Weight Loss Is Just A Walk Away

Walking for Weight LossWalking – one of the simplest exercises – is also one of the best exercises you can do to achieve weight loss.

If you’re just starting to consider getting in shape, losing some weight, and taking charge of your health, walking is a great way to kick off your planned program. Regardless of age, regardless of current physical condition, nearly everyone can walk off the weight – even if just at the beginning of a full blown, back to health, program.

Whenever you embark on any new exercise program you’ll first want to check in with your doctor to inform him or her about your plans. Your doctor may have some helpful tips and guidelines based on your current state of fitness, your age, or any illnesses you may have. Either way – whether you go to the doctor or not – it is always a good idea to take it slow to start.

To begin a new walking program you’ll want to first get a pedometer so you can track your progress. You don’t need anything fancy to get started but having a heart rate monitor and the ability to upload your daily steps to your computer via USB cable are two nice features I couldn’t do without. You’ll also want a pair of comfortable and supportive walking shoes.

Begin by going for a 10 minute walk 3 times a week. Although this may sound overly cautious, it is the safest way to begin any new weight loss program. Now that you have started your new walking program and you have made a commitment to yourself to stick with it, start adding 10 more minutes to each walk every week. Should you experience difficultly breathing do not become discouraged, just walk a little slower until your heart and lung function catch up to your journey into better health. Again, it may be prudent to check back in with your doctor.

Within the month of your new walking program you will begin to see your hard work pay off. You will have more energy and your clothes will start fitting much looser. With just a 30 minute walk every day you should also be experiencing:

  • See an increase in your overall fitness level.

  • Notice changes in the tone of your muscles.
  • Feel better and look better.
  • Discover an increase in energy levels.
  • Feel less stressed.
  • Get better nights sleep.
  • Be in a better mood and less prone to depression.
  • Notice a difference on the scale.
  • Find that muscles, joints and bones are stronger.

There are many benefits to a walking program! As you can see it leads to much more than just weight loss. The longer you stick with the program, the easier it becomes. Before you know it you’ll be just like me and have developed a new, positive, lifelong habit.

Features of Pedometers

Two different Omron pedometers.You won’t believe all the tricks today’s pedometer can pull off with the click of a few buttons.

Yes, it’s going to count your steps, but it will also record them – from day to day, month to month, so you can chart your progress.

The word ‘pedometer’ translates from Latin to a literal ‘distance counter’. Thomas Jefferson was proported to use a pedometer in all of his activities and it is also said that Leonardo da Vinci invented one of the very first models. Impressive roots and still being used today by tens of thousands of people around the world.

Today when we speak of a pedometer we generally mean a step counter. The term has become universal. It is important to note however that while some of these small and popular devices do count steps others work by measuring distance that has been travelled. One of the most exciting and recent accomplishments of a distance pedometer is the inclusion to working with Google Maps. Exciting as it may be, the distance counter styles may not be your best choice for fitness purposes.

For fitness purposes – especially if you are walking for fitness – you’ll want a step counter. These gadgets work best through their utilization of a pendulum mechanism that moves up and down as you take a step. Although pedometers may vary in sensitivity and quality most of them give a pretty accurate reading.

What else can a pedometer do? It all depends on the features you choose. Find one that plays music, tracks caloric burn, functions as a stop watch, connects to your home or work computer and via software tracks your progress and suggests new workout routines or walking routes to take to increase your level of fitness.

Some of the higher end units have pulse meters, FM radios, user-defined pace setting function, a heart rate monitor and, coming very soon, motivational messages and music selection based on a workout’s pitch. Since no one pedometer has been created to perform all these functions in one tiny gadget you’ll want to first decide which features are most important to you – then you’ll need to decide how much you have in your budget.

Don’t worry though they aren’t all that expensive. In fact the newest, most high tech pedometer to hit the market in years will be selling for just a little over $100 next month but if you just want a full-featured, highly regarded, accurate pedometer without the music check out our favorite in the sidebar at right. This Omron HJ-112 is a digital pocket pedometer currently selling at less than $25. This unit has held its place in the marketplace as being the #1 best selling pedometer since 2004 (2005). A close second costs a few dollars more (under $35) and made by the same company. Check out the Omron HJ-720ITC.

If there is some feature you’d like to see or buy in a pedometer but can’t find any information here on the topic please use the contact form below. We will help you fnd it!

Fitness Gifts Between Friends

Fitness related gifts must be given with a measure of caution.Over the years you’ve dieted, changed exercise routines, bought equipment, got a membership to the gym, changed your life style, changed your eating habits, read books, taken classes – so on and so on – to get and keep fit, right?

Let me ask you though…have you ever tried taking on accountability with a ‘fitness friend’? Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting that you haven’t, but in parts of my own life I’ve retreated into seclusion thinking that extra weight and loss of fitness was only my problem. My friends were fit and trim which only made it harder on my psyche that I was carrying around an extra 20 pounds.

Last year at a Christmas party one of my friends gave me a pedometer. I was instantly excited about this gadget and all the programming features, but later found out that she had been worried to give it to me. Worried that I might have been offended because I’d assume she was saying that I need to lose weight.

Since those days I have given many of my friends and associates a pedometer as Birthday and Christmas gifts and been met with varying reactions. So, if you’re thinking of purchasing a pedometer as a gift for someone, here are some tips I’ve gained over the years.

First of all, you don’t want to be giving a fitness related gift to someone unless you’re either:

(a) fit yourself, or
(b) hoping the recipient will become your fitness accountability partner.

You’ll want to know the benefits of regular exercise and how a pedometer can help you reach your own fitness goals before you present a fitness related gift to someone. If the recipient knows that you are looking out for their best interest, that you want them to live a longer and healthier life, the pedometer will be well received.

I always give the high-tech pedometers as gifts as, if nothing else, the recipient will be less offended because you appear to have lavished them with something new and expensive when the functions and options are varied. (Don’t worry, you won’t need to spend a lot more money to get the newest, high tech pedometer.) The fact is that we live in a high-tech, gadget-oriented, world. Women love appliances that make their lives easier and men enjoy new gadgets that they use and display like a trophy. These electronic wonders add some spice and interest to new hobbies and habits.

My point is that you want to shop for a pedometer that has new and innovative technology. This might be a pedometer with speed and distance units that utilize GPS technology. These units give constant readouts on the owner’s speed, distance, pace, and some come with add features such as a heart rate monitor that can be stored on a separate recorder unit…which eventually can be downloaded to your computer.

If your recipient is into mountain climbing, shop for the ones that measure altitude, temperature, and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) levels. If they’re a golfer, grab one that records and stores golf scores plus measures the swing speed.

Options are aplenty – from the most simple fitness gift to high tech sports watches – whichever one you choose offers you the satisfaction that you have given a gift from the heart that assists your recipient in living a healthier, active, and longer life.