Typically, when we’re considering exercise for weight loss, you’ll find yourself deliberating over spinning, sprinting and strength training. But did you know that working out could be as easy as a walk in the park… literally.
Whether you’re getting back to physical activity after an injury or some time out, or you’re right at the start of your fitness journey, then walking can be a very effective way of exercising. It’s particularly good at building a base level of cardio before you jump into anything high impact.
Although ladies, we’re not talking about taking a stroll here; you need to get that heart racing!
So, lace up your walking shoes and read on to find out more about why walking is such a great form of exercise.
Why is walking such a great form of exercise?
Did you know there are tons of health benefits when you regularly go for a walk? To name just a few, walking is excellent for:
- stabilizing blood sugar levels
- a stronger cardiovascular system
- lower blood pressure
- improved fertility
Not to mention, it’s also amazing for boosting your mental health, improving your overall mood and reducing anxiety and stress. According to research, just 30 minutes of walking a day can significantly improve your mental health. Plus, walking stimulates blood flow to your brain and around your body and boosts your metabolism.
According to research demonstrated at the American Heart Association’s 2021 Epidemiology and Prevention Lifestyle Cardiometabolic Health Conference, every 1,000 daily steps you take is linked to a 28% lower risk of early death. If walking is your primary form of exercise, then aim for 10,000 steps a day.
Walking for weight loss
But that’s not where the benefits of walking end! There’s no denying that walking isn’t the most efficient type of workout for weight loss, but it is possible to lose 10 pounds through walking.
Also Read: Here’s how positive affirmations can support your weight loss goals
When we want to lose weight, we’re looking to create a calorie deficit. So, for example, say you weigh 160-pounds, and you walk at 3.5mph for an hour, you’ll burn around 302 calories.
If you walked briskly at a rate of 4-5 miles per hour, you could burn just as many calories per mile as if you were running at a slower speed. Walking also has a much lower impact on your body, so you’re less likely to suffer from injury.
So, you absolutely can lose weight with walking; however, if weight loss is your goal, we’d recommend that you add in a few weekly workouts of strength training and stretching into your routine once you’re feeling fitter.
How far should you walk each day to lose weight?
According to the World Health Organization, the US Department of Health, and the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week and 300 minutes a week to achieve weight loss.
For walking, moderate-intensity would mean walking at a brisk pace, around 3-4mph. Not sure if you’re walking that fast? Do the talk test, you should be breathing heavily enough that you can talk whilst walking, but you can’t sing.
150 minutes probably sounds like a lot, but once broken down across the week, it’s not such a scary number! Plus, you don’t have to jump straight into 150 minutes. Start slowly, ease your way into it and gradually increase your activity week by week.
Also Read: Strength training at home (or in the gym): The ultimate guide
Depending on how inactive you were before, you can overdo it with walking, so start slow, only walking maybe two or three days a week and build it up. You’re much less likely to hurt yourself by gradually increasing your activity.
How to lose weight whilst walking
So, with all that in mind, here are our top six tips for using walking to lose weight!
- Start by walking for ten minutes – start at a comfortable, steady pace for ten minutes a day. Work towards a goal of walking for 30 minutes straight a day.
- Once you can walk for 30 minutes a day – step up the pace to a moderate-brisk rate that means you can talk whilst walking but not sing.
- Mix up the terrain and add in some hills & slopes – by walking on steep ground, like up a slope or hill, will cause your heart rate to increase, which will increase your metabolic rate and calories burnt.
- Take the stairs – find a park, gym, or even your own house or apartment building with multiple flights of stairs. Try to climb a set of steps every ten minutes during your 30-minute walking workout. Then progress to climbing the stairs every five minutes, climbing the stairs six times during your 30-minute walking workout.
- Pick up the pace with intervals – so walk briskly for one minute, then recover at a moderate walking pace for four minutes, and then repeat these five more times. Once you find this easy or less challenging, try walking faster for two minutes, recovering for three minutes. And slowly increase the amount of time you’re walking briskly until you’re walking quickly for all 30 minutes.
- Give jogging a go – if you’d like to progress to jogging, try the same interval training method from tip five. So, start by jogging for one minute, recover by walking for four minutes. Over time, increase the amount of time you’re jogging and decrease the amount of time you’re walking until you’re jogging for 30 minutes all at once.
The bottom line
Wherever you’re at in your fitness journey, walking can be a great way to add some activity to your day. Plus, it can even be a workout to help you lose weight!
Also Read: The best workout for women tight on time
Remember to check in with yourself before you progress to ensure you’re staying safe and not risking injury.
Use Zotrim to support you
So, you’re ready to start your fitness adventure and introduce walking into your routine, but have you considered how Zotrim could support your healthy living goals?
Our 100% natural formula allows you to maximize your weight loss! As well as reducing your appetite and curbing those urges to snack – our powerful ingredients tell your body to burn more calories!