As I mentioned yesterday, I was walking about a mile each day, but clearly I was not at my ‘peak fitness’. However, I had the habit of walking every day and I loved it, so all I needed for a better fitness walking program was an excuse to do more, more often.
I got that excuse, via a move from the country into town. When we moved, I developed the following walking fitness plan: I walk to and from the grocery store. (That’s it.)
The grocery store I go to most often is 1.2 kilometers away, and on average I go 6 times per week. It takes me about 45 minutes round trip, shopping and standing in line included. You might be saying, “I don’t have 45 minutes to grocery shop every damn day!” But realize, I am multi-tasking: I am getting my exercise, grocery shopping, and meditating all in one fell swoop! (The usefulness of walking is one of the reasons that I consider it to be the perfect exercise. It doesn’t take you away from stuff, it takes you to it!)
Today I want to tell you three stories to illustrate that walking for fitness and weight loss is effective, all of them are about me and true.
Walking to lose weight. I wish that I could give you hard numbers, but the truth is that I haven’t weighed myself in more than 7 years. I don’t track or worry about my weight, despite being slightly overweight. Still, it’s hard to deny that within 4 months of of increasing my walking from 15 minutes to 45 minutes 6 days per week, I had lost quite a bit of weight. For one thing, my pants kept falling down. Not just a little, but in a way that threatened to have me arrested for public indecency. The way that forces you to shell out for a belt. Also, I saw some friends 5 months after the change and their first words were ‘goodness, you’ve lost weight!’. Of course, that leveled off and I have not continued to lose weight – I’ve maintained. Which is what most people want, right? To maintain weight loss? (I can guess, based on experience, that I lost about 20 pounds, maybe 30. I’m very tall so this is not a massive amount for me.) So yes, walking to lose weight and keep it off is effective.