It sounds like a lot when you say it out loud but for many people, three miles of walking isn’t actually that far. Break it down into smaller sections and what do you have? Two lots of 1.5 miles. For so many people, that’s a 20-25 minute walk to work and home again. Or perhaps walking the kids to school and home rather than taking the car.
There are so many ways to keep fit and work out these days that so many people forget about one of the most basic and simplest ways to get our blood pumping – walking. With yoga and pilates, boxercise, zumba, aqua-aerobics, at-home workouts and more, the market is awash with a whole range of fitness methods. Yet walking, the thing we do everyday without even thinking about it, is often overlooked.
The more you walk, the more you’ll be able to walk. Also, the more you walk, the healthier you will be. You might only be able to start off with a few minutes of walking each day but when you really commit to your decision and decide to stick with it 100%, you can build up the length of time you walk over time and eventually, you’ll be able to proudly say you’re walking 3 miles a day!
Why Walking 3 Miles a Day?
It sounds like such a random figure but there is a method behind the madness. There is science to prove the theory.
It takes 3,500 calories burned in order to lose one pound of fat. If you weight 150 pounds, you could burn around 100-150 calories just by walking one mile. Now times that by three and you have up to 450 calories per day. Over the course of a week, that’s 3,150 calories per week you will be in a deficit. You’re basically one pound of fat down for that week even if you do nothing else to your diet or exercise routine.
It really could be as simple as walking to work or to school rather than hopping in the car.
The more you weigh, the faster you will lose weight at first because walking is a weight-bearing exercise. You are carrying your own weight so at first, you’ll be using more energy and working harder to carry yourself.
As you lose weight and start to get a bit lighter, your body won’t need to work as hard to carry your weight so you’ll need to find something new to add to your routine to ensure you don’t plateau or lose momentum. Keeping fit is about keeping determined and the only way to keep determined is to keep at it. The more you do it, the more you will see results but we all need to start somewhere.
How to Start
Honestly, the best way to start is to get up off the couch, put your sneakers on, go outside and just walk. If you have a dog, walk the dog. If you have kids, use them as your excuse to work out and frog-march them to the local park where you’ll throw around a ball or a frisbee for half an hour to an hour, burning even more calories still.
You could walk to the shops to get the groceries for the next few days rather than hopping in the car to do one big grocery shop a week or every two weeks. You could even just go outside and enjoy the delights being outside has to offer you. The more sunlight you are exposed to, the more vitamin D you’ll have in our body so technically, that gives you two excuses in one.
Good footwear is important to ensure you don’t cause yourself any damage or harm but whatever you do, make sure they’re comfortable shoes. If you buy shoes that rub or blister your feet, you’re not going to enjoy the exercise and you’ll give up. If it means spending a few more bucks on better / high quality footwear, it’s a small price to pay.
Make sure you start small and build yourself up. If you can only manage ten minutes of walking today, that’s fine. You’re new to it and everyone starts off small. Walk for ten minutes a day for three or four days and then look at increasing it to 20 minutes. Or maybe even 15? The slowest you go, the easier the transition will be but at the same time, the faster you put more effort in, the faster you will see fitness and weight loss results.
Just remember not to push yourself too far because that’s when you’ll injure yourself and you won’t be able to workout at all when you’re stuck on the couch.
Exercise requires you to take care of your body so make sure you always rest your muscles, and always stretch them too. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep as best you can, drink plenty of water, and have a healthy and balanced diet. What’s the point in putting in all the hard work of walking for three miles a day only to fill your face with junk food after? You shouldn’t be using food as a reward. The great outdoors should be reward enough.
Use a heart rate monitor. You can measure your progress well with a heart rate monitor and you’ll literally be able to see your fitness improve in front of your eyes. At the same time, you want to make sure your new fitness regime is safe and that you’re not overexerting yourself too much.
There are many benefits to walking from losing weight to bettering your fitness. Alongside these, you can expect to see improvements to your cardiovascular system, increasing energy levels (over time), releasing feel-good exercise endorphins into the body, helping your memory and lifespan improve, and also help you to sleep better too.
Is it time to dig those old sneakers out?