The doctors and nutritionists nowadays are all for recommending walking to people who are looking for ways to shed extra pounds. People of all age groups are advised to spare at least half an hour a day to walk to be able to stay not just physically fit but for mental peace as well. Moreover, it is so convenient that it can be readily incorporated into your lifestyle to change it for the better.
How does walking help to lose weight?
Brisk walking can be considered an intense cardiovascular activity. It gently increases your heart and breathing rates and doesn’t put excessive strain on your joints.
- Walking Burns Belly Fat
One of the most effective ways to get rid of belly fat is to regularly partake in aerobic exercises, like walking. Briskly walking for 30-60 minutes a day can do the needful by burning a lot of calories.
- Walking Burns Calories
For the chemical reactions that enable your body to operate normally, you obviously need energy and that you can get in the form of calories. It is well established, however, that one needs to burn more calories than consume in order to lose weight. Also, it is a fact that people who are physically fitter are able to burn more calories. This is where our contemporary times wherein everyone has a busy working life, offices that require you to keep sitting in one place for hours, prove futile. Walking more often than not can help you burn more calories and reduce these risks. In fact, walking a mile which is almost 1.6 km burns approximately 100 calories, depending on your sex and weight. In case, you cannot walk briskly, you can walk at a normal pace and burn 4-8 calories per minute, depending on your current body weight.
1. If you weigh 120-140 lbs, you can burn 4-5 calories per minute.
2. If you weigh 160-180 lbs, you can burn 6-7 calories per minute.
3. If you weigh 200 or more pounds, you can burn 8-9 calories per minute.
- Walking Helps Preserve Lean Muscle
When people try losing weight by cutting down on calories, they are bound to lose some muscle along with body fat. Since muscle is more active than fat, it can be counterproductive. Walking can help fight this effect by preserving lean muscle when you lose weight. This can help reduce the drop in metabolic rate that often occurs with weight loss, making it easier for you to maintain your results. It can also reduce age-related muscle loss, helping you retain more of your muscle strength.
- Walking Energizes the Body
Walking increases the circulation of blood in the body. It gives a nudge to all metabolic functions in the body, thereby making sure that you are fit and devoid of any extra weight. A brisk walk regulates the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Some other Health Benefits of Walking
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases
- Strengthens the muscles
- Stress Buster
- Improves brain and memory function
- Stronger bones and improved balance
- Fights cancer
- Improves digestion
- Delays Aging
- Increases lung capacity
- Uplifts Mood
Ways to Lose Weight By Walking
- Hit 15000 Steps A DayThere is no ideal number when it comes to how many daily steps are doable, but it is suggested to keep a track of the number of steps you walk per day. Walking 15000 steps in a day might sound difficult, but once you start working on it, you can easily hit that goal.
- Walk Thrice a Day For 20 Minutes Each
Taking at least three 20 minutes long walks in a day can help you reach your step goal and lose weight instead of taking long stretched walks of 45 minutes once a day. Walking for 15-20 mins after every meal also helps to control blood sugar levels.
- Walk Uphill 3 Times a WeekWalking uphill will help you build more muscle, which increases metabolic rate and thus helps in burning more calories.
- Use Power Walking Intervals
Brisk walk for 30 minutes is a great idea but one should try and work in a few minutes in which you can increase and decrease the pace of your walk. This will help you burn even more calories.
- Add Bodyweight Exercises to Every WalkWalking when clubbed with bodyweight exercises can work wonders. Be it doing 15-20 squats, triceps pushdown, incline pushups, all these exercises help to increase the heart rate and helps to build muscles.
- Cap Your CaloriesAlthough the nutritional needs depend on a number of factors it is advised to follow a 1200-1600 calorie protein-rich diet when trying to lose weight by walking.
- Take the Long Route
Adding more steps into your daily tasks can help you lose more weight and hit your daily step goals. Incorporating small walks wherever possible can work wonders for your weight loss.
- Drink Green Tea Prior to WalkGreen Tea helps to boost metabolism and helps in burning the extra kilos. A cup of green tea prior to your walk can help you shed more pounds and burn more fat.
- Consume the Right Amount of Water
Drinking more water might increase the rate at which you burn calories. Some researches show that increasing water intake by almost 1.5 liters a day can help burn an extra 17,400 calories over the course of the year.
- Don’t Starve
Pre- and post-workout nutrition are the two most important meals of the day. Refueling your body after a brisk walk or an intense workout helps replenish glycogen levels, decrease protein breakdown and increase the ability to build muscle.
Some other ways that help lose weight by walking are:
- Create a dynamic playlist
- Skip sports drinks
- Choose the right shoes
- Find a walking buddy
- Snack on almonds
- Walk-in daylight to eat less
- Don’t eat more than your walk burned
- Walk to de-stress
Some Ways to Incorporate Walking into Your Lifestyle
- Use a fitness band or apps to track and log your steps to motivate yourself to move more.
- Make a habit of taking a brisk walk during breaks at your workplace and after dinner.
- Walk your dog every day or accompany a friend on their dog walks.
- Run errands like taking the kids to school or going to the store on foot.
- Try finding new and challenging routes to keep your walks interesting and exciting.
Therefore, walking is the most natural way to lose weight. However, it is important to continue walking even after you have lost weight as it helps keep your weight off. If you are new to the regular physical activity, begin slowly, at a pace you are comfortable with. So, what are you waiting for? Hurry and put on your walking shoes!