Can a walking routine help you to lose weight? Yes, but if you want great results, it’s essential to do it right.

Walking is a great exercise to control your health and clear your mind, especially during the times we are in right now. If your objective is weight loss, follow these four tips:.

1. Start easy, and plan for a rest day.

Begin with low mileage targets and a comfortable pace; your body needs to get used to the new activity. Slowly increase the intensity of your walks either by speed or distance. It is good to use a tracking device either with an app like Strava or a smartwatch. Remember that walking can be addictive, so be sure to incorporate a rest day for optimal recovery. Going from 0-100 increases the risk of injury – then you won’t be able to walk at all

2. Change your routine and put the phone down.

Our bodies naturally adapt to new routines and quickly start going into maintenance mode. That means, if you drop a couple of pounds at the beginning, and continue the same routine, you will soon reach a weight loss plateau. Always change it up and keep your body guessing. Find ideas for different varieties on the next slide. Listening to your favorite music can be very motivating, but keep the phone in your pocket – looking at it while walking changes your gait (and sets you up to trip)

3. Incorporate strength training in your routine

When you increase your muscle mass, you increase your resting metabolic rate, which makes your body burn more calories. Muscles are beneficial in keeping weight off. Begin with functional exercises like squats, lunges, planks, or push-ups. These exercises engage the big muscle groups – and make you look better too.

3. Don’t overestimate your calorie burn

Walking makes you hungry, and you might want to reward yourself with a heavy meal. Think twice – it is highly likely you will eat more calories than you have burned; try a protein snack or a piece of fruit instead. To put this in perspective: the average person burns between 80 and 140 calories per mile. Your average cookout burger can weigh in at a hefty 780 calorie vs. a boiled egg, which is around 70 calories.