Want to hear something funny! I seriously used to go walking every …wrapped in garbage bags. OK are you done laughing yet? No? I’ll wait. Here’s the thing. My mom was my best friend so I pretty much accompanied her everywhere- by choice.
There were times that my mom wanted to lose weight and even when she didn’t, she was always into exercise. While I was in high school, she was on a weight loss mission. Because I was her partner in crime for most things, it didn’t matter that I was stick thin, I wrapped up in my set of garbage bags and hit the trail with her. We would get up before dawn and head to Liberty State Park (beautiful scenery) and hoof it to cover a little over 3 miles in about 40 minutes.
As I type this, I realize that the funnier thing was there were DOZENS of other people in the park each day doing the EXACT same thing- garbage bags included. It must have been a thing at the time. Despite being diligent with our walking regimen and ridding ourselves of so much sweat that we would have to pour it out of the garbage bags, neither one of us really lost any weight and as far as I could tell neither did anyone else that we would see on the walking path at the crack of dawn. This is exactly how NOT to walk for weight loss.
There are many reasons why we didn’t lose any weight following this crazy, yet popular, regimen and although I don’t see many people walking around in garbage bags anymore, I still see tons of people walking in the least effective way to lose weight.
If you want to lose weight by walking, you want to do a few things…
#1: Get rid of your hand weights and ankle weights.
The idea behind a weight loss walking regimen is to walk in a way that is NOT intense. The walking is meant to balance out the other high intensity activity in your regimen. Leisure walking helps to clear lactic acid, relieve soreness, balance out your hormones (ba bye cortisol and belly fat storage), and burn calories without triggering your appetite (cause what’s the point if your exercise just makes you hungry).
#2 Slow dowwwwwwn.
Unless you are a beginner and alternating speed walking and regular walking for your interval training, your walks should be slooooow. Remember all of the benefits I mentioned about walking in the first point? In order for those to happen, the walk needs to be at a leisure pace.
#3 Pair your walking regimen with sensible nutrition.
Something more embarrassing than the whole garbage bag thing is… my mom and I were still eating plenty of processed starch and not nearly enough vegetables and protein to lose weight. So yes we were relying mostly on our speedy walks to strip off the unwanted fat despite our consumption of low-fat crackers and fat free popcorn.
Although I believe that every woman should experience all of the awesomeness that comes with lifting heavy thing, a weight lifting regimen really isn’t necessary if you are a beginner. Weight training will do so much for you in terms of body shape, improving your body’s ability to process carbs without storing them as fat and things beyond weight loss but that isn’t the point of this article.
The truth is that if you are a beginner, a daily leisure walk coupled with a sensible nutrition approach will get you started on your weight loss journey and you can incorporate the weight training when you feel ready OR when your results start to slow when your body adjusts to your new routine.
So while this may not be your momma’s weight loss walking routine, it is effective and far more comfortable than hoofing it around Liberty State Park wrapped in garbage bags. Go ahead. Laugh again. Laughter is good for you.
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