Regular walking offers many potential health benefits, including weight loss. It is also one of the easiest and most cost effective forms of exercise a person can do. Many people can walk regularly and reap the benefits of being more active. Learn how to lose weight walking.
Why it’s important to walk—for weight loss and otherwise.
Approximately 2 million deaths are caused due to physical inactivity, according to the World Health Organization. Sedentary lifestyles causes countless health problems, including increased risk of:
- all-cause mortality
- cardiovascular diseases
- colon cancer
- high blood pressure
- lipid disorders
On the other hand, walking just 7,500 steps a day could be enough to prevent type II diabetes, according to a review published in Frontiers in Endocrinology.
Walking is good when it comes to preventing chronic disease, but if you’re also wondering if you can lose weight walking, the answer is also yes.
As for how much weight you can lose by walking, results will vary. However, one study found that participants lost an average of three pounds by walking.
And it might be obvious, but the study also reported that the more you walk, the more weight you’ll lose.
Tips you need when walking to lose weight
Use the right shoes
The only “equipment” necessary for walking (unless it’s on the beach) are shoes and chances are you have a pair suitable for the job already.
Walking shoes have flexible soles and stiff heel counters to prevent side-to-side motion.
Normal flat surfaces only require low-heeled shoes that are comfortable, cushioned and lightweight.
To help increase calorie burn, a person should walk uphill regularly.
For some, this may mean increasing the treadmill gradient, while others may want to incorporate more hills into their outdoor walking routine.
A person should aim to walk up hills, stairs, or inclines two to three times a week.
Get a partner
Numerous studies confirm that having a strong support group is vital to achieving and maintaining weight loss success, with those who are part of a social support network losing more weight than their solo counterparts.
Check in with your doctor before you start running
If you haven’t been exercising, running it by your primary care doctor is a good idea, just to make sure they don’t have any concerns or think you need any testing ahead of time, says Dr. Mullen.
Other red flags include chest pain, pain that shoots down your arm or up your neck, or severe headaches, he adds.
If you develop any of these issues, stop your workout and check with in with a professional.
How long should you walk each day
Walk for about 30 to 90 minutes for about 5 days of the week for weight loss.
Also, walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours).
Walk fast enough that you are in the moderate-intensity exercise zone at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Breath harder than usual and can speak in full sentences, but you couldn’t sing.
While you can break up your walking time into periods of 10 minutes or longer, you get an added benefit of burning fat when you walk at a brisk pace for longer than 30 minutes at a time after warming up.
Drink green tea after walking. A Nutrition study found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise.
That means that green tea can also help you recover faster after a brisk walk.
In another Journal of Health Science study, participants who paired drinking a sports beverage with the equivalent of four to five cups of green tea with a 30-minute jog three times a week for 8 weeks increased their ability to burn fat during exercise as well as while they were sedentary.
Or drink plain water. Rapid weight loss doesn’t get easier than this: Simply drinking more water may increase the rate at which healthy people burn calories, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (about 2 tall glasses), participants’ metabolic rates increased by 30 percent.
The researchers estimate that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an extra 17,400 calories over the course of the year— that’s a weight loss of approximately five pounds.
Now imagine maximizing that water weight loss hack with metabolism boosting walk.
Just as long as you forgo sports drinks.
Ever see someone consuming a Gatorade or Vitamin water while walking?
Unless they’re walking up a sharp incline in a hurry, they’re doing it wrong.
“Many people feel they need these sugar-dense drinks after shorter or less intense workouts,” says nutritionist Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN, CDE.
“The truth is, these drinks often have more calories in them than what’s actually being burned off.”
Her advice is not to consume such drinks unless you work out with an elevated heart rate for at least an hour.
“Oftentimes these drinks are needed due to the risk of dehydration,” she says, but cautions that if you’re walking in mild temperatures or for less than an hour, they’re largely unnecessary.
Plus, those sugary drinks are terrible nutrition for runners and walkers, anyway!
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