7 Tips for Walking Off the Weight
It comes as no surprise that many people want to lose weight, especially when thoughts of summer arise. And it’s not just for looks, health is a powerful motivator, too. You might not believe it but you can lose weight by walking. It’s a simple activity that anyone can do.
Being obese or overweight are serious risk factors for many illnesses such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease. With the risks in mind, many people try to lose weight and prevent complications.
One way to lose weight is by including a simple activity in your daily routine: walking. Walking, along with a healthy diet, can be a great start to end future health problems. In our post today, let’s take a closer look. Read our tips for walking off the weight.
Does walking burn calories?
First and foremost, we have to understand that in order to lose weight, we have to burn off more calories than we consume. Calories are the body’s energy source that allows it to carry out all of its functions and movements, even breathing or thinking.
Everyone’s body needs a different amount of calories depending on their daily activities and lifestyle. Other important factors that affect how many calories a body might need include age, gender and genetics.
Another important factor is physical activity. Today, we live in a society where sedentary lifestyles are the norm. It’s difficult for many people to find a physical activity that they enjoy while helping them keep fit.
But walking can be a great option for everyone and can help us all meet our goals. An important study completed in 2012 revealed that walking at least 5 miles a day helps to burn 270 calories per hour in people who don’t regularly exercise.
How much and how fast should you walk if you want to lose weight?
If you’re serious about trimming down, a simple walk around your neighborhood won’t be enough. You’ll need to walk about 150 minutes a week, which is about two and a half hours to drop the flab.
Walking every day will help you reach those minimum requirements. Try not to skip days as walking daily will help you establish a solid routine. And, if you really want to see a change, your walks should never be less than 30 minutes long. Try starting off by walking shorter distances and over time, increase your distance and speed progressively.
Why do you have to walk at least 30 minutes?
The answer is simple: during the first few minutes, your body uses blood sugar reserves to get going. Only after 20-25 minutes of walking does your body turn to its fat reserves for fuel, which is the main objective.
And your speed is another important factor as well. Try keeping your heart rate close to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Seven tips for walking off the weight
Read over our tips to lose weight by walking:
- Pay attention to your breathing: as you walk, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. By breathing correctly, your body will have all the oxygen it needs.
- Walk at least 30 minutes a day or an hour three days a week: establishing a steady routine is crucial.
- Increase your intensity and speed as you walk: by building up your workout progressively in a single session, you can help your body burn off sugar and fat reserves faster.
- Avoid repeating the same routine every time you walk: following the same routine can tire you out and become a bore. Try looking for an occasional hill or something that can present a challenge during your walk.
- Wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable to walk in: if you wear uncomfortable clothes or footwear, you might risk injuries or discomfort that could send you home.
- Use your entire body to walk: your arms should move with the rest of your body and your abs should stay tight. Make sure you step down firmly.
- Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Hydrate before, during and after your walk.
What does science have to say about walking?
The American College of Sports Medicine carried out a study on walking and concluded that more often than not walking 150 minutes isn’t enough to meet certain health goals. For example, subjects who had lost a lot of weight and wanted to keep it off would have to increase total weekly walking time to 200 minutes.
Furthermore, another study concluded that regular aerobic exercise is necessary to reduce abdominal fat. The study recommends walking 50-70 minutes three times a week to reduce waist-size and up to 2 percent of body fat.
After reading these studies, there’s no doubt that walking is an exercise that everyone and anyone can do to lose weight easily. To meet your goals, walk for around 150 minutes a week. Stay consistent and follow a healthy diet. Give it a try and enjoy the results!