When most people think about losing weight, they think about dieting and rigorous exercise. However, there is another option that is often overlooked: walking.
Walking is a great way to burn calories and lose weight, and it is also low impact so it is easy on the body.
Walking is effective in helping you lose weight because it helps raise your metabolism. A faster metabolism means the body burns more calories every day whether you are working out or not.
In fact, a person who walks at a pace of 3 mph will burn about 150 calories in 30 minutes. Additionally, walking has been shown to improve moods, increase energy levels, and enhance overall fitness.
Sometimes, walking is not enough to lose weight, but it still sounds pretty good if you are looking for a simple way to improve your health.
Table of Contents
- How Much Does Walking Help With Weight Loss?
- Can I Burn More Calories By Walking Faster?
- How High Should My Stepping Motion Be?
- How Do I Burn Calories While Traveling?
- Walk First Thing In The Morning
- How Much Walking Is Needed To Lose Weight?
- What Do I Need To Start Walking?
- What Does Proper Foot Placement Look Like?
- How Do I Know How Fast Or Slow To Walk?
- How Do I Know How Far To Walk?
- What If My Legs Feel Stiff?
- How Much Water Should I Drink?
- What Should I Do If I’m Feeling Discouraged?
- If I’m Not Losing Weight As Fast As I’d Like, What Should I Do?
- How Do I Know If I’m Doing It Right?
- 10 Ways Walking Is Good For Weight Loss
How Much Does Walking Help With Weight Loss?
Calorie burning doesn’t necessarily mean extra work for the muscles. Your body also uses calories to fuel its basic functions like breathing and circulating blood through the heart.
A calorie deficit is the key to losing weight, so you want to make sure you’re on a supportive diet along with your walking program.
Walking doesn’t require special equipment or any kind of membership at a gym so there are no additional costs involved that could lead to spending too much money on trying to get into shape.
People that do start walking lose weight quickly and easily. Many even notice that they start to feel better emotionally, as well as physically when they add in a little bit of walking to their day.
Can I Burn More Calories By Walking Faster?
Yes, you can burn more calories by walking faster. To increase your speed while walking, use a comfortable pace that you can maintain throughout the whole time you’re out on your walk. Trying too hard at first will just lead you into feeling miserable and give up on your walking program.
- Just increase your speed little by little, and try to walk faster for a little longer each day.
If you can’t get over the idea of “trying” to walk faster, then pick a place or landmark that’s about a quarter of a mile away and aim to reach that goal by increasing your speed (and taking shorter steps) every few minutes until you’ve reached the benchmark distance. I guarantee it will be easier than you think!
- Walking is the easiest way to burn calories without having to worry about doing more work than you can handle or finding someplace to put all your exercise equipment.
Walking is easy and convenient and every walker wants to be able to walk longer distances, go farther from home or get moving continuously for longer periods at one time.
How High Should My Stepping Motion Be?
Maintain at least an inch between your heel and the ground while lifting your leg high enough so it doesn’t drag behind while walking.
- It helps tremendously if you can take long strides and don’t let your feet get too close to the ground.
You may not be able to lift your foot higher than an inch off the ground at first, but with practice, you should be able to get good enough that dragging your leg behind you while walking isn’t a problem anymore.
How Do I Burn Calories While Traveling?
If possible try to stand up for a little bit every once in a while; it will help keep your fat-burning metabolism functioning properly throughout the day. An excellent way of fitting exercise into any schedule as well as helping burn extra calories is to go for a walk around the city you’re in.
- If you have an errand to run or need to pick something up from the store, instead of driving or taking an Uber, why not walk there?
- It will help you to stay active and fit your day around a simple walk rather- making it all part of a healthy lifestyle!
Sitting still burns very few calories and it’s easy to gain weight if you aren’t careful about making sure you move around every so often throughout the day even when you’re away from home.
Walk First Thing In The Morning
- If you can start your day by going on a brief 30 minute or hour-long walk first thing in the morning then you’re off to a great start.
The saying “The early bird gets the worm” applies here because any workout done before breakfast helps burn more fat than one done after eating since digestion requires energy which also decreases the amount of calorie burning that takes place.
This doesn’t mean that you should cut out your exercise plans because you’ve eaten a power breakfast; just try to squeeze it in before!
How Much Walking Is Needed To Lose Weight?
Walking can be used as an effective way to meet and exceed many fitness goals, including achieving the body shape you want.
- Although walking alone may not give you the perfect abs or toned legs, it will help you burn calories and burn belly fat gradually over time.
To lose one pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume in food and drink every week. This amounts to burning about 500 extra calories each day or 25-30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace for most people.
The time spent walking must be substantially more than just a half-hour, but it all adds up in the end when you’re trying to lose weight.
What Do I Need To Start Walking?
To get started with your walking plan, all you need is a good pair of shoes and some comfortable clothes.
- As far as workout equipment goes, there’s no need to purchase anything special to walk for fitness purposes.
If you want to keep track of how far or fast you’ve walked then buy a cheap pedometer or at least use your cell phone since most modern mobile devices are equipped with GPS tracking software that can help give an estimate on how much distance has been traveled over time.
Although having the proper gear doesn’t necessarily make the difference between success or failure for this type of fitness goal (it’s always the person who works hard and makes it happen), it can help make it considerably more enjoyable.
What Does Proper Foot Placement Look Like?
One of the key components to walking properly is having good form with your arms, torso, and legs as well as ensuring that you keep a straight line by keeping your back and neck at one angle (don’t tilt your head up or down too much).
- When placing your feet on the ground, try not to slide or drag them across; lift them enough so that they don’t stay flat against the floor for too long.
As far as keeping an “inch” between your heel and the ground goes, there is no right answer here since everyone will be different- but if you’re guided by this principle then you’re better off than if you don’t pay any mind to it at all.
How Do I Know How Fast Or Slow To Walk?
- This is truly a personal judgment that only matters to the individual, however, an average person should be able to complete 100-200 yards in about 1 minute.
Of course, there will be times when this time varies depending on your situation and the level of fatigue that’s already present.
If you’re getting winded after just a short amount of time (less than one minute), then try walking slower and take more rest breaks.
Remember, it’s always better to go slower and for longer periods rather than going fast for shorter periods since steady-state exercise over an extended period generates more results (burns fatter).
How Do I Know How Far To Walk?
If you have a good idea of the distance that it takes to reach from one point to another then this can be used as a great way to track your progress as well as challenge yourself as time goes on.
Some people might benefit from starting with a quarter-mile jaunt and working their way up by increasing the distance until they’ve reached 1 or more miles total for an exercise session.
You might prefer shorter distances throughout the day which is also fine for those who need the motivation to get started each time.
What If My Legs Feel Stiff?
Stretching at the end of a workout routine is very important, but even people who fail to do this still find that they can still walk without any problems with their legs.
- In most cases, the stiffness that comes from exercising for a longer period is often felt in the hips or lower back rather than the legs themselves.
If you have never been very active before and your body is still not used to walking an extended distance, this might be a problem since it’s a sign that you’re overdoing it with exercise and need to take a break.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Drinking enough water throughout the day is important even if you aren’t trying to lose weight; as soon as you wake up every morning, make sure to finish off at least one glass of water before eating anything else to help re-hydrate your system.
While exercising, it should be natural to give off more sweat which means you need to make sure that your body receives adequate amounts of water to keep proper function.
- The Institute of Medicine recommends 100-200 ml per hour which equals out to about 10 glasses, 8.3 cups, or 2 liters of water per day.
Bone broth is ideal for this since they’ll replenish lost minerals as well as help with the re-hydration process.
What Should I Do If I’m Feeling Discouraged?
If you’re having a hard time getting yourself out the door every day then don’t worry too much about it because this is something that almost everyone has trouble with.
Take some time off from trying to walk so many miles each week or exercise for so long every session and take an easier route by walking around the block for 10 minutes instead of taking on a long stretch.
- If you want to have a more accurate idea of how far to walk, try drawing out a map from where you live and counting the total distance between two points.
If I’m Not Losing Weight As Fast As I’d Like, What Should I Do?
Every person has a different metabolism that is affected by factors such as genetics and age; this means that some people will lose weight much faster than others even if they follow the same set of rules.
- The best way to have control over your weight loss is through diet since exercise makes up less than 30% of your final results (the other 70% comes from nutrition).
For those who find themselves not seeing any changes after walking for weeks or months on end, keep track of everything you eat on a calorie counter and adjust your portions according to the number of calories that you need to lose a specific amount of weight.
How Do I Know If I’m Doing It Right?
Anytime you’re going over a mile for an exercise session or walking slower than 3 miles per hour or fast enough to break a sweat, then you’ll be able to tell at this point whether or not you’re getting any results from what you’ve been doing.
If you’re trying to shed those extra pounds after reaching a plateau in your weight loss efforts, all that it takes is some determination as well as consistency with regular exercise sessions.
Give it your all when exercising since working out harder is much more beneficial than working out longer since both forms will yield the same results for weight loss.
10 Ways Walking Is Good For Weight Loss
Walking Boosts Heart Health
1. Boosts Heart Health – On most days, just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Adding just 10 minutes of more intense exercise has even greater health benefits, including less risk of coronary heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and improved blood sugar control.
Walking Increases Metabolism
2. Increases Metabolism – Regular aerobic exercise increases your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories.
Researchers estimate that average metabolism is increased by about 11% for every hour spent exercising with higher intensities.
Walking Improves Mental Health
3. Improves Mental Health – Moderate physical activity can improve cognitive function in older adults, protect against dementia and depression in middle age, and reduce anxiety levels among young adults with major depressive disorders.
Walking Reduces Stress
4. Reduces Stress – Physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety, two common emotional problems that often lead to overeating and weight gain.
Walking Prevents Osteoporosis
5. Prevents Osteoporosis – Walking is a great form of exercise for older adults and women who are or will soon be going through menopause because it keeps bones strong, which reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Walking Improves Mood
6. Improves Mood – A short walk can boost your mood since you’ll naturally feel happier after 20 minutes of physical activity than if you spent the same amount of time sitting quietly.
The more intense your workout, the better it is for improving your mood and reducing stress levels — giving you an extra burst of good feeling.
Walking Triggers Endorphin Release
7. Triggers Endorphin Release – Exercise can help you get a natural high by releasing endorphins in the brain, chemicals that reduce pain and make you feel euphoric and happy. The more strenuous the activity, the bigger the boost in endorphins.
Walking Enhances Sexual Performance
8. Enhances Sexual Performance – Men who take part in regular physical activity or exercise, especially those under age 40, may be less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation, and other sexual problems than guys who stay sedentary.
For women, regular exercise is linked to better sexual function and satisfaction because it helps prevent weight gain and promotes blood vessel health, allowing for greater arousal and sensation during arousal.
Walking Lowers Blood Sugar
9. Lowers Blood Sugar – Regular exercise can significantly lower blood sugar levels in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, when you combine physical activity with dietary changes, your risk for developing type 2 diabetes is cut by almost half in just one year.
Walking Helps You Maintain Your Weight Loss
10. Maintains Weight Loss – Studies have shown that regular exercise helps maintain weight loss in overweight children and adults, even after the diet ends.
This includes workouts of different intensities, so try to choose an activity you enjoy enough to do regularly or switch it up if you find yourself getting bored or unmotivated.