Unlike fitness trends that go in an out of style, walking is an act of motion that people have done for ages. Walking is a low-impact activity that humans learn to do as babies and continue to do throughout their lives. In this two-part article, you’ll learn about Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home Fitness Program. This program is designed to help people lose weight in a safe and profound way from the comfort of their own homes.
Can You Really Lose Weight Just by Walking? Fitness Expert Leslie Sansone Has Proof That You Can (& the Workouts to Help You Do It!) (h2)
With winter on its way out and spring’s arrival just around the corner, you may find that you’ve stalled a bit when it comes to working out. Maybe you’re sick of your usual indoor routine or perhaps it’s not quite warm enough to get out on your favorite trail. We’re with you! That’s why we’re excited to feature fitness expert Leslie Sansone, creator of the Walk at Home Fitness Program that promotes walking as a sport for life.
Her low-impact workouts, which have been featured on TV and in publications such as Woman’s Day and Dr. Oz’s The Good Life, offer effective (and fun!) ways to be active and burn calories while going easy on your bones and joints. Best of all, you can do them from the comfort of your home!
Here, Leslie tells us how her walking workouts (more than 100 DVDs) get you excited to exercise (really!), when you’ll start seeing results (we were shocked!), and why she follows the diet she does. Plus, an amazing success story that proves how walking can really change your health journey — even when your family history predicts a different outcome.
1. You are so inspirational. You even have a Walk Fan Club! Do you have any particular success stories from someone who used your DVDs to help improve their health, particularly diabetes or heart health?
Stories of inspiring people who have turned their health around is my favorite topic! I have to say, I am spoiled when it comes to receiving these success stories, but I’ve learned that when people feel better, they live better and they want to share that. There’s one scenario that really hit home, though. I was recently in the doctor’s office with a family member that is “trending” toward Type 2 Diabetes and the physician actually prescribed walking 10,000 steps a day for 90 days before turning to drugs — a challenge! (The doctor didn’t know my profession; just that I was a concerned family member.) I can’t wait to see the results when we go back in 90 days, because I know walking works. If you’re wondering why I couldn’t motivate this family member to walk more, it’s because my family is like everyone else’s — they don’t always choose what’s best for mind, body and soul, even if I’m encouraging them to do so. So here’s hoping the doctor’s prescription does the trick. I commend all the amazing doctors that first challenge their patients in this way!
Then there’s Eleanor from New Jersey, who’s in her 60s and has a family history of heart disease. She thought she was destined for the same and, like her family members, had been taking cholesterol and blood pressure medication for years. When she read a report about how many diseases can actually be caused by unhealthy habits, she immediately started walking more. She walked away one drug, then two, then three, and now her only medicine is walking. Her health care expenses these days? Walking shoes. Her doctors cheer her on! “It’s amazing what walking can do,” she told me.
2. You talk in your videos about being positive. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Do you have any suggestions on how to stay positive, especially if someone is struggling with health issues or has a lot of weight to lose?
I can definitely relate to that. Staying positive every hour of the day is a challenge and, the truth is, life just isn’t like that. There are so many forces around us that can bring us down. My advice: Put your armor on as early in the day as you can. Physical activity stimulates the most powerful chemicals in our brain to boost our mood — endorphins! So, exercise before anything else can interrupt your positivity and your hopefulness. This is actually more important than dieting to lose weight. In fact, if you just diet to drop pounds, your metabolism slows down because your muscle mass decreases, which leads you to eat smaller and smaller portions just to maintain the weight loss. Frustrating, right? You need that exercise component, which keeps your metabolism going, your body full of energy, your systems (heart, lungs, etc.) in working order, and your mood elevated.
If your goal is to lose weight and be in better health, start walking. It’s so simple, but I’ve studied it for three decades and it really is a solution. You can always reassess your eating habits, but many people have told me that after they started fitness walking, they didn’t need to be so strict about their diet after all.
3. Do you have any special diet that you follow or recommend in addition to your exercise program to maximize health benefits?
I recommend foods that fuel good health: fresh, whole foods. Eat veggies, fruit, nuts, whole grains, lean proteins. If I had to describe my meals, most are Mediterranean-style: lots of fish, greens, olive oil, garlic, lemon. Just talking about it is making me hungry! Don’t get me wrong: as a girl with Italian roots, I wouldn’t miss spaghetti dinner on Sunday. We can still enjoy foods we love in moderation (in fact, the registered dietitian in my family agrees). I’ve found that people I’ve helped who start a regular exercise routine are more likely to make better choices at meal time. One good choice, like exercise, leads to another, like healthy eating!
4. You’ve been making videos for over 30 years. Has your exercise philosophy changed? Are today’s walking videos different in intensity or type of workout than when you first started?
Now that’s a new question for me! My fitness career started in 1980 when I was certified by a group called California Aerobic Dance — we have come a long way since then! But my certification sparked a love for all the ways we can be active and healthy. I started a fitness club to offer group classes, cardio and strength training equipment — all of it! And I studied the latest exercise science and trends to inspire the workouts I created. I still do. How can I use Pilates methods in a walking workout? How can I apply the science behind strength training in a cardio walking workout? My workouts have a core method that doesn’t change because it’s based on the science of how the body reacts to the challenge. But all the ways I create new challenges during the walks is why it’s been such a successful program.
5. For those people who are out of shape or haven’t worked out in a while, how long does it typically take to see results?
Instantly! I know what you’re thinking: How can that be true? It is. The second that you put one foot in front of the other in a purposeful way — at a brisk pace and with determination — you start the process of releasing endorphins (your “armor,” remember?) and you instantly start feeling better. Many people report that after just three or four brisk walks, spread out over a week, they start to see their belly lose its “puff” — that’s pretty quick!
6. How do you beat the boredom factor?
I take breaks from my normal routine. If the past few weeks have all involved morning workouts, I switch it up to a walk after dinner. If my walks have been more traditional — like an outdoor walk or a treadmill walk — I shift to my Total Body Walks DVDs, which incorporate more upper body and core muscle movements than traditional walks. I also love to ride my bike and being active in other ways, like playing “speed badminton” (there is such a thing!) with my sons.
7. A lot of people think they have to get their heart rates super high to get a good cardio workout. Do you think your walking workouts can provide the same benefits to heart health as a high intensity run or a spinning class?
You’re right that a lot of people — too many, in my opinion — believe that if their heart rates don’t reach 85 to 90 percent of their maximum capabilities, they’re not doing a real workout. Even though I knew you could still get results without pushing to that extreme, I used to aim for that level of intensity too. But walking can be a real workout. Sure, at a slow pace, it doesn’t challenge your body to get stronger, but a short, gentle walk is still burning calories and is better than no walk at all. A brisk walk burns calories, strengthens your heart and lungs and increases endurance. And a speed walk results in big calorie burn and a whole host of health benefits that impact blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, heart health, bone health…the list is endless.
Lose weight just by walking with Leslie Sansone’s best seller DVD Walking the Walk (w/DVD): Getting Fit with Faith
Leslie Sansone is a real-deal fitness expert who has carefully crafted her walking program for all people in mind. Of course, her Walk At Home program is more than just walking a certain number of miles a day or burning a certain number of calories. Leslie Sansone iterates that being positive and consistent is key. Below are some real success stories of people who have dedicated themselves to the walking program and their results!
25 Unbelievable Success Stories You Shared On Walking Your Way to Weight Loss (h2)
When we featured fitness expert Leslie Sansone, creator of the Walk At Home Fitness Program, we were so excited about the enthusiastic responses we received from all of you! It’s not surprising that Leslie’s DVDs have motivated and helped so many of you overcome your weight loss and health challenges, but it’s always great to hear how our community is improving their health and finding solutions that really heal.
We appreciate everyone who shared comments about their Walk At Home success. Here are some of your inspiring experiences that prove Leslie’s walking workouts are truly helping people reach their wellness goals. Keep putting one foot in front of the other!
I love Leslie’s DVD’s because they are so doable for me. I have fibromyalgia, diabetes and a bad back. Being somewhat restricted on some days, depending on how I feel, I am able to modify Leslie’s workouts according to my discomfort level and still get a total all over workout. Exercise is not only good for the body, it is crucial for a healthy mind.
I am walking to be fit, happy and healthy. I have been walking with Leslie three years now. I lost 25 pounds and I feel great. I am very grateful to Leslie. Loads of love to her.
I love the Leslie Sansone DVDs and how they motivate you to move more and avoid boredom in activity. Leslie keeps it real! It’s easy to follow and work towards my health goals!
I used Leslie’s exercise DVDs to control my fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as to keep myself healthy in general and hopefully avoid the health issues that my parents suffer from. Walking has enabled me to stay free of prescription medication for fibromyalgia, and that makes me happy! I constantly get every new DVD of Leslie’s that I can find so that I can have a variety to choose from and keep myself healthy and strong!
– Ja Be Goff
I have enjoyed Leslie’s fitness walking for several years, but recently was diagnosed with a condition that significantly increases my breast cancer risk. I have taken healthy living a step further and am now doing Leslie’s more advanced DVDs. Not only have I lost 20 pounds since December, but Leslie’s upbeat regimens have helped me to reduce stress and have a more positive attitude. Thanks, Leslie!
I started using the Walk At Home system when I was pregnant with my second child 14 years ago and have been walking with Leslie ever since. I now do it every week day morning at 4 am before I go to work as a teacher. It helps me stay in shape and get me focused and ready to face the day. I love Leslie’s energy. She is great to wake up with in the mornings.
– Theresa Harms
I love Leslie! I used to stress myself out about exercising. But with her DVDs, there’s no need for a gym or to even stress out about getting there or if you have clean clothes. I can walk in my pajamas, if I please! Love her energy and gusto — it makes getting through the videos almost effortless (minus the incredible amount of physical effort and sweat!). I feel like the continuation of physical education is just as important as starting it, considering the body gets used to things really fast! I’m a busy, busy worker bee and volunteer and have always been the biggest fan of the Walk At Home idea. I’m not the best but am committed to having a healthy future.
– Winnie Bean
I have diabetes and needed to lose weight. I also have peripheral artery disease (PAD), so I needed an exercise that I could do at home in case of pain. I found Leslie’s tapes and she has really motivated me to keep moving. I was able to lose 35 pounds and bring my cholesterol and blood sugar down. I am 71 years old and I’ve been able to get up to the three miles tape. Love her!
I’m diabetic and trying to lose weight so I can get off the medication. I also want to lose 60 pounds for me — not anyone else. I’ve always loved who I am and never had a weight problem. But in the past few years I’ve put on the weight and I’m not happy with myself anymore. I’m also about to hit my 50s, so I figure it’s now or never. Also my 16-year-old daughter has been doing your videos with me. She has about 20 pounds to go. It’s helping her lose weight and get movement back. She just had major spine surgery due to scoliosis this past July. So thank you Leslie for all your help!
I have to walk or do some low-impact walking style cardio every single day for my health. It helps to keep my blood sugar down, helps with my circulation and helps the pain in my legs. If I miss a day, I know it. My stamina is not high, but I am trying to build it up and continue to improve my health through walking, low-impact exercises and yoga. Bless Leslie for what she does and shares!
I started doing Walk At Home to better control my type 2 diabetes. Plus I needed to 185 pounds to get to a healthy weight again. I have tried so many programs to lose weight, but they didn’t work. This program is working.
I have been walking with Leslie for almost a year and have lost 47 pounds! Who knew exercising would be this much fun? I get out of bed at 4:45 every morning to walk and it makes for such a better day. Since I started, I have also been able to stop taking my anxiety medication since walking helps maintain your stress levels and makes you so much happier! I still have a ways to go but I look forward to every step to health and happiness, thanks to Leslie and her walkers!
I have tried every exercise program and the one that helps with my weight loss is walking. When I found the Leslie Sansone workout tapes it just all started coming together. It was the perfect fit.
I’ve been using Weight Watchers to lose weight and walking as much as I can. I try to do other forms of exercise with the elliptical machine, treadmill, and Bowflex. It wasn’t until recently at the Weight Watchers meetings that we were doing five-minute walking stints. I found that even with osteoarthritis in my knees, I feel great. Leslie Sansone is truly an inspiration! I plan on combining Weight Watchers and the Walk at Home DVDs to achieve my weight loss goals! Thank you, Leslie!
Leslie has changed my life. I never enjoyed exercising until I found the Walk At Home DVDs. I have lost 50 pounds largely due to my obsession with these videos. I started with one beginner DVD and I’m now the proud owner of 25 Walk At Home DVDs that I mix and match. I Walk At Home from one to two hours daily and the time goes by so quickly, plus it is so much fun. I’m a fan!
I have been walking with Leslie for at least 10 years now. I love the videos, she is so inspiring and caring, and makes me want to keep moving! I walk for weight loss, and for meditation — it’s a great way to really think about your life!
When I was an infant, Dr. Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was introduced to the population. After being among the first to be inoculated, sadly it gave a slight case of polio to some children – including me (my left foot was affected). Happily, after successful treatment and wearing braces, along with special shoes, until I turned 12, I was a very active kid who loved running and P.E. in school. Now as I’m aging, my left foot is regressing and my choices of exercise are limited. But I’m finding that by doing my Leslie Sansone walking exercises (on carpeted flooring in my home so there’s no jarring or pounding), my tendons and ligaments have strengthened to give me back better balance and mobility. I am now able to get back to doing cardio that gets my heart rate up! I feel blessed to have found a virtual motivator that keeps me coming back day after day with doable, fun exercises!
I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2008 and was terrified and didn’t know what to do. I weighed 227 pounds. I bought her DVDs and lost 100 pounds and have kept it off all these years. I do the DVDs five days a week for about an hour to an hour and a half. Don’t know what I would have done without Leslie’s help.
I started a walking challenge about four weeks ago and committed to walking at least 30 minutes a day. I have not missed a day yet and have walked in all kinds of weather with the DVDs. It feels good to walk, I have more energy, and it’s helping me in my weight loss journey. My clothes are getting looser too!
I have been walking with Leslie regularly since 2010 (on and off before that) when I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer — liposarcoma. I underwent 35 radiation treatments and surgery. Walking with Leslie kept me from feeling so fatigued, and kept my joints moving. I recovered more quickly, and was able to regain nearly 100 percent of the movement in the affected arm. With diet and Leslie, I’ve lost 40 pounds and kept it off.
Years ago, as a teen I did Walk Away The Pounds when I was at my friend’s house. It was her mom’s and we initially thought it was so silly…but it ended up being so fun!
I walk because I have had depression for many years (coupled with moderate anxiety) and it really gives me a sense of accomplishment. The endorphins released from exercise are no joke and help me feel better, and sometimes all that effort that it takes to just move is worth it. Walking or exercising with a friend is a double boost for me. On a low note, I just moved to a new town where I know only a handful of people…and I no longer have my group of active friends who gave me the push that I needed and that has been a real struggle for me. I have some real roadblocks to overcome, but I’m sure with time it will get easier!
I just started Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home and it’s been a week and a half and I am feeling better already. I am 34 and have three kids under the age of seven. I have high blood pressure, joint pain, and have been recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I realized if I don’t get up and do something about my weight I will not be able to walk on my own by 40. I want to be able to keep up with my kids, because they don’t understand that Mommy is hurting. I just want to thank Leslie for this program. I know she has saved my life!
I’m in my 70s and have type 2 diabetes. In early March I was told to come back to my doctor’s office in a month and if my numbers didn’t improve then insulin would be the next step (I’m on four oral meds now). I started walking that same day and when I went back on April 4th, my numbers were down some. He was pleased and said he wanted me to walk two or three miles a day and if my numbers come down in May, he is going to start reducing my oral meds. I’m walking and am excited to see what happens next month…and the next and the next.
I began my weight loss journey in January 2013 and chose a one-mile Walk Away the Pounds video. I did it every day for a month and then moved to the two-mile workout. I worked my way up to doing the five-mile workouts during the fall and winter months when it was too cold to go outside. When it’s warm, I love to go outside and walk or run five to six miles. Yes, I went from walking to running my miles! It took time, determination, and perseverance, but I am a living testimony that you can lose the weight by eating right and exercising. I lost 100 pounds and I owe it all to Leslie Sansone, because I don’t think I would have stuck with exercise if it hadn’t been for her DVDs!
I came across Leslie’s walking workout videos on YouTube when I was looking into exercises I could do in the privacy of my own home, I love to walk but I had a fall and was in a wheelchair for three months. Then for years after that I was using a wheelie walker when outside and couldn’t get down to the bottom of my street as the uneven path hurt my back. I found I could have the fun of walking with Leslie. Of course I couldn’t keep up the pace everyone was doing but Leslie said that was OK. My daughters paid for me to have a hip replacement so now I feel like a bird that has been let out of a cage. Instead of walking only 2,000 steps a day, I average 8,000 steps and have even reached 10,000 a couple of times. Leslie makes the videos such fun and if I cannot keep up I don’t feel like I have failed. I have a lot of weight to lose so I’ll keep going, even after I reach my goal.
Want more? You might also like:
Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
At Further Food, we are dedicated to helping you achieve the best version of yourself through high-quality products, award-winning recipes, and real content from experts and professionals. Find more at Further Food today!