Are you carrying the dreaded “quarantine 15?” If you put on a few pounds during the shutdown, you are far from alone. However, nobody but you can do anything about the situation!
If you want to control your weight during COVID-19, why not try walking? It won’t cost you a dime, so if you have money worries, check them at the door. You could reap a host of health benefits besides birth control, too.
Why Walking for Weight Loss?
Why should you try walking for weight loss? Here are four factors that make it the best form of exercise ever.
Walking is one of the best ways to exercise without a gym, and it won’t cost you a dime to get started. All you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes to protect your paws. Can you elevate your workout with light hand weights or mobility aids like walking sticks? Yes, but if financial matters are foremost on your mind, you can manage with your two feet.
Unlike HIIT or other gym-style workouts you can do at home, walking is low-impact. That means it provides enough to maintain healthy bones, but it doesn’t jar your joints. If you don’t like to jump — or if doing so is painful — walking helps you elevate your heart rate without the stress.
You Can Bring the Kids
When it comes to walking, the more, the merrier! Sometimes, you might need a solo stroll to clear an overwhelmed head. However, on most days, you can bring the kids. Make it a mindful experience by paying attention to the physical sensations you feel on your outing. Ask the little ones to identify what they can hear and see. Leash up the family pooch and head to manicured museum grounds where you can learn about various trees and plants while you exercise. The activity is fun for everyone.
It Helps Prevent Chronic Pain
Walking helps to activate the synovial fluid around your joints, which allows them to move more freely. Plus, it strengthens the muscles around your knees and maintains bone density so that they don’t break as readily. Walking is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of arthritis and ease symptoms if you have a family history of the condition.
Suggestions for Starting Your Walking Program
You’ve decided that a walking program is an ideal way to avoid weight gain during the quarantine. How much time do you need to devote to the activity, and how can you get started?
In terms of overall health, experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, like walking each week — around 30 minutes daily. However, if you hope to lose weight, you should step up your activity level to 200 to 300 minutes each week. If that sounds intimidating, take a deep breath. Here’s how you can squeeze it in and have a blast while doing so:
Walk in the morning
Do you want to supercharge your productivity so that you can manage your tasks and your second job as a homeschool teacher? Start your day by taking a walk. The exercise and fresh air will get oxygen-rich blood flowing to your brain cells to get them firing more efficiently than a cup of joe — which you can still enjoy, don’t worry.
Schedule walking breaks
Taking breaks throughout your workday boosts your productivity. Why not do a lap or two around the block instead of reaching for a snack every time?
Stroll after meals
You don’t want to do the intense activity after eating — remember the adage to wait an hour before swimming? However, a leisurely outing won’t interrupt your digestive process and may help you avoid the slump that can follow a meal.
Use your resources
Is the weather outside frightful? Walk up and down your stairs for a hamstring blast of a workout. If malls have reopened in your area, tons of people use them to get moving. Your local YMCA or recreation center might have an indoor track you can use on rainy days.
Vary your surfaces
If you always walk the same route, it can get boring. A variety of surfaces and landscapes take your fitness to new heights. Go out for a hike on the weekend and find the steepest nearby hill to do some interval training.
Avoid the “Quarantine 15” by Walking for Weight Loss During COVID-19
If you put on a few pounds during the shutdown, don’t throw up your hands in despair if you cancel your gym membership or don’t feel safe returning yet. Take your workout outdoors for free by going for a walk!