Walking Fitness & Weight Loss Program

Walking is a very inexpensive and effective exercise type to add to any weight loss program. Walking requires very little in the way of equipment or initial fitness level to begin, and can be performed virtually anywhere, anytime of the day. Walking is a natural movement for the human body and is an excellent exercise type for toning the muscles of the lower body and calming the mind after a stressful day at the office.

In addition, walking is an excellent low-impact, entry-level exercise type that most individuals will be able to perform. For individuals that have not exercised in quite a while, are severely overweight, or have some some of physical limitation walking is an excellent starting point in beginning to develop a well-rounded physical activity program.

Once improvements have been made in your level of physical condition and you have started to see a decrease in your weight, you may want to consider adding an additional exercise type to your weight loss program.

Walking routines can be performed with varying degrees of intensity. In fact, walking briskly for an extended period of time can improve cardiovascular endurance, tone the muscles of the lower body and promote effective weight loss.

Types of Movements

Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that can be performed by most individuals. Unlike running or jogging, which place a strain on the knee and ankle joints and jar the spine, walking allows one foot to always remain in contact with the ground so that there is less chance of strain or injury. It is recommended that you take the time to perform a brief stretching routine before and after your walk to further reduce the likelihood of injuring yourself.

>To gain even greater results from your walking routine and reduce your probability of injury, you should maintain proper posture, keep your head up and eyes forward, relax your shoulders and tighten your abdominal muscles.

Targeted Muscles

Walking will primarily work the hamstrings, quadriceps, gluteal and calf muscles of the legs. If you concentrate on maintaining correct posture, walking will also strengthen your hip flexors and core area as well.

Walking at a quick pace for an extended period of time will significantly increase your heart and breathing rates, effectively working your entire cardiovascular system.

Aerobic Effect

Individuals that have not exercised for an extended period of time or are severely overweight should start out slow with their walking routines. For example, walk for ten minutes at a pace that still allows you to carry a conversation, then turn around and head back.

Perform this walking routine every day for a week, then add five minutes each week until you are walking for one hour. By this time, you will have laid the foundation for increasing the aerobic effect of your walking program.

At this point you will want to calculate your target heart rate and walk with the intention of achieving an "aerobic effect." In order to achieve an aerobic effect, you will need to raise your heart rate to your target heart rate and maintain that level for a minimum of 20 consecutive minutes.

Required Equipment

Walking is an extremely inexpensive exercise type and really only requires that you to have a good pair of walking shoes. You should also have a water bottle to maintain hydration. Of course, the climate will dictate the clothing you wear, but be sure to wear breathable clothes. Sweating in cold temperatures can lead to several forms of illness. This being said, be sure to dress appropriately prior to performing your walking routine.


A walking routine can be an excellent exercise type to add to your weight loss program and can deliver several health and fitness benefits. A walking routine will burn calories, tone and strengthen your leg muscles, increase metabolism and improve your cardiovascular endurance. While a walking routine can be an effective weight loss program, it also costs very little to perform and is safe for individuals that are out of shape.

walking targeted muscle groups

The calories burned through a walking routine are dependent on your age, the speed at which you walk, the duration of the walk and the terrain on which you perform your routine. In general, typical calories burned for a 150-pound individual should be around 125 to 250 calories per every 30 minutes of walking. For an activity that nearly anyone can perform, this is a reasonable rate of caloric expenditure.

The accessibility and low-impact nature of walking are a couple of the benefits associated with this form of exercise. Almost anyone can perform a walking routine with at least a reasonable level of regularity. Walking provides a good, solid workout for an exercise type that is so easy to perform.

Many individuals regularly perform a walking routine solely to clear their mind and calm their nerves after a stressful day.. In addition, walking is an excellent entry-level exercise type that can be performed for a short period of time to improve your overall health and fitness level before advancing to a more intense and challenging exercise type.

However, once you have moved up to a more aggressive exercise type you may want to consider performing both exercise types as there will be unique benefits associated with each.