Picking a Path for Weight Loss WalksPosted: Apr 10 in Activity Recommendations by Staff
During medical weight loss, walking is one of the best workouts around. Just about anyone, anywhere can do it, and all you need are your own two feet and a path to walk. However, the path you pick can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your workout.
As you start to lose weight and improve your fitness, walking gives you a great chance to explore the world around you, which can provide new challenges and unexpected benefits. To get more out of every step you take, it will help to fill your walks with:
- Enticing scenery. Instead of walking miles on the treadmill in a stuffy gym, take your walks to the great outdoors. Beautiful surroundings will engage your senses, helping you enjoy your workouts much more. Some studies also show that spending time in nature can help you improve your concentration and stress levels, so look for walking paths in nearby parks, wilderness preserves and other enjoyable public areas. Denver residents are lucky to live near many great paths. A few of our favorites are:
- The Highline Canal runs 66 miles (106 km) east-northeast through Douglas, Arapahoe, and Denver counties, ending at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Lateral in the Green Valley Ranch area in northeast Denver.
- The Cherry Creek Trail is 11 miles long and starts at Confluence Park, on the Platte River Trail. The path travels through Denver and ends up at the Cherry Creek Lake/Reservoir.
- Platte River Trail is 15.9 miles of paved, concrete trail following the South Platte River
- Bear Creek Trail is 14 miles of paved trail that connects the Platte River to parts of Lakewood. It ends in a dramatic hill climb up Mt. Carbon in Bear Creek Park in Jefferson County.
- Shifting terrain. Walking on a flat surface makes your workout easy, but easy isn’t always what you want. A variety of terrain will consistently challenge your muscles and build your balance—a hill with even a 15 percent slope can help you burn one-third more energy than walking on flat ground. Again, Mother Nature is your best bet for this, as hiking trails tend to keep things interesting with inclines, rocks and roots.
- Try heading towards the foothills- there are wonderful trails in Ken Caryl, Green Mountain, Morrison & Golden with rolling hills as well as steeper trails.
- If you want to head South, Castlewood Canyon in Castle Rock is a great for easy family hiking and walking with a variety of terrain.
- Find your new favorite trail in and around Denver at http://denvermetrotrails.com/
- Pit stops. We all need a break every now and then. Pick a route with a few good stops along the way to hydrate and take in the scenery. Keep an eye out for benches, water fountains and scenic areas to take a quick breather. And make sure to pack some healthy snacks- beef jerky and protein bars are great, healthy choices.
You can always walk in your neighborhood or local park, but it can be nice to broaden your horizons and find new trails. Keep looking for new routes to take and revisit your favorites later. As you continue to improve your fitness during your medical weight loss program, your favorite walking routes can become the perfect places to try other workouts like running and cycling.