Being overweight in The United States has become the norm today. Almost all of us at some time or another find ourselves with a little extra fat on our body. So we are ready to try almost anything to get rid of our extra pounds. There is nothing wrong with finding a good diet plan, but will dieting be enough? For some, dieting alone will be enough to shed the extra weight. But for many there need to be some type of exercise regimen to go along with the diet.
In this blog we shall set forth a simple and inexpensive exercise program to help you in losing that extra weight. That program is simply walking to lose fat.
There are several reasons why walking is a good program for losing fat.
First of all, it is inexpensive. You do not have to buy any expensive machinery to walk. Almost all humans have two legs which exquisitely designed to bring about locomotion in a very efficient manner. So it comes quite naturally. Unless you live in a congested downtown city area there is plenty of areas to walk, such as sidewalks, walking paths, parks or alongside the roads.
Even if you live in a congested city, you can purchase inexpensive treadmills beginning at under $120. How much is your health worth? Of course, the sky is the limit. But you decide what your budget can afford. The difference you save on eating more healthy foods instead of fast foods will probably more than pay for a descent treadmill several times over.
Walking works out the whole body
Many workout regimens work certain areas of the body. They target certain muscles or muscle groups to strengthen them, for various reasons. But walking exercises the whole body. Now I am talking about the normal walking style as if one is walking along a pathway. Every part of the body gets involved. Initially you are aware of your legs. At the base of the legs are the feet and toes. Yes, even the toes have an active part in walking. They serve as fine tuners in balance and are constantly making adjustments in keeping the body upright and moving in the chosen direction. The bones of the foot serve as levers to help in the propulsion of the body moving forward. The ankle works fibula and tibia to keep the body upright and going in the chosen direction. Above the knee is the femur, or thigh-bone, which is joined to the hip to which the rest of the upper body is joined.
All of these bones of the body are joined together in such a way that they are leveraged in certain ways to create certain movement. The means by which they are leveraged is called a muscle.
What is a muscle?
A muscle, believe it or not, is a machine made up machines called proteins. Proteins require energy to do the work they are created to do. How does a muscle machine work. Without getting too specific, muscles work by contracting. They make themselves shorter. They only burn energy when they contract whether static(isometric) or active. Energy used by the muscle to contract is proportional to the size of the muscle and the pressure or power necessary to accomplish the contraction.
When walking you are engaging the largest muscles in the body to accomplish this task. They are the thigh(quadriceps) and the glutius maximus(buttox). Though they are not being highly stressed they are actively engaged and using energy.
All the muscles in the lower body are actively engaged in either propelling the body forward or making constant adjustments to keep the body upright.
The muscles of the abdomen and lower back are continually making adjustments as they are maintaining an upright position for the upper body. The upper chest and back are not greatly active but are continually making fine tuning adjustments to assist in balance and forward locomotion.
The arms and shoulders are very active as the swinging of the arms aids in locomotion and balance. The motion engages to some degree the muscles of the forearm and upper arm. Though not a great stress it nevertheless engages them in constant adjustments.
The neck muscles are always involved when we are upright. They maintain our head upright so that we can receive appropriate input for our senses.
Very important muscles
Four very important sets of muscles used in walking are:the heart, the diaphragm, the abdominal, and the intercostal. They are involved in the intake and expulsion of air and transportation of oxygen. We breathe in air so that our lungs can extract oxygen which is transported by blood cells which are propelled by a pump(the heart) to the muscles of our body so that they can contract and cause lever actions through which our body moves(in this case walks). This oxygen is mixed with the components of energy which our body has extracted from the food which we have ingested and brings about the contraction necessary to leverage the skeletal structure involved. Then the waste product(carbon dioxide) is transported by the blood back to the lungs where the abdominal and intercostal muscles come into play and contract to expel the waste.
This is just a simplified overview of what is going on when you walk. But I believe you can get some idea of all the muscles involved that a vast amount of calories are being consumed. Very few exercises can compare with walking as far as putting undue stress on the body and still burning calories.
Walking to lose fat engages almost all the muscles of the body so that it is not the stress on the body that causes the great number of calories to be burned but it is the great number of muscles all burning fat at the same time.
Another good by product of walking is that if one walks for twenty minutes or more the metabolic rate(the rate at which the body burns energy) is raised and stays at a higher level than normal for up to eight hours. So, your body continues to burn fat at a higher rate even when you are through walking.
If you need a little help in addition to walking, I shall leave some links below for you to check out.
I wish you well and may God bless you in your endeavors.