To lose weight, start counting steps along with your calories.
The Optifast weight loss plan takes a lot of the complication out of following a healthy diet. By replacing your existing diet with the OPTIFAST products you’ll be able to cut calories, eat smaller portions and still get all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy. This makes up about half of the weight loss equation. There is still the behavioral element to consider, which includes your attitude, willingness to stick to your diet plan and yes, your exercise habits.
Exercise is an essential component of any successful weight loss program. Ideally, you should aim to exercise for 30 minutes at least five days a week. Working out for longer than that, or more often than that, can help you achieve your weight loss goal even faster.
When you are just starting out with exercise, it is good to start slow. Walking is a great form of physical activity that comes with major health benefits. Here are just a few advantages of walking:
- Walking is a low-impact activity with minimal risk for injury.
- Walking produces 1/5 the impact of jogging or aerobic dancing, which makes it easier on joints and injuries.
- The speed at which you walk can be adjusted to accommodate the intensity level right for your current fitness level.
- Walking is a weight-bearing activity that can help increase muscle and bone strength.
- It is possible to walk just about anywhere, even for short periods of time, providing an opportunity to fit more exercise into a busy day.
- Walking is a form of cardiovascular activity that is sustainable, so it can be maintained for extended periods of time.
In one study published by the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers found that middle-aged men who walked briskly for 40 minutes four times a week experienced similar benefits to men who jogged for 30 minutes three times a week. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that premenopausal women, who walked regularly either at a slow or fast pace, experienced a greatly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease—a decrease as high as 18 percent!
This goes to show how much pushing yourself to the physical limits of your current abilities can improve your health and wellness levels. Start by talking short walks around your own neighborhood, and then gradually increase the time and distance that you walk. If the weather makes it difficult to walk outside, consider walking on a treadmill for the same benefits in a more controlled environment.