Can you lose weight by walking
In order to be healthy and fit, you need to regularly exercise. Physical activity lowers the risk of some health conditions – like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It helps you lead a healthier and longer life. A free, low risk and accessible form of physical activity is walking. It’s good for you and it’s easy.
Walking burns calories
When performing a physical activity, the body uses up energy (aka calories) to perform the chemical reactions that allow you to execute this activity. The daily calorific needs are different from one person to another and are affected by number of factors – like weight, genes, sex and activity level.
To lose weight you need to burn more calories than the amount you consume. If you are physically active, you’ll burn more calories. But modern work and living environments mean you may spend a huge part of your day in a seated position. The sedentary lifestyle contributes to weight gain and increases the risk of various health problems.
If you walk more often, you can not only burn more calories but also reduce those risks.
Walking a mile burns about 100 calories.
A study measured how much calories are non-athletes burning during a 3.2 miles walk per hour – the result was an average of 90 calories a mile.
To increase the walk intensity and burn more calories, walk on hills or routes with slight inclines.
Walking helps preserve the lean muscle mass
When you cut calories in attempt to lose weight, you often lose not only body fat but also muscle mass. But this is quite counterproductive because muscle has more metabolic activity than fat which means muscle helps you burn more calories a day.
If you exercise, for example, by walking, you counter this effect and preserve the lean muscle mass while losing weight.
This allows you to avoid the drop in the metabolic weight which often occurs when people lose weight. Which means you’ll be able to easily maintain your results.
Walking burns belly fat
The huge amounts of belly fat have been linked to an increase in the risk for different diseases, like diabetes or hear disease.
Aerobic exercises, like walking, are one of the most effective ways in which you can reduce the belly fat.
How to incorporate walking in your daily life
It’s recommended that one does no less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This means you need to walk about 2.5 hours a week (10 minutes at a time) at a brisk pace. If you do even more exercise than that, your health will further benefit from your activity and you’ll reduce even more the risk of various diseases.
There are different ways to incorporate more walking in your daily life:
- Take a brisk walk after dinner or after lunch
- Use a fitness tracker to motivate yourself
- Ask a friend to come with you on an evening walk
- Walk your dog
- Do different errands on foot, when possible
- Walk to work or at least park your car further
- Pick new and challenging routes for walking
- Join a walking group
- Chose the right shoes
- Drink green tea after you finish walking
- Make yourself a walking playlist to motivate you
- Know you route
- Be prepared for different weather conditions
- Walk before breakfast
- Walk briskly
- Vary your walking pace
- Drink enough water
- Vary the terrain
- Walk uphill
- Eat enough
Avoid those common mistakes
- Moth checking the pedometer/fitness band – keep an eye on the pedometer/fitness band to check how much have you actually walked
- Stop finding excuses – it’s easy to find various excuses why you cannot walk or exercise but if you want to lead a healthier life, you’ll need to find a way to conquer those reasons.
- Don’t walk the same every day – vary your route and your pace. Change the workout to make your body burn calories and build muscle.
- Stop drinking your calories – do you know the amount of calories there are in the fruit juice, soda, coffee drink or sport drink? Rather than bulging on all of those, try drinking black coffee and plain water.
- Don’t avoid stairs and hills
- Stop sitting still – find ways to break the sitting time at work or school with bouts of pacing, standing or walking.