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Walking for weight loss

You’re a new mum with a new baby – congratulations! But you might have found that you have a lot less free time than you had before the baby, as well as a lot less sleep! Every mum puts weight on during their pregnancy, and as many new mums have little free time, they can find it difficult to shift the baby weight. There are, however, a few ways for you to lose the weight – and you can get your baby involved in the exercise too.

We all know that walking is a great exercise – it’s absolutely free, it’s weight-bearing, so it supports your joints, it’s very easy and is perfect for people of all ages and abilities, as you can go at a pace to suit yourself, and the best thing of all is that it can help you to shed the pounds. Walking is also an excellent exercise for your health – there is new research being completed all the time that has indicated that if you walk 10,000 steps per day, you reduce your risk of many types of cancers and diseases, you prolong your life and you become a happier person. Walking releases endorphins – the same chemicals in your brain that get released when you eat chocolate – which make you feel happier. If you walk often, it will also help to improve your posture, which will naturally make you look thinner!

Walking is also a fantastic way to lose weight. You might have heard of the 10,000 steps challenge – it involves quite simply walking for 10,000 steps every day. There is a reason that 10,000 steps is the chosen number – walking this many steps can help you burn off one pound of fat every week. 10,000 steps per day adds up to 70,000 steps per week, which burns off on average 3,500 calories – which in turn burns off 500g of fat. Keep up the regime and you could lose 1kg every month without changing your lifestyle in any other way. To really add to your weight loss, combine the exercise with a healthy eating regime – add vegetables, fruits and lots of lean protein into your diet and make some food swaps, such as full fat butter for low fat spread to cut out 300-400 calories per day from your diet.

Reaching 10,000 steps per day will take a little while – obviously you won’t be able to do it overnight, but you will get there! Research has found that on average, before people begin an exercise regime, they walk between 900 and 3,000 steps per day. You might think that reaching 10,000 steps per day is too difficult, but if you just take it gradually, you can do it! Add steps into your routine every day or every week as you feel comfortable. For example, you could aim to increase your step count by 100 steps per day, or you could aim to increase your step count by 500 every day for a week. Keep increasing your steps until you reach 10,000 and then try your best to maintain your step count.

So how can you get your steps in with a baby at home? It’s actually simpler than you might think – here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Practice inefficiency. Make jobs last longer – this will enable you to get more steps in. For example, if you want to hang washing in the garden, hang it up one item at a time – take one item from the washer to the washing line at a time. This will make the job last for much longer, but it will also really increase your step count.
  • Park your car right at the far end of the car park when you run errands. You’ll have further to walk when you reach the supermarket. Then, when you reach the supermarket, don’t get everything you need in one lap – walk around the supermarket a few times or walk up and down the aisles repeatedly.
  • Walk around your house! Use your floor space and get moving when you have some free time. If you have a garden, walk round that too!
  • When your baby goes down for a nap, get moving – try running up and down the stairs.
  • Go for a walk with your baby. Put them into their pram and get walking!

As you can see, there are plenty of ways for you to get moving! If you are new to exercise, speak to your doctor before you start a new exercise regime.

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