Obese people can stop worrying about their body weight for now.
Start walking to lose weight; it is also the easiest and most relaxing form of exercise.
A witty saying about good health says, “Walk long to live long.” Some others say the forecast for how long you’ll live depends on how fast you walk.
In one of the recent studies at the University of Pittsburgh, the researchers gathered data from 35,000 subjects 65 years of age or older about their walking speed. The data analysis showed that “each increase in gait speed of 0.1 meters/second correlated with a 12 percent decrease in the risk of death.”
That is to say, “walking” helps lose weight and increases the longevity of life by improving all parameters of the good health index.
Even walking on a treadmill can be a good exercise provided you do it for a long time and at a higher speed.
Advantages of walking
- requires minimal equipment,
- can be performed at your own time and pace,
- helps you burn more calories without much effort,
- it’s an effective way to get in shape and burn fat,
- risk-free exercise in comparison to other vigorous exercises,
- it’s more enjoyable and helps you stay motivated,
- suitable for young and old, obese and slim people, and beginners at workouts,
- fun to stroll around your local neighborhood streets,
Overall, it’s a relaxing exercise, especially if you walk with a group of friends, do it as a club activity, listen to music while walking, or walk with your pet dog (dog walking).
Besides losing weight by walking, this simple exercise has several health benefits; and the major benefits are as follows:
When you are walking, you carry your body mass. This weight-bearing exercise will make you burn calories by carrying your own weight.
How much weight can you lose by walking?
Weight loss is all about burning the extra calories or eating fewer calories.
How many calories do you burn walking? While walking, the body burns many calories to produce the energy needed for walking.
The rate of calorie expenditure while walking is related to the person’s total body weight and walking pace.
Roughly, a person walking at a moderate speed and traveling 1 mile in 15 minutes will burn 100 calories.
You are effortlessly losing a lot of calories, even when walking around at home or work. But if most of the time you are sedentary at your office and home, you need to make an extra effort to walk longer during the planned workout schedule.
Now let us see how much weight you can lose by walking workout:
- 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 the total weight of the body and the speed and distance of walking.
|Calories Burned Walking (3 mph)|
|Weight||180 lb||200 lb||220 lb||250 lb||275 lb|
|Miles||82 kg||91 kg||100 kg||114 kg||125 kg|
|Walking 1 Mile A Day||96||106||117||133||146|
|Walking 2 Miles A Day||191||213||234||266||292|
|Walking 3 Miles A Day||287||319||351||399||439|
|Walking 4 Miles A Day||383||425||468||532||585|
|Walking 5 Miles A Day||479||532||585||665||731|
|Walking 6 Miles A Day||574||638||702||798||877|
|Walking 7 Miles A Day||670||744||819||931||1023|
|Walking 8 Miles A Day||766||850||936||1064||1170|
|Walking 9 Miles A Day||861||957||1053||1197||1316|
|Walking 10 Miles A Day||957||1063||1170||1330||957|
Now let’s see how many calories per mile 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 mph||4 mph||5 mph|
|Walking 1 Mile A Day||133||142||182|
|Walking 2 Miles A Day||266||284||364|
|Walking 3 Miles A Day||399||426||545|
|Walking 4 Miles A Day||532||568||727|
|Walking 5 Miles A Day||665||710||909|
|Walking 6 Miles A Day||798||852||1091|
|Walking 7 Miles A Day||931||994||1273|
|Walking 8 Miles A Day||1064||1136||1454|
|Walking 9 Miles A Day||1197||1278||1636|
|Walking 10 Miles A Day||1330||1420||1818|
An ordinary person walks about 2 miles daily while doing normal activities at home and the office.
So, most of us need to walk an average extra 3 miles daily to lose 500 calories daily. And if you do brisk walking, you could burn more calories by walking a shorter distance.
You can use a pedometer to keep track of the total distance you walk from when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. A normal person takes about 2000 steps to walk a mile at a moderate speed.
How walking can help you lose weight?
Many are confused about whether the ‘duration’ or ‘speed’ of walking is important for shedding pounds.
Is a person who walks very long distances at a slow pace or another who walks a short distance at a fast pace likely to burn more calories? What is the correct walking style for maximum weight loss?
Let us see what the research results say about the answers to these questions.
A study at the University of Virginia found that out of a 5-day walking schedule, the women who did 3 days of shorter, fast-paced walks and 2 days or longer, moderate-paced walks were able to shed five times more abdominal fat than those who took the long stroll at a moderate speed on all five days.
Surprisingly, in this study, both groups lost about 400 calories per day, but 5 times more belly fat reduction was noticed in the group that took shorter and faster walks.
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 a 16-week 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%.
This study’s results clearly show that “power walking” is the best way to lose the most weight.
If you’re walking for weight loss then you should consistently hit at least 10,000 steps a day.
How often should you be walking?
How often and for how long you should walk depends on how many calories you want to burn daily.
Ideally, everyone (including lean people) should walk at least a mile every day for better health of body and mind.
If you plan to burn 500 extra calories daily, you need to walk about 5 miles daily.
Walking reduces weight and decreases blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
To achieve the best weight loss results and health benefits, 30 minutes of brisk walking daily is highly recommended. You may also try out different sets of ‘speed and distance schedules’ on different weekdays.
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 people with poor medical conditions. 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.
- Walk 5 days a week, burning 400 calories each session.
- Three days a week: Do a high-intensity speed walk.
- Two days a week: Do a lower-intensity slow walk.
Speed walk (4 mph):
- 3 times per week
- Walk at a pace that will make you breathe heavily and sweat.
- Make short breaks by slowing down to a moderate pace.
- As your stamina increases after a few weeks, try to do a speed walk for the full length without breaks.
Slow walk (6 mph)
- 2 times per week,
- Walk at a moderate speed.
- Walk longer distances to burn the same calories as the “speed walk.”
- Take your time in between.
Note: All walking exercises must begin with 5 minutes of ‘warm-up exercise’ and end with ‘cooldown exercise.”
Calculate the miles you walk by counting the number of laps on the track or using a pedometer that records the number of steps you take (2000 medium-pace steps = 1 mile).
How to increase the intensity of walking?
If you did not change your walking schedules, you would quickly reach a weight loss plateau. The body gets used to the same repetitive walking exercises daily, resulting in zero fat loss.
In such cases, you should increase walking intensity to accelerate fat burning. Here are a few tips to burn more fat through walking workouts:
- Start walking uphill at least once a week.
- Walk briskly with weights in hand can help with weight loss,
- Increase your walking speed and distance.
- Change your walking schedule for different days (e.g., walking faster, slower, or longer, or choosing one of the days to do other workouts or jogging instead of walking).
- Walking uphill or on an incline can raise your heart rate and causes more calorie burn during the workout.
- Take the stairs than walking for the same amount of time to burn a three times higher number of calories.
Integrating a walking habit into your daily life
Most of us are too busy with many activities to find time to walk for 30 minutes daily.
However, you can still find time to walk with a few adjustments to your lifestyle.
It does not matter where you walk and when you walk. Some physical activity, like walking, is a must for good health.
Here are a few suggestions for easily integrating walking into your daily life:
- As far as possible, walk the steps instead of using the lift.
- Get off public transportation at least one stop before your destination and walk to work or home.
- Make walking a habit 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 engage in recreational activities that require walking or running.
Tips for walking safely
Finally, let me bring to your attention some of the important health and safety measures to be followed while walking:
- Drink sufficient water before walking, or carry a bottle 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 cooldown exercises after your walking routine.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing with the right kind of jogger’s shoes.
- Have a suitable raincoat to walk in the rain.
- Use the best walking shoes that are comfortable, lightweight, and supportive.
- Avoid walking through streets with heavy vehicle traffic.
- Carry a walking stick in case 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 for weight management and good health. Let this healthy habit stay with you till you reach a grand old age.
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