How To Use Walking for Weight Loss

When you desire to lose weight, you may not immediately think of adding walking to your regular workout routine. But maybe it should.

“Fast-paced walking, when combined with healthy eating, is hugely effective for weight loss,” Art Weltman, PhD, director of exercise physiology at the University of Virginia, told Health. These modest changes may have a substantial influence on your overall health, lowering your risk of heart disease and depression.

How To Use Walking for Weight Loss

You’ll get better effects if you hurry up instead of taking a leisurely daily walk. That is not to say you must accelerate to race-walker speed. However, you must go at a more demanding pace.

“There is a strong relationship between the intensity of exercise and fat-burning hormones,” Weltman said. “So, if you’re exercising at a pace considered to be hard, you’re likely to release more of these hormones.”

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Walking, due to its simplicity, may be an effective long-term exercise routine. on get you started, here’s a comprehensive guide on walking for weight loss if you and your doctor have determined it’s the best choice.

The Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss

Walking may help you lose belly fat, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another advantage of walking quickly: although going quicker, speed walking is still gentler on the joints than running.

“During walking, one of your feet is always in contact with the ground,” stated Weltman. “However, when running, there is a floating stage in which your whole body is hoisted into the air. Then you come back down and let your body take the impact.”

Some other benefits of regularly walking include:

  • Helps you think better
  • Improves sleep
  • Reduces the risk of chronic health issues, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • Improves your emotional well-being and lowers your chance of depression.
  • Improves bone strength and lowers the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Helps prevent weight gain

How Fast and Often Should You Walk?

Aim for 30 minutes of power walking three days a week. Tom Holland, exercise scientist and author of Beat the Gym, told Health that you may accomplish that time all at once or in bursts with recovery strides (stroll or brisk walk) in between.

According to Holland, to keep your speed on track, adopt the following guidelines:

  • Stroll: Consider a window-shopping speed or intensity of four on a scale of ten, which burns around 238 calories per hour.
  • Brisk walk: This corresponds to a five or six effort out of ten. At a speed of 3.5 to 4 miles per hour, it may burn up to 340 calories in an hour. You may chatter, but you’ll need to pause every few phrases to collect your breath.
  • Power walk: You’re burning between five and five miles per hour, or around 564 calories each hour. Use your arms to assist you go ahead at that speed. Take steps that are longer than a brisk walk or saunter. On a scale of 10, your effort should be a seven or an eight. It is only feasible to speak in short bursts of three or four words. You’d rather concentrate on breathing, however.

Give This Walking Plan a Try

The program that follows, created by Holland, combines interval training with a standard walking regimen. You may complete your 30-minute power walking goal three times a week with the aid of the interval training.

Try to walk three days in a row, following one of the daily programs listed below, and use the other four days of the week for cross-training or relaxation. Exercise injuries may be prevented by engaging in cross-training activities like power yoga or swimming.

Tempo Day

  • Warm-up: Take a five-minute stroll.
  • Workout: For half an hour, sustain the intensity of a power walk.
  • Cool-down: Take a three- to five-minute stroll.

Long Interval Day

  • Warm-up: Take five minutes to stroll.
  • Interval workout: For five minutes, keep up a strong power-walk intensity of eight on a ten-point scale. Recover quickly for a duration of one minute. Six periods in total should be repeated.
  • Cool-down: Stroll for three to five minutes.

Short Interval Day

  • Warm-up: Stroll for five minutes.
  • Interval workout: For two minutes, keep up a strong power-walk intensity of eight on a ten-point scale. Recover quickly for a duration of one minute. Repeat fifteen times in total.
  • Cool-down: Stroll for three to five minutes.

How To Perfect Your Walking Form

What your body and brain need to perform to walk is known. It makes logical since you’ve been doing it ever since your first unsteady baby steps. However, in case you need them, here are some pointers for honing your form.

  • Chin up: You should not look down at your feet. Rather, concentrate on an area ten feet or so in front of you. You’ll be able to maintain a longer stride and a comfortable neck-spine alignment by maintaining that attention.
  • Activate your abs: Bracing your core makes proper posture come naturally. Approach your spine by pulling your belly button.
  • Squeeze your glutes: You walk with your rear end propelled forward. To go further and quicker than usual, keep your glutes tight.

How To Take Your Workout Up a Notch

Try any of the following to make your walks even more challenging to get the most out of your training regimen:

  • Add hills: When you work out in your neighbourhood or on a treadmill across hills, you naturally increase the difficulty of your activity.
  • Go off-road: Set out on a short but fast trek. You have to put in more effort than usual because of the rough terrain. If you can, substitute it for one of your weekly power walks.
  • Swing your arms: Stretch your arms in an arc while maintaining a 90-degree bend in your elbows and your hands in relaxed fists. According to Weltman, swinging your arms propels you forward and strengthens your upper body.
  • Make longer strides: “Work on increasing your stride length,” said Weltman, as an alternative to taking additional steps. “You’ll cover more ground.”

How To Safely Add Running to Your Routine

Going from 0% to 100% effort on your first run might cause you to get sidelined when you add additional running to your workout routine. Alternatively, if you would want to run rather than walk, you may safely go from walking to running by using the Holland approach.

For the Running Newbie

Three times a week, do a modified version of the short-interval day. Work your way up to two minutes by running for one minute every few weeks. After that, walk for a minute, then do so fifteen times.

After a few weeks of repetition, switch to the long-interval day, when you run for five minutes and walk for one. That should be done six times.

Pace day is coming up, and you want to run continuously for thirty minutes.

For the On-and-Off Runner

You may go directly into the long-interval day plan, substituting running for the power walks, if you have any running experience.

You should perform the tempo day run at a hard but comfortable pace, and the intervals should be difficult.

For the Regular Gym-Goer

Holland’s plan may also be used as a cross-training program, with the same exercises performed on an elliptical, stationary cycle, or rower.

How To Add More Walking Into Your Day

Getting more exercise and losing weight may be achieved via walking. If Holland’s plan is too ambitious for you to implement, there are several easy ways to include more walking into your daily routine.

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The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include the following additional strategies for increasing your daily step count:

  • Use the stairs rather than the lift.
  • Plan your day’s worth of physical activity breaks.
  • Go on errands or the walk to work.
  • When parking, move further away.
  • Walk to the next stop if you want to ride the bus.

Conclusion

If losing weight is your aim, walking is a terrific method to get there. It’s easy, doesn’t need any special equipment, and has a lot of advantages, including helping you maintain a healthy weight and lowering your chance of developing long-term illnesses.

Furthermore, if you’re wanting to alter up your hobbies, power walking may help you build up to running and burn more fat.

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