Is Walking To Lose Weight Really A Waste Of Time?

Walking For Weight LossObese people can stop worrying about their body weight for now…

Start walking to lose weight and it is also the easiest and most relaxing exercise for all.

A witty saying about GOOD HEALTH says, “Walk long to live long.” Some others say that the forecast on how long you’ll live depends on how fast you walk.

In one of the recent studies done at University of Pittsburgh, the researchers gathered data from 35,000 subjects 65 years or older about their walking speed. The analysis of the data showed that “each increase in gait speed of 0.1 meters/second correlated with a 12 percent decrease in the risk of death.”[1]

That is just to say ‘walking’ helps not only to lose weight but also increases the longevity of life by improving all parameters of good health index. 

Advantageous Of Walking Exercise:

  • Requires minimal equipment
  • Can be performed at your own time and pace
  • Risk-free exercise in comparison to other vigorous exercises
  • Suitable for young and old, obese and slim people, and beginners at workouts
  • It is fun to stroll around your local neighborhood streets
  • It is a relaxing exercise, especially if you walk with a group of friends, do it as a club activity, listening to music while walking or walking with your pet dog (dog-walking).

Besides losing weight, this simple exercise has several health benefits; and the major benefits are as follows:Health-Benefits-Of-Walking-exercise

When you are walking, you carry your body weight. This is a weight-bearing exercise that will make burn calories by carrying your own body weight. 

How Can You Lose Weight By Walking And How Much?

Weight loss is all about the burning the extra calories or eating fewer calories.[2,3]

While you are walking, the body burns a lot of calories to produce the energy needed for walking.

The rate of calories expenditure while walking related to the total body weight of the person and the walking-pace.

Roughly a person walking at moderate speed and travelling 1 mile in 15 minutes will burn 100 calories. 

By the way, you are effortlessly losing a lot of calories even when you are walking around at home or workplace. But if most of the time you are sedentary at your office and home, then you need to make extra effort to walk longer at the planned workout schedule.

Now let us see how much weight you can lose by walking: 

  • 1 Pound = 3,500 calories
  • 1 Mile Walking = 100 calorie expenditure
  • 35 Miles Walking = 1 Pound Weight Loss
  • 5 Miles Walking/Day = Losing 1 Pound in 7 days

The calories burned while walking is proportionate to total weight of the body and the speed and distance of walking.

Calories Burned Walking (3 mph)

Weight180 lb200 lb220 lb250 lb275 lb
Miles82 kg91 kg100 kg114 kg125 kg
Walking 1 Mile A Day96106117133146
Walking 2 Miles A Day191213234266292
Walking 3 Miles A Day287319351399439
Walking 4 Miles A Day383425468532585
Walking 5 Miles A Day479532585665731
Walking 6 Miles A Day574638702798877
Walking 7 Miles A Day6707448199311023
Walking 8 Miles A Day76685093610641170
Walking 9 Miles A Day861957105311971316
Walking 10 Miles A Day957106311701330957

Now let see how much calories per miles a person weighing 250lb/114kg can lose by walking at different speeds.

Calories Burned Walking 

Weight of the person walking:  250 Lb/114kg

Speed

3 mph4 mph 5 mph
Walking 1 Mile A Day133142182
Walking 2 Miles A Day266284364
Walking 3 Miles A Day399426545
Walking 4 Miles A Day532568727
Walking 5 Miles A Day665710909
Walking 6 Miles A Day7988521091
Walking 7 Miles A Day9319941273
Walking 8 Miles A Day106411361454
Walking 9 Miles A Day119712781636
Walking 10 Miles A Day133014201818

An ordinary person walks about 2 miles/day while doing normal activities at home and office.

So, most of us just need to walk on an average extra 3 miles per day to lose 500 calories per day. And if you do brisk walking, you could burn more calories by walking a shorter distance.

You can use a pedometer if you want to keep track of the total distance you walk from the time you wake up in the morning till you go to bed at night. A normal person takes about 2000 steps to walk 1 mile at a moderate speed. 

How Should You Walk To Get Best Weight Loss Results?

Many are confused whether the ‘duration’ or ‘speed’ of walking is important for shedding pounds. 

Is a person who walks very long distance at slow-pace or another person who walks a short distance at fast-pace burns more calories?  What is the correct walking style for maximum weight loss?

Let us see what answers do the research results say about these questions.

A study at the University of Virginia found that out of 5 days-a-week walking schedule, the women who did 3 days shorter and fast-paced walk and 2 days longer and moderate-paced walk were able to shed 5 times more abdominal fat than those women who took the longer stroll at a moderate speed on all five days.[2]

Surprisingly, in this study both the groups lost about 400 calories per day but 5 times more belly fat reduction was noticed in the group that took shorter and fast-paced walking.

The group that followed the ‘power walking’ schedule lost 4 times more overall body fat than the rest. They lost a total of 8 pounds in 16 weeks study period. This result was achieved without dieting at all. 

Another study in 2014 at the University of Utah found that in women, every minute of brisk walking throughout the day could lower the risk of obesity by 5%.[3]

These study results clearly indicate “power walking” is the best style of walking that produces maximum weight loss result.

How Often You Should Be Walking For Weight Loss?

How often and how long you should walk totally depends on how many calories you want to lose per day.

Ideally speaking, everyone (including lean people) should walk at least a mile every day for the better health of body and mind.

If you plan to burn 500 extra calories a day, you need to walk about 5 miles per day.

Walking not only reduces the body weight, but also decreases blood pressure and blood sugar level.Keep-Walking-To-Be-Healthy

To achieve the best weight loss results and health benefits, daily 30 minutes of brisk walk is highly recommended. You may also try out different sets of ‘speed and distance schedules’ on different days of the week.

When we say ‘brisk walking’, it means a pace that will make you puff and sweat moderately; you can barely talk but can’t sing.

Walking can cause health difficulties for persons with a poor medical condition. If you are under medication, you should certainly seek the advice of your physician regarding your walking exercise.

Here is a typical Weekly Walking Schedule to achieve the best weight loss results.

Your Goal: Walk 5 days a week, burning 400 calories each session.

  • 3 days a week: Do a high-intensity Speed Walk.
  • 2 days a week: Do a lower-intensity Slow Walk.

Speed Walk (4mph)

  • 3 times per week
  • Walk at a pace that will make you breathe heavily and sweat
  • Make short breaks by slowing down to moderate pace
  • As your stamina increases after few weeks, try to do speed walk for the full length without breaks

Slow Walk (6mph)

  • 2 times per week
  • Walk at a moderate speed
  • Walk longer distance to burn same amount of calorie as by the Speed Walk
  • Do not take break in-between

Note: All walking exercises must begin with 5 minutes of ‘warm up exercise’ and end with ‘cool down exercise’.

Calculate the miles you walk by counting the number laps on the track or use a pedometer that records the number of steps you take (2000 medium-pace steps = 1 mile)

How To Increase The Intensity Of Walking To Burn More Fats?

The weight loss plateau effect would soon set in if you do not alter your walking schedules. The body gets used to the same repetitive walking exercises everyday, and this will lead to zero fat loss results.

In such cases, you should increase the intensity of walking to accelerate the fat burning. Here are few suggestions:

  • Start walking up the hill at least once in a week
  • Walk with weights in hand
  • Increase your walking speed and distance
  • Change your walking schedule for different days (e.g., walking faster, slower, longer, or choose one of the days to do other workouts or jogging instead of walking)

Integrating Walking Exercise Into Your Daily Life

Most us are too busy with a lot of activities and hardly get time to have 30 minutes of walking every day.

However, you can still find time to walk with little adjustments in your lifestyle.  

It does not matter where you walk and when you walk.  Some sort of physical activities like walking is a must for good health.

Here are few suggestions for easily integrating walking into your daily life:

  • As far as possible walk the steps instead of using the lift
  • Get off the public transport, at least, one stop before and walk to work or home
  • Walk to the nearby local shops and restaurants
  • Walk the dog whenever you can
  • Spend time with your family and friends by walking in a park or garden
  • Play games and recreational activities that require walking or running

Tips For Walking Safely

Finally, let me bring to you some of the important health and safety measures to be followed while walking:

  • Drink sufficient water before you start walking or carry a bottle of water along with you.
  • Make sure your health conditions are safe for walking
  • Plan your walking schedule according to your age and stamina level
  • Do gentle warm-up exercises before you start brisk walking and cool-down exercises when you end the walk
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing with right kind of jogger’s shoes
  • Have a suitable raincoat to walk in the rain
  • Avoid walking along the streets with heavy vehicle transport
  • Carry a walking stick in case if you have to fend off unfriendly dogs
  • Walk cautiously in the alpine areas, coastal regions, and country roads

Finally, this is all you need to know about walking for weight loss; now it is time for you to start walking daily. Let this healthy habit stay with you till you reach the grand old age. Thanks..st.Anty.. 

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7 Comments

  1. Juan Ignacio October 10, 2017
  2. Phill January 19, 2017
  3. Debbie December 12, 2016
    • Kristina Robert, M.Sc, RD Kristina Robert, MSc, RD December 16, 2016
  4. Lovely Merton July 25, 2016
  5. Fenna Jimmy April 24, 2016
  6. Jon Sax February 23, 2016

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