Fitness / Weight Loss

Fitness and weight loss.

Walking and hiking are excellent ways to increase fitness and, when required, assist in a weight loss programme. 'Fitness' is generally defined as your body's ability to complete any reasonable task that may be asked of it, along with some that may not be so reasonable. An increase in fitness can quite easily be achieved in a controlled, safe way. Years ago we used to say 'No pain, no gain' and 'If it ain't raining, it ain't training'. To a large extent that approach worked reasonably well; however, if I'd have known then what I know now I'd have become much fitter, much quicker... and with a good deal less pain. As for weight loss, this is quite a complex subject. Just going on a diet and getting to a pre-determined weight won't mean that you're fit, or healthy for that matter! It's important to maintain a fat/muscle/fluid balance; no matter what others claim, it's not possible without exercise. For effective, safe weight loss, eat real food in sensible portions; the secret of effective, safe weight loss is placing your body in a position to burn fat. Walking and hiking is a slow burn activity that is ideal for weight management. Running for an hour or so will not get to the fat but will improve your cardio-vascular fitness; walking and hiking will do both if the route has been planned correctly.

Size matters!

Yes, that old chestnut! It's not the weight that's important... It's the size! Weight and size are obviously linked, but not as closely as you may think. Muscle is more dense than fat, that makes it heavier than fat. This means that the same weight in muscle occupies less space than the same weight in fat; it is also much more use! That's not to say that fat isn't useful; our body needs fat, not least to make up energy shortfalls in an emergency, all we need to do is maintain it at the correct level. Just because you are thinner doesn't mean that you have less fat than someone of the same height who is larger. Being thin and light with less muscle and more fat isn't good and normally, your shape will not be good. Slender with more muscle and less fat is good and your shape will be good too. You can ask your guide to help with this and he'll sort out some exciting walks that will assist you in losing weight at a sensible 1lb - 2lb per week while not starving yourself to death. He can also help with the best types of food to eat at certain times so that you don't feel hungry but have lots of energy to enjoy yourself.

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