Walking for weight loss & better health

Walking for weight loss & better health

Lose weight walking – burn an extra 1300 calories this week

Lose weight walking – burn an extra 1300 calories this week
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Want to lose weight walking? Simple. If you walk at least 45 minutes every day you can melt away at least 240 calories, that’s an extra 1300 this week alone. Now let’s step on it!

Lose weight walking without spending hours at the gym. Let’s face it with walking you don’t even need a gym membership!

One of the most powerful and fun ways to lose weight is a very simple thing to do: Walk!

Free Walking for Weight Loss Plan

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Walking for weight loss may even be more effective than running, what to know how? Head over to my walking -v- running post.

walking for weight loss

Why walking is so good for you

Walking is a powerful tool. It is something that we can all do and it transforms your body and your mind.

It’s not just me saying that, research shows it is also research that clearly proves walking can help you shed unwanted pounds and add almost 2 years to your life! But walking can benefit your body in other significant ways too. Let me tell you how…

Walking can help you fight dementia

I’m going to start again with a scientific study.  I just want to show you that it’s not me saying this but there is scientific proof to why you should walk. 

A study from Canada have discovered a link between our brain function and low-level aerobic exercise.It was a smaller study with 38 adults who suffered from a cause of dementia called vascular cognitive impairment.  this group of adults were monitored for six months and those who took brisk walks on a regular basis displayed improved levels of brain function. 

They were walking on average 3 hours per week.The researchers also suggested that anyone taking regular walks could help prevent developing vascular cognitive impairment in the first place.How that is worth walking an hour three times per week!  Don’t you think?

walking for weight loss

Walking can also cut your risk of cancer

More scientific evidence to start.  This time from America, more specifically the American Society for Clinical Oncology.  They have suggested that walking is a great weapon to battle cancer with.

The first study they conducted was looking at women who walked for 180 minutes per week after they had been diagnosed with breast cancer. They deduced that around the women who walked were half as likely to die from the disease as those who didn’t do any walking. 

The same study was conducted with people who had bowel cancer and they concluded the same.The researchers suggested that around 25 minutes of walking per day would deliver the same results that were outlined in the study.  Again I challenge you to walk more than that each day.

Walking helps keep your heart strong

Walking briskly gets the blood pumping around your body.  With that the heart gets stronger.  I want to share with you another study, again to prove how walking an hour per day keeps your heart strong.

A study which was first conducted way back in 1970 and then again in 2007 found that walking on a regular basis reduced the likelihood of suffering from a heart attack, angina, stroke, heart failure by up to 31 per cent.

Not only that but walking an hour a day can also keep your blood pressure at acceptable levels and this also reduces any risk you may have of getting a stroke by up to 27 per cent.

Walking will help with low mood

Walking naturally boosts our mood as it releases endorphins around our brain.  Being out in the fresh air also helps with low mood too.

Numerous studies have shown that moderate paced walking reduces stress, anxiety and it is one factor that is used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help patients who suffer from depression. 

It is known as behavioral activation and is very important in CBT as it has to do with the way that behaviors and feelings influence each other. So going for a walk activates the happy endorphins which in turn helps change your mood.You can read more on how walking can help with improving your mood and reducing anxiety in this blog post.

walking for weight loss

7 things to do before you start walking for weight loss

Depending on where you begin, you can expect to shed anything from a half-pound to 2 pounds per week with a walking program. To get your new program up and walking I suggest you follow these steps first, after that

1) Check in with your doctor

Walking does work for just about every body—but like everything to do with exercise you are best to good to your doctor as you will be putting strain on your muscles and joints and if you haven’t been exercising in a while it’s best to check.

Always stay alert for signs that you may be overdoing the walking. One of my signs at the start was sore ankles! You know your body best so keep listening to it!

Preparing the night before for my lunch time walk

2) Invest in a good pair of walking shoes

I can’t stress this enough, walking shoes or trainers are a must when you are taking up walking as part of your exercise. There are all types of walking shoes out there but never fear I have a great post on choosing walking shoes to give you some help.

Related blog post

3) Buy clothes designed for walking/exercise

I’m not advocating a whole new wardrobe – although any excuse for me! I would highly recommend you buy some things that have moisture wicking fabric which can keep you comfortable as you walk. Related clothing that stretches too is great – I’ve walked miles in jeans and it can get very uncomfortable! I’ve another great post for you on the types of clothing you can get.

Related Blog Post

4) Set realistic goals, and ease in to your new workout routine

Start where you are at and don’t be too hard on yourself.

If you are only starting out on your walking for weight loss journey and haven’t walked up to 5 miles in a day then starting off with 10,000 steps may not be the best start. I know from experience that when I started walking I had a set back because my body was simply not ready going from 4,000 steps a day to 10,000. I ached all over! The trick is to set yourself a realistic goal that will keep you focused. Yes you do want it to be challenging but also you want it to be realistic especially if you haven’t walked 10,000 steps a day before.

5) Use a Fitbit to track your progress

It is so satisfying to see the steps, distance travelled and stairs climbed on my Fitbit. You can also be awarded badges depending on how many steps you have been taking. It’s also great at working out how many calories you have burnt. It really is a great motivator.

Aiming for 10,000 steps – which is about 5 miles is a great target to aim for so setting your Fitbit at a lower number and then progressing will keep you on target.

6) Share your goal

When your family and friends are behind you it can be a motivating factor to start and keep going. Tell them your goal and ask them to help you achieve it. You may find they are interested in taking part too so you will have a buddy for when you are out walking and to keep each other motivated.

7) Start a weight loss journal

Stay motivated by tracking your progress in a training journal is another great idea as over time you’ll start to see signs of improvement in all aspects from your weight loss to your fitness level.

walking

A 6-week walking plan to lose weight

When it comes to walking, simple is best as it is often the most effective. You want a walking plan that you can stick to and that will keep you motivated.

Shorter workouts can increase your metabolism which in turn gives you a longer and higher burn.

That means walking intervals. So let’s get to a simple 6 week walking plan to keep you going:

walk your way to weight loss

Your calorie-blasting strategy

During the plan below you will walk six days each week and alternative between long walks and shorter interval walks.

Your guide for each type of walk:

  • Endurance Walks: They build up your strength, but they also increase your fitness overall and build up your stamina to keep going. You walk at a steady pace.
  • Intervals: These will boost your endurance so when you are doing the endurance walks it will be so much easier.
  • Bursts: Increase your overall walking speed with short sharp bursts of walking at a very brisk pace – you can still hold a conversation but it’s more difficult as your breathing is faster.

The walks

First and foremost you should warm up by walking at a gentle pace for the first 4 minutes. You also need the same amount of time for cool down at the end.

WEEK 1

  • Day 1: Endurance — 25-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 4 min of fast walking with 2 min of brisk walking. x2
  • Day 3: Endurance — 25-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 30-sec speed walk with 1 min of easy walking. x 8
  • Day 5: Endurance — 25-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 1-min fast walk with 1 min brisk walking. x 6

WEEK 2

  • Day 1: Endurance — 30-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 3 times
  • Day 3: Endurance — 30-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 12 times
  • Day 5: Endurance — 30-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 6 times, 2 min each

WEEK 3

  • Day 1: Endurance — 35-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 4 times
  • Day 3: Endurance — 35-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 16 times
  • Day 5: Endurance — 35-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 6 times, 2.5 min each

WEEK 4

  • Day 1: Endurance — 40-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 4 times
  • Day 3: Endurance — 40-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 16 times
  • Day 5: Endurance — 40-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 6 times, 2 min each

WEEK 5

  • Day 1: Endurance — 45-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 5 times
  • Day 3: Endurance — 45-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 20 times
  • Day 5: Endurance — 45-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 6 times, 2.5 min each

WEEK 6

  • Day 1: Endurance — 50-min brisk walk
  • Day 2: Intervals — 5 times
  • Day 3: Endurance — 50-min brisk walk
  • Day 4: 30-Second Bursts — 20 times
  • Day 5: Endurance — 50-min brisk walk
  • Day 6: Alternate — 6 times, 2.5 min each

Celebrate your achievements whatever they are. The reward can be something small such as a new notebook, a lipstick, whatever you can think of that will keep you going. Don’t be hard on yourself if you slip out of your routine, forgive yourself and get back to it. No point in dwelling on the past, just keep your focus on your goal.

Happy walking.

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Want to lose weight walking?  Simple.  If you walk at least 45 minutes every day you can melt away at least 240 calories, that's an extra 1300 this week alone.  Now let's step on it! #walking #walkingforweightloss #weightloss #fitness
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