You’ve committed to walking 30 minutes a day. You’ve gone through your schedule and moved things around so you could fit it in. You’ve even managed to stick with it. In fact, you’ve been at it for months now. Rain or shine.
However, after some promising initial progress, you’ve hit a brick wall. For some reason or another, you’re just not losing any more weight.
What’s wrong? Why aren’t you getting the results you were hoping for? Well, chances are you may be making one of these five common mistakes and ways to overcome them. Read on.
Taking The Same Route Over And Over
If you walk the same route over and over, you can afford to switch things up.
When you start your walking routine, your body may not be used to it. Your body will have to work hard to complete the walk, burning lots of calories in the process. This is why you may start seeing some really encouraging results during the first few weeks of your new routine.
Unfortunately, though, your body is built to adapt quickly.
Once the initial shock wears off, you’ll start needing less effort to complete your walk. And the more you keep doing it, the easier it will become. Over time, you’ll start burning less and less calories, which is why you’ll stop losing weight.
Thankfully, this is a problem that’s very easy to solve.
If your walk doesn’t feel like effort anymore, it’s time to shake things up with a more challenging route. Add a hill climb to your walk, switch terrain or, better still, invest in a weighted vest. If you live in the city, you can try urban hiking to make your walk a little more interesting and challenging.
Sticking to the same route is only part of the problem.
An Unvaried Pace
Your body doesn’t just adapt to the route, it also adapts to the intensity of your walk. Once your body adjusts - you guessed it - it will start burning less calories, which means less weight loss or none at all.
Studies have shown that women who vary their walk by taking three short fast walks and two longer moderate ones each week shed five times more fat than women who walk at the same pace all week, even though they burn the exact same amount of calories. They also lose three times more visceral fat - the fat that wraps around your organs and can cause chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Get your heart pumping with some snappy beats! Whether you running or hustling through that cardio session, a workout playlist is sure to help you rev up and slow down when you need to.
Having the right posture is just as important as varying the difficulty level and intensity of your walk. Exercise is one of those things that does more harm than good if done wrong, and walking with poor posture is no exception.
Poor posture cramps your lungs, which makes it harder to breathe deeply and tires you out faster. Your muscles will also get less oxygen, so they’ll work less efficiently and risk straining and injury.
It’s a good idea to check your posture every time you walk, even if you’re just getting out of your chair to fetch something. Before you know it, you’ll walk with the right posture without even thinking about it.
Got the Right Shoes?
If you want to make the most of your walk, you need the right tools (read shoes). Walking with the wrong shoes can cause all sorts of aches and pains and could even lead to injury, which would completely derail your weight loss plans. Trust me on this, I’m speaking from personal experience!
Of course, shoes are a matter of personal preference. Here's a rule of thumb - good walking shoes should fit comfortably and be light and breathable. Ideally, you’ll have about a thumb’s width between your big toe and the edge of the shoe. More importantly, the heel should round in and the sole should bend freely at the ball of your foot. This will ensure that the shoe works with your forward momentum, not against it.
Check What's On Your Plate
Just because you’re working out doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want whenever you want. Your diet is just as important as your exercise regimen. For one, you need to make sure you’re burning more calories than you’re eating. More than calorie counting, pay attention to what you eat.
Next time you catch yourself reaching for that bag of potato chips, try having an apple instead. Or, even better, figure out a healthy meal plan and stick to it. Otherwise, you’re just undoing all of your hard work.
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