumb is to replace your shoe every 8-10 months," says Dr. Sutera,  "but you may need to do so sooner if you are particularly hard on your shoes or workout more often than most. The best indicator of this is sole wear.  Flip your sneaker over and examine the sole. If they are uneven or worn out it is definitely time to replace them." She also says that you can do a "table-top test". Put your shoes on a table and look at them at eye level. If you see signs of uneven wear, it's time to replace them. 

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