Walking can be one of the best tools for a low carb lifestyle. The question is does walking help you to lose weight and control blood sugar? The answer may pleasantly surprise you. Here are some tips on how you can use walking to control both your weight and maintain a healthy blood sugar.
Start With a Goal in Mind
If weight loss is your primary goal, start out by mapping where you want to be and set a reasonable time to get there. Depending on the period of time you want to achieve a certain amount of weight loss, it may be prudent to break it into chunks and do a little at a time. Do a weight check to know where you are starting and record it somewhere so you get a scientific starting point.
Next, figure out just what your goal for weight loss is going to be and set a 30 – 90 day mark to reach that goal. The idea is to hold yourself accountable and measure your success as you go. A realistic amount of weight to lose for most people is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-3 pounds per week. Weigh yourself at least twice a week and record it in the same place as your goals and your starting point so you can reinforce your progress.
When you do start walking, do it slowly and build up your performance a bit at a time. Exercise is something your body has to get used to and you should not try to achieve everything at once. Start with a 10-20 minute routine daily and pace yourself as you do it. Remember this is a marathon not a race and steady makes the type of progress you want to see.
Use Walking as a Tool to Control Your Blood Sugar
Walking is very effective as an exercise to control your blood sugar. Diabetic studies have shown that walking can affect blood sugar up to 24 hours or more and is effective as a lowering mechanism particularly for older adults. Incorporating walking into your daily routine is a great way to improve blood sugar control for diabetics.
To use your walking as a blood sugar control tool, you need to make sure you check your blood sugar on a regular basis. Record your levels and be sure to indicate times relative to your meal intake so you can check how your walking affects your blood sugar measurements. Last, record walking times including intensity, distance and time taken to complete your walk. You want to be as scientific as you can with when and how much you exercise so you can make adjustments on the fly to maximize the affect your exercise has on your numbers at the end of the day.
Schedule Your Walking Routine
Walking is very flexible and does not require a great deal of equipment to do. You do need a good pair of walking shoes to do it regularly so invest a little money and treat your feet kindly. Walking does not have the same impact as running on pounding your feet so it makes a great way for diabetics to move without causing a great deal of medical problems, especially when it comes to feet.
A lot of people like morning walks but I find afternoon walks to be totally relaxing. Early morning sugars are an issue so if you do exercise in the early morning, check your blood sugars and make sure they are adequate enough not to interrupt your walking routine. Be sure to eat a snack if you need to prior to exercise.
You don’t have to get a minimum of 30 minutes in each of your walks; a walk of as little as 10-15 minutes can be effective. When you make up your goals, figure out just how many minutes of total exercise you want in a weeks’ time and spread it out over the whole week. I try to get a little in each day and keep up with the minutes I spend doing it but you can structure your walking schedule in any way that suits you.
Jazz Up Your Exercise
Like music? Make sure you’ve got a way to listen to it as you walk. I like listening to news and sports a lot and listen to them while I am doing my routine. If you love to sing, you can practice while you walk. Some people like adding weights to their routine so if it helps, by all means do it! I sometimes carry a water bottle along so if I get thirsty, I can sip on my favorite beverage.
A change of scenery can be beneficial also. Switch up the routes you take when you walk to keep it from getting boring. Make sure you get a different view from time to time. If you use a park to do your walking, do different things from time to time to keep it interesting. Doing walks with a partner can also add a bit of a change and even add conversation while you walk.
Brighten Your Day and Perspective When You Walk
Walking can be a great mood enhancer. A lot of people think more clearly after a walk and it serves as a great way to forget your problems for a bit while you do it. Exercise in general helps to increase the amount of endorphins in your blood stream which serve to put you in a happy and fantastic mood.
How Walking Fits Your Low Carb Lifestyle
Walking and a low carb lifestyle go hand in hand with each other. In fact, a walking routine makes it easier to stick with your low carb diet and can help you reach those difficult weight loss goals. If you plan correctly, walking can be an asset in losing weight and attaining great blood sugar control. The best advice is to record your progress and start slowly. Getting the results you are looking for is the key to your success.