When thinking of weight loss we always think extreme whether it be diets, some sort of cleanse, hard-core training or supplements. Most people don’t think of their everyday tasks and how small changes can make a big difference.
Joining a gym is a great start to any weight loss journey (Especially if that gym is Future Fitness). We can help to get you on the right path, make sure you’re making the most effective exercise choices and advise on lifestyle and eating habits. However there is so much more you could be doing in your everyday routine to help you lose fat.
Summer is finally here, in daylight hours at least if not in temperature and sunshine. We can start becoming more active without the excuses winter allows us and the first thing we can do more of is walk. We have more hours of daylight, warmer days and warmer rain when its wet.
Walking is FREE and easy to do and gets you from A to B. So instead of making small trips by car, get walking. A brisk walk is around 3-5 miles an hour, this is also the average speed that most people jog. So really you could be walking instead of jogging and still getting good results without any of the issues to joints, shins and your back. Daily walking keeps you fit and healthy and with over 40% of us spending most of the day seated it is an easy solution to help some way to the drastic problem of obesity. Not only that but walking offers many of the benefits we try to achieve by running (before we become injured and stop) and a brisk walk will burn around 150 calories per 30 minutes activity. So what other benefits are on offer:
Regular brisk walking will:
- Improve performance of the heart, lungs and circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and strokes – inactive and unfit people have double the risk of dying from CHD
Walking regularly at any speed will:
- Help manage weight.
- Reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers such colon, breast and lung cancer
- Improve flexibility and strength of joints, muscles and bones, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Increase “good” cholesterol
- Boost the immune system
- Improve mood, reduce anxiety, aid sleep and improve self-image
You should aim to exercise at a moderate intensity for two and a half hours (150 minutes) a week. You can break this down into sessions of 10 minutes or more. Moderate intensity means:
- your breathing is faster
- your heart rate is faster
- you feel warmer
Living in Scotland means we have access to some of the WORLD’S most beautiful scenery be it mountain, loch, glen or coast. So take advantage of what we have to offer on our doorstep, escape the city for a wee bit and get added exercise as a bonus. loch Lomond is only a short drive from Glasgow and has loads of great walks low level and harder climbs
10,000 STEPS A DAY
You will have heard people discussing 10,000 steps a day in the media, this has become increasingly popular due to pedometers and activity measuring tech such as FitBits and our phones also track steps taken.
This can be a great way to measure your daily walking habits over time and helps to keep you accountable. It sounds silly that we have to keep ourselves accountable to walk but welcome to 2018. 10,000 steps is no magic number, but this does lay a baseline for what most people should be able to achieve in a day and is a good number to aim for to keep you motivated.
10,000 steps a day will be 4-5 miles, so it’ll add up nicely throughout the week and help keep you fit and healthy. Don’t rely too heavily on tech to monitor this and try to actually enjoy the walk or go on a different route if not! Gadgets will vary in results but can provide a good guideline to go by, the Fitbit often overestimates and picks up on non walking movements while the iPhone often under-calculates.
GET OUT IN YOUR AREA
We have some good walks on our doorstep in Shawlands and some good green space to escape to with Pollock Park and Queens Park just around the corner. Here is an example of a 30 minute round walk from the gym and through Queens Park.
And if you want to get a wee bit further Pollock Park offers a great escape from the city for an hour or so. This is a great park to walk in as there are so many different routes to take and you can extend your walk easily or choose a smaller circular route. Here is an example of a 2-3 mile walk through Pollok Park which has some great Forestry walks and you can also add in a river walk along the White Cart (The outlined route below has a good mix of all the terrain through Pollok Park).
READY TO START WALKING MORE???
Now is the time to get started, Daylight hours are increasing so we can get a walk in before work, leave earlier to allow a nice walk to work, walk home instead of using the car or bus, get out I the evening after dinner for a stroll. With so many chances of walking safely in Glasgow we need to take advantage and burn some calories while we’re at it!
It may sound silly but if you haven’t done a lot of walking lately then you are better building it up rather than starting on massive walks only to ditch it after the first attempt. If you are not used to exercise then try the following tips below before starting your walks:
- Warm up – start slowly, do a few warm-up exercises and stretches first. Don’t walk immediately after a big meal.
- Build activity slowly – start with a 20 minute walk then increase gradually. Try to walk at least three times per week.
- Use the correct technique – walk at a steady pace, swing your arms freely and stand as straight as you can. Your feet should step in a rolling action from the heel to the toe.
- Shoes and socks – wear thick comfortable cotton socks. Sensible, comfortable and lightweight shoes with support are best.
- Weather – wear suitable warm, light clothing in the winter and cool, comfortable clothes in the summer. Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat.
- Water – drink water before and after your walk. Take water with you on your walk, especially in warm weather.
- Cool down – make sure you cool down after a long fast walk. Do a few stretching exercises.