Walking for weight loss & better health

Walking for weight loss & better health

How walking helps you to lose weight

How walking helps you to lose weight
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There are many benefits to walking which I have covered in this post – giving you 35 benefits!  For me, walking is my way of helping me to lose weight.  That’s why I wanted to cover how walking can help you lose weight.

Walking can help you lose weight, it can also help you maintain weight.  It depends on the duration of your walk and how much effort you put in as this has an impact on how many calories you burn.  For example if you walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, you could use up around 150 calories.  If you want to lose more weight then you need to walk more and for longer as this will burn more calories.

 
Walking can help you lose weight, it can also help you maintain weight.  It depends on the duration of your walk and how much effort you put in as this has an impact on how many calories you burn.  For example if you walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, you could use up around 150 calories.  If you want to lose more weight then you need to walk more and for longer as this will burn more calories.
How long should I walk each day to lose weight
This really depends on how much time you can fit in to walking.  If you aim for a brisk walk of anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes you will be on your way to weight loss.  Of course there will be some days where you have more time for a walk and others not as much.  That is perfectly fine but try and aim for your 10,000 steps per day.  If you need help in reaching your steps then head over to my blog post on Tips to Help you Hit 10,000 steps if you have a desk job.
 

There are a lot of charts out there that show you where your heart rate should be when taking a brisk walk.  I don’t normally bother with that, I just make sure that my brisk walk means that I’m breather harder than usual but I can still string a full sentence together!  If you do want to know your heart rate then there’s always an option to buy a FitBit which is what I use.

The reason for walking up to at least 30 minutes is that it gives your body time to move in to the fat burning mode.  So the longer you walk the more fat you burn.  Consistency is also key to walking to lose weight.  The more you do the more you get used to it and this in burn will improve your metabolism meaning your body will burn even more fat.

How far will I be walking if I go out for 30 minutes?

This would be different for each person but as a rule of thumb if you walk at a brisk pace for about 30 minutes you will cover around 1.5 to 2 miles in that period.  This is around 3,000 to 4,250 steps.

So in theory if you walk for 1hr 30 mins you would more than meet the recommended 10,000 steps in a day!

I can’t find the time to walk 30 minutes, what can I do?

No everyone will have the time to walk 30 minutes at the one time.  An alternative is to break it up in to small manageable chunks. Whatever time you can spare.  You can also add in hills, steps/stairs and increase the intensity for that short period – even if it’s only 10 minutes.  You can also do it on the spot if you can’t get out in the fresh air.  It’s all about fitting it in to your day.

 
 

How many calories will I have burned if I walk 30 minutes?

Depending on your weight, you could burn from 100 to 300 calories walking for 30 minutes.  So walking for an hour will give you a lose of 200 to 600 calories.  How cool is that?  These calories can be from sugars but walking after 30 minutes will also use up stored fat too.  That’s why it’s a great idea to walk more than 30 minutes if you want to start burning fat.

 

Can walking help me burn belly fat?

Yes walking can help you burn belly fat.  I’m sure you already know that storing a lot of fat around your belly has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.  For men with a waist circumference greater than 40 inches and women with greater than 35 inches, health professionals recommend reducing this as it is a health risk.

One of the most effective ways of reducing or burning belly fat is walking.  There was a small study completed of women who were obese.  They encouraged the women to walk for 50 to 70 minutes 3 times per week for 12 weeks.  On average the women lost around 1.5 inches from their waist and 1.3% more body fat compared to those who had been following a reduced calorie diet.  There are many more studies that show that walking briskly for 30 to 60 minutes are very beneficial to losing weight and improving health.

Walking can help preserve lean muscle

It has been evidenced that when people reduce their calorie intake and lose weight they can also lose muscle in the process as well as body fat.  You don’t want this to happen as you can burn more calories with muscle!  Walking on a regular basis can help ensure you lose fat but you can also preserve your lean muscle.  Metabolic rate can often happen when you are losing weight meaning your weight loss can slow down.  Not with walking.  It will help you maintain your metabolic rate.  This means you will be losing fat and not muscle.
 

This is also true as you get older, walking will not only help with aches and pains, it will help you to retain your muscle strength and function as you get older.

Walking will boost your mood, making it easier to lose weight
 

Walking is a great way to improve your mood.  It’s a great way to eliminate stress, anxiety and mild depression too.  It realises the happy hormones serotonin and norepinephrine which are known to make you feel happy.  This is of great benefit if you are walking to lose weight.  The more you enjoy walking, the more you will do it and with regular walking you will see an improvement in your weight loss and your body shape.  This will motivate you to continue to use walking as a way of losing weight.

Can walking help me maintain my weight?
 
Yes it can.  I have been a yo-yo dieter and I’m pleased to say that after much research, walking has been recommended as a way of keeping the weight off.  That is excellent news indeed.  This is done by the fact walking is exercise so you are burning calories when you go for a walk, indeed you are burning them for a while after you finish walking for the day!
 
Not only that but if your mood is increased from walking then you are probably inclined to do other exercise too.  This is certainly great news as studies have also shown that those who continue to exercise and walk for approximately 150 minutes per week are more successful at maintaining any weight they may have lost.

Getting your daily 10,000 steps walking will help you lose weight

Studies have shown time and time again that getting your 10,000 step count in will help you lose weight.  An interesting study showed that overweight women and men (aged 40 to 65 – my age bracket!) lost body fat and weight when they walked 12 miles a week.  This was also without changing or reducing their food intake!  Can you imagine how much you could lose if you also reduced your calorie intake?

 

Higher intensity walking will increase your weight loss

Walking at a brisk pace will result in more calories burned.  Also don’t worry about the type of intensity, you go at your own pace as long as you are breathing heavier but you can still hold a conversation.

To give you an idea of what to expect another study found that walking 30 minutes a day at 55 percent maximum heart rate participants lost 1 per cent of their body weight, around 1.6 percent off their waist, they also lost 2 percent of body fat and gained 0.7 percent of lean muscle. How great are these results?  It really would make you want to walk more with these results!

 

Walking without reducing calories still improves your health

If you are just getting started on your weight loss journey and are finding it hard to reduce your intake of food, then go for the walking first and work up to the calorie reduction.  Of course the combined walking and healthy eating plan will speed up your weight loss but don’t beat yourself up if you can only do the the walking first!

Research shows that any type of exercise without dieting still reduces your risk of illness.  So it really is worth while giving walking a go.

How can I incorporate more walking in to my day?
 

This is something I have been working on for four months.  By my very nature I hate exercise.  For me it’s about trying to incorporate more walking in to what is already happening in my day.  If I have to go home from a busy day at work, get changed and then go out – there’s no chance of that happening!

I have been incorporating walking in to my daily routine.  For example, I get off a bus stop early and walk.  I go for a brisk 30 minute walk at lunch time.  Instead of getting the bus to the train station I walk.  I set an alarm on my Fitbit to step 250 times each hour.

I try my best to do as much during the day so I don’t have to think about it when I get home.  It seems to be working too.  I’ve written a post about how to increase your steps, here I list all the ways I tried and get my 10,000 steps each day.  It can be a challenge – especially with a desk job.

Below I’ve listed a few other ways to keep you on track for hitting your step count and getting started with walking.

  • Keep yourself motivated with writing down your step count or using a fitness tracker.
  • Use your lunch break to get moving.
  • Get off a bus stop earlier or park further away.
  • Go for a longer walk in the evening after dinner.
  • Walk round your garden.
  • Don’t send an email to a work colleague, walk to their desk and talk!

There are so many other ways to incorporate walking in to your daily routine.  Finding what works for you just needs you to consider your options.

Time to get walking?

I can’t begin to tell you here how walking has helped improve my outlook on life and my health.  I never believed that a simple walk would help me lose weight and belly fat – never mind all the other wonderful benefits of walking.  Just think, 30 minutes walking and you have lost 100 calories.  Walk more, get rid of more calories.

 

While walking will help you lose weight, if you reduce your calorie intake it will come off faster.  Each step you walk is a step to weight loss.

Are you ready to start walking?

Your questions about walking for weight loss answered.  #walking #weightloss #walkingforweightloss
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