By: Eric and Maleka Beal, co-founders BetterChoices
We each lost 100lbs in approximately 10 months…WALKING.
Yes!!! The next question (probably the one you just asked yourself) is HOW?
The simple answer is this, “We made BetterChoices.” We made better food choices & better activity choices. Being that we were both obese starting out, we knew taking small, consistent steps was key to us creating a more active lifestyle. Jumping into a gym regimen or doing some trendy activities was a great idea but not realistic. We knew we had to start implementing the work ethic at home before we would commit & yield benefits from going to a gym.
Walking was something we were capable of doing. We knew we did not have to go fast, we just had to go. We mapped out a 2.5 mile route around our house and committed ourselves to walking it every day. We can tell you those first few days were rough. It took a lot of hard work to walk that route every day but we felt so accomplished when we would finish it. As the weeks went by, we found ourselves not only walking but starting to run! We incorporated a walk/run regimen & just like that, our efforts showed our commitment, consistency, & hard work!
Walking has so many benefits beyond weight loss. We wanted to share with you these 5 reasons WHY you should walk your way to better health & wellness.
1. Improve Heart Health: Walking helps to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increases your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. According to the Stroke Association, walking BRISKLY (not a casual stroll, talking on your cell phone…you need to act like you are trying to get somewhere!) for up to 30 minutes can help prevent and control high blood pressure.
2. Lowers Health Risk: Walking can help prevent and manage your diabetes, as well as, reduce your risk for other diseases like asthma and some cancers. Researchers discovered that people with Type 2 diabetes who walked more each day became more efficient at burning fat. The muscles became better at storing blood sugar making each participant better able to control their glucose levels.
3. Better Manage Your Weight: Walking will not only help you lose weight but it will help you maintain your weight. Walking helps to increase your muscle mass and tone — the more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism, the more calories you will burn even at rest. Remember, walk with intention & effort. The more you increase your pace, the harder your body will work & as a result, you will burn more calories.
4. Tone Legs, Butts, & Abs: Walking can help to strengthen and shape your legs, creating definition to your calves, quads, hamstrings, and lifting your butt! Be sure to pay attention to your posture. Proper posture while you are walking can also help to tone your abs & reduce your waist.
5. A Mood Booster & Burst of Energy: It’s simple. Exercise WILL boost your mood! Getting active releases feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream, reducing stress & anxiety. Walking is also one of the BEST natural energizers. Walking boosts circulation and increases the oxygen supply to each & every cell in your body. This helps you to feel more alert & energized. Try taking a walk after lunch or dinner. It’s a great way to get you out of that “itis” mode & into doing something great for your mind & your body!