Walking for weight loss & better health

Walking for weight loss & better health

How much walking to lose weight?

How much walking to lose weight?
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How much walking to lose weight? Losing weight was one of the reasons I started on my walking journey.  I have lost over a stone so far but more than that I can walk with ease.  Before this journey I was so stiff and each time I got up to walk my joints hurt!  Unfortunately I can’t put it down to age being 46!

So can you lose weight walking?  Yes you can.  How much walking do you need to do to lose weight?  This can be as little as 30 minutes to as much as you want.  I aim for an hour and 30 minutes each day and between 10,000 to 14,000 steps per day.  Brisk walking is the key to helping your lose weight and of course the time you have to give to it.  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.

So, how much walking to lose weight? Let’s break each of these down to figure out how much walking you need to do to lose weight…

how much walking to lose weight depends on time, distance and speed

I’m not going to ask you to go back to school to work out how much walking you need to do to lose weight! Just follow the ideas below.

Time

I want to give you an idea of what I do.  I have between 2 and 3 brisk walks Monday to Friday.  These range from 10 minutes to 40 minutes depending on the time of day and where I’m going.  The average brisk walk for me is about 90 minutes each day.  Research suggests that if you do a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes up to five days per week then you will lose weight.  Remember that consistency is key.  I can fit in walking during Monday and Friday for work but I’m not so great at the weekends.  It’s something that I am working on so that I can also fit walking in at during Saturday and Sunday.

Speed

To ensure the maximum weight loss you should be walking at a brisk pace.  This means walking at a pace which causes you to breather harder than usual but you are still able to hold a conversation. To ensure the best weight loss you should also be in your fat burning zone which is around 60 to 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.  If you’d like to know what your fat burning zones our, then head over to my post on Easy Ways to Burn More Fat During a Quick Lunch Time Walk to download your zones.  I am still getting used to my walking pace.  I was slow at the start and sometimes I walk too quickly.  This can often lead to me getting shin splints and finding it hard to finish my walk.  Honestly it really can be trial and error at times but as long as you are moving you are going in the right direction.

Distance

This also relates to the time to devote to walking and the distance covered.  No I’m not going to go in to a Maths class here with how to remember the distance, speed and time equations!  Too much like hard work.  What I am going to tell you is that if you walk at a brisk walking pace for 30 minutes you should cover anywhere between 1.5 miles and 2 miles.  If you have a pedometer that measures your steps then it equates to about 3,000 to 4,500 steps.  This also gives you an idea of how long you need to walk for your 10,000 steps a day.

Not everyone will be in the same situation as me and able to fit in a long walk of 40 minutes each day.  If you only have 10 minutes to spare then use that.  I’ve read some medical studies that suggest if you break your walking down in to smaller chunks then it’s still as effective.  The key is to do your walk at a brisk pace.  No matter where you can fit your walking in, just go for it.  Some walking is better than no walking!

how long do I need to walk to lose weight

Having a Fitbit has been my motivator from day one!  Step count, heart rate, miles covered and it also tracks your weight loss from the app.

How much walking to lose weight? How Many Calories Will I Burn Walking?

Well according to my calculations (well looking at my data from my FitBit!) you should burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories per hour of walking.  What is also great is that some of those calories will be from stored fat.  That’s why walking is great for getting rid of fat and toning your body.

How much walking to lose weight? Walking for Weight loss Tips

I wanted to share with you some of the things that I do to help with my walking for weight loss journey.  These are based on my experience and what has worked for me.  I do hope that these also work for you in your walking journey.  After all walking for fitness, walking for health or walking for weight loss works.

I have tried every type of exercise program but haven’t managed to stick with them.  To be honest I found they got boring after a while and my motivation was just lost.  My exercise of choice now is walking.  For me walking hits some my criteria.  It’s free to do, anyone can do it, you don’t need special equipment, it’s doesn’t jar your joints like running does, it not only helps your body but it also helps your mind too.

So let’s get on to my walking for weight loss tips…

Easy like Sunday morning at the start…

I started with a brisk lunch time walk which lasted about 20 minutes.  Doing this three times per week meant I felt that my body was starting to get used to walking for that time and distance.  I hadn’t worked out for a while so it made sense to take it easy at the start.  To be honest I was also terrified of how my body would react to starting to move at a brisk pace after sitting on my ass all day.

After several weeks of walking during lunch time I then took the plunge to walk to the train station from work.  That was a 40 minute walk.  I can still remember the first day I did this.  I asked my boss if I could leave 15 minutes early.  Missing the train wasn’t an option and I did think I could do the walk in an hour but I had never walked that far before and wasn’t sure how it would go.  I was delighted with my time and speed, reaching the train station in 50 minutes.

Ultimately, you will want to start at a base of where you are at and then build from there.  You will have your own anxieties of how long, how fast and how your body will react.  Take it at your own pace and slowly but surely ramp up your time and distance as your body gets used to the walking.  It is such a wonderful feeling when you can walk further.  You get a feeling that you are fitter.

You will know yourself how things are going with your walking and when you can start to speed it up.  I often do intervals where I walk at a faster pace for several minutes then slow it down again.  Doing that several times during my walks soon gets the heart pumping alright. You will also find that you will know when you are ready to start increasing your pace.  Try listening to upbeat music during your walks and walk faster during the chorus.  If you do increase your walking pace you will find that you burn up to 20% more calories.  This has been researched at the Ohio State University so there is proof it does work!

how long do I need to walk to lose weight

Cycling shorts under skirts and dresses will stop thighs rubbing.

Beware the rub, rub, rub…

I haven’t always been the slimmest person in the world.  Since I was a little girl I would go for walks and find that my thighs would rub.  This hasn’t really every gone away.  I like to walk during my lunch break and after work.  I walk in my work clothes which sometimes involves a skirt or a dress.  I would hate the thought of having to get changed to walk home.  So to combat the sweat and movement I wear cycling shorts under my skirt/dress.  It’s a great way to stop the rubbing and you will be able to walk, walk and walk some more without the pain.

Another area which is important to remember is your feet.  I can’t begin to tell you how tough it has been getting the right socks and shoes for walking.  I have gone through several pairs of shoes before finding the right ones to ensure that I keep blisters away.  I’ve also opted for bamboo socks which wick away sweat and prevent rubbing.  I can highly recommend them.  They also have a reinforced toe area.  Which I need as I have some hammer toes which I got from wearing ill-fitting shoes when I was younger.

Motivate, Inspire, Excite…

I don’t know about you but I hate the old fashioned view of exercise.  Walking has been something that I have been sticking with for a good few months.  It excites me because I can fit it in to my daily routine.  What keeps me motivated too is my weight loss, my body becoming toned, how good I feel in my health and wellbeing and seeing the progress looking at my Fitbit.

It’s amazing that a little device around my wrist keeps me motivated.  I can’t begin to describe how my Fitbit has keep me going.  Seeing the step count, the calories burned, the stairs climbed the weight loss.  I really recommend buying a Fitbit to keep you motivated too.  Seeing the improvement is fantastic and it’s not just about the numbers but it’s seeing how fit I am and how much better my resting heart rate is.  What a fab piece of kit!

Oh that hurts…

With any new exercise you may experience some aches and pains.  At the start of my walking journey my shins and calves really did hurt.  Still to this day there are times when my calf would hurt but I stretch and that seems to ease it.  You may also notice if you introduce inclines/hills in to your walking routine that the back of your legs will hurt as well as your bum!

I have several things that I do if my walk has caused aches and pains.  The first is to have a bath with mineral salts in it.  The salts will help ease any pain.  You can also opt for an ice pack around the area.  I haven’t need to use it but I’m told it’s a great way to help with aches and pains.

If you have really worked yourself you can take a day off.  You will know your own limits and whether you can continue the next day.  Remember that you can over train which could cause you to get the cold.  This happened recently to my son who is a keen cyclist.  He had over trained and ended up getting the cold as his immune system was low.  A few days of rest may be needed.  It will help ensure you come back to your walking scheduled refreshed and ready to go again.

Kit up…

I know that I said you don’t need any special equipment for walking.  However, what you do need is a good pair of walking shoes.  I have a post on walking shoes versus running shoes which gives you all the information you need on choosing the right pair for you.

You may also find it helpful to purchase a waterproof coat and a good umbrella.  Here in the UK we have a lot of rain  so I have purchased a good waterproof coat.  I don’t want any excuses when it comes to walking such as it’s too wet or it’s too cold.  I love to be prepared so I also have snow boots – just in case!

If you do want to purchase some tops and bottoms for walking go for fabrics with moisture-wicking properties.  Investing in a few key pieces will mean you are ready for all weathers.  They will also last you for years and you will be comfortable walking whatever the weather.

Are we all having fun…

Working out in front of the TV is okay for some people.  Personally I find it boring and before long I have given it up.  I don’t find it fun.  What I do find fun is walking.  Walking by myself listing to music gives me the head space I need.  Walking with my sons is fun as it gives me the time for a catch up.  Walking with my husband is fun because we talk about what is happening in the world and have a good laugh at times.  Walking doesn’t feel like exercise, yet it is.  Don’t overlook the importance of having fun when you are working out.  That’s what walking does.  It’s also a great exercise to keep you motivated.

I hope these hints and tips have helped you figure out how much walking to lose weight?  Walking any length of time and any distance over the week will add up and before you know it, you will be losing weight without even thinking about it.  That is the sheer beauty of walking, you just go out and do it and your body rewards you with weight loss.

Best of luck on your walking to lose weight journey.

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how much walking do you need to do to lose weight

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