How to walk for weight loss is something that I asked myself a while back. Can you lose weight just by walking? Yes you can! Can you tell I love walking?
It has really changed my life in more ways than one. One of those ways is to help me lose weight. I still have a way to go but I will get there with walking.
What I also love about walking is the fact it is free, it doesn’t impact on my joints, I get fresh air and I can fit it in to my daily routine. In fact I have a blog post about how walking changed my life and you can read it here if you are interested.
There is tonnes of evidence from around the world that clearly shows that incorporating walking in to your daily routine is exercise and it can help you lose weight, keep weight off and improve your health. Incorporating walking in to my daily routine has always been my goal, I do vary the pace, the distance and at times incorporate light weights – although my light weights is actually my shopping!!! I have managed to lose weight walking, I do want to lose more so will keep it up, that’s the thing about walking it is so easy to do.
It did take me a while to build up to the 10,000 steps per day but if you head over to my other blog post you can download a training plan which is based on my own experience to get you started walking. You could easily burn 1000 calories per week by just walking – how amazing is that?
How many calories you burn does depend on your time, distance and speed. You can read more on how much walking you need to do to loose weight here.
The right amount of walking to lose weight really does depend on the time you devote to it, the speed you are walking and if you are walking in your fat burning zone. All these factors will help you achieve your weight loss when walking.
How to walk for weight loss: the benefits of walking?
There are so many benefits of walking, in fact I came up with 35 to get you started, which you can read here. There is one thing I do want to say here, do not underestimate the benefits of walking and don’t like anyone tell you it’s not exercise – it is. In this day and age where we spend a lot of time sitting down at work I find that walking has been the best medicine for me and I hope it is for you too.
My reason for starting to walk was because I was sitting down all day and night. I had extra weight and my bones and joints were starting to hurt. Walking is a great all round exercise which if you ramp up your speed turns in to an aerobic exercise which is great for your heart and lungs too!
Walking is also a low impact exercise and is very accessible for all types of people from young to old to those who want to lose a little weight or those who want to lose a lot. It’s also good for those who haven’t exercised in some time – just like me! Walking can also be good for your mental health as you are outdoors and getting the space you may need from whatever is happening in your life. Below I have listed a quick 18 things that walking can do for you:
- It burns calories
- It tones your body
- It can help you shed weight or maintain your weight
- It helps to boost your metabolism
- It helps to reduce body fat levels
- It can boost your energy levels and make you feel better
- It can strengthen your muscles especially your legs
- It helps to strengthen your immune system and keep colds at bay
- It improves your blood flow and circulation
- It can help to lower your blood pressure
- Scientific studies have showed it can reduce diabetes
- It helps with depression and anxiety as well as promoting positive mental health
- It can help you to manage stress you may have in your life
- It can help you to have a better night’s sleep
- It can help you connect with your partner/children if they come along with you and leave their smart phones at home!
- You can fit it in to your daily routine
- It’s great for the environment
- It’s free – all you need is a comfortable pair of shoes!
Can you lose weight just by walking? How to walk for weight loss.
Just to remind you, I’m not a doctor or health professional so if you are going to start any type of exercise please seek professional advice before doing so.
For me, I went too quickly and too long at the start of my walking journey and I was very sore! I then decided to start a proper plan which I developed myself – you can download my plan for free from here. This plan is a great start for those just starting on their walking journey. I did it to build the distance and time gradually and aimed for as many days as I could based on just short walks. I want to share with you some of the things I did when starting on my walking for weight loss journey, I hope they help you.
- Before your walk starts do some stretches of your ankles, legs and arms. I had shin splints when I first started and they were sore! It’s also helpful to do some stretching at the end too. If you really over do it have a bath with bath salts as this will ease any muscle tension.
- Walking with the correct posture will help ensure you don’t get a sore back. I’ve a blog post dedicated to how walking can help back pain if you want a read.
- Set a pace which is correct for you – if you are doing a moderate or brisk pace you should be slightly out of breath but still be able to hold a conversation. This can help you build your fitness base for longer walks.
- Vary your distance and terrain. Again if you download the training plan for beginners it will give you an idea of distance and time.
- Incorporate walking as much as possible into your daily routine and plan longer walks at the weekend.
How to walk for weight loss: fitting in more walking to your daily routine
Below I have listed some ways to incorporate more walking in to your daily routine from those who are at work, if you are a busy mom, or if you are at home. I hope these help you incorporate walking in to your daily routine.
How to walk for weight loss at work:
- Use public transport and get off a stop earlier
- If you take the car, park it further away from your office and walk
- Walk to work if you have that option
- Go for a brisk walk at lunch time
- Instead of using email to communicate with your colleagues – go to their office and talk to them
- Go window shopping during your lunch break
- Use stairs instead of the lift
How to walk for weight loss for busy moms:
- Walk your children to school, nursery or kindergarten
- Go for a walk to the park
- Go out and explore your neighbourhood
- Use the weekend to get most of your walking in
- Plan a treasure hunt
- If your child has events or parties – walk instead of driving.
- Walk to the park and back with the kids at the weekend
- Find the time for one walk each week with each child – make this your special time when the two of you are alone and you can chat and catch up
- Plan fun exploration walks for the kids – get out and explore your local neighbourhood
- Make it your mission to plan a new walk for each weekend – look out for local parks, country walks, etc
- If you drop your children at clubs or parties, don’t spend the time driving back and forth, go for a walk instead
How to walk for weight loss with family & friends:
- Instead of meeting up for coffee go walking instead
- Walk your dog or go walking with your friend who has a dog
- Plan to go walking for fitness once a week with a friend
- Walk to your families house instead of driving.
How to walk for weight loss at home:
- Walk round your garden or whatever small space you have
- If you only need a few items from the grocery store – walk instead of taking the car
- March on the spot – 250 steps each hour
- Walk round your room if you are on the phone
- Tidy up and take one item at a time to get in more steps
How to walk for weight loss: How many calories will you burn walking?
As already mentioned it really does depend on the individual how many calories you can burn walking which is why I highly recommend getting a FitBit so you can keep track. However, to give you an insight below you will find some information on how many calories you can burn.
The table below is based on my information i.e. a female, aged 47, I collected this information from my FitBit to show you:
|Walking Speed||Calories burned in 10 mins||Calories burned in 20 mins||Calories burned in 30 mins|
|2 mph||26 kcal||53 kcal||80 kcal|
|3 mph||43 kcal||85 kcal||128 kcal|
|4 mph||60 kcal||123 kcal||185 kcal|
How to walk for weight loss: Safety tips for walking
There have been times when I’ve been walking along country lanes and while it has been i the summer, it’s important to consider your safety when out walking if you are on your own. I’ve a full blog post on 10 tips to keep you safe when out walking alone if you want to read more.. I have listed some these below:
- Be prepared by bringing a drink and snack with you especially if it is a warm day
- Let your family or friend know your route including what time you should be home
- Charge your smart phone fully before heading out
- Know the route you will take and be aware of your surroundings
- Carry some cash with you
- Wear bright clothing and reflective gear especially if it is starting to get dark
How to walk for weight loss has been answered and I hope the above tips and hints will help you on your journey to walking for weight loss. You can download a free walking plan to get you started right away.