The word exercise may bring to mind a group of leotard-clad women doing aerobics, an energetic jogger pounding the pavement before sunrise, or the hefty muscleman grunting as he pumps iron in front of a mirror. But really, exercise can be something as simple as walking around the block. In fact, walking is one of the most effective and widely recommended forms of exercise for staying fit and losing weight.
The National Institutes of Health recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity on most or all days of the week, noting that regular exercise can help maintain and even improve your health. Walking is the perfect, gentle, low-impact exercise that both supports good health and can help you shed extra pounds.
In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. To lose weight walking, start by keeping track of your daily calorie consumption, then walk far enough to burn more calories than you’ve taken in. A 150-pound person burns approximately 100 calories per mile, a 200-pound person burns approximately 130 calories per mile and a 250-pound person burns about 160 calories per mile.
A pedometer is an easy-to-use, inexpensive tool that can help you keep track of how much you’ve walked in a day and how many calories you’ve burned. Simply clip a pedometer to your waistband or belt (some pedometers even work tucked into your purse or briefcase!), and you’ll be able to track steps, view calories burned and distance walked during a workout or all day long.