Let’s talk about popular beliefs on walking for weight loss.
Many time you might be searching, “Is it possible to lose weight by walking?
On this, I will clearly say…
Yes! Walking to lose weight is possible.
You can lose 1 pounds per week by building walking habits.
And more importantly, you can do this without following any diet and exercise schedule.
Yes! For obese people, it’s very easy way to lose weight. More you walk, more your body will tend to lose weight.
But before taking any steps into walking for weight loss. You need to follow these simple 2 rules to achieve your goals.
2 Simple Rules:
- Know how many steps you need to take
- Commit to your daily goals
Sound simple. Right?
These 2 things will calculate your calorie burn in walking for weight loss.
Before going into deep research on walking for weight loss, I would like to talk about queries asked by many people.
Can I Lose Weight by Walking?
According to a wellness nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky at Mayo clinic, “You can lose weight by walking but it depends on duration and intensity of your walking.”
Your diet also plays important role in losing weight. But if you do both the things regularly, then sure you can lose more than one pound a week.
Let me explain…
To lose 1 pound (3500 calories) a week by walking, you need to lose 500 calories per day. Right?
Katherine says, If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, then you can burn approx. 150-200 calories per day. Faster you will walk, faster your body will tend to lose weight.
So for one-hour walking, it will be approx. 300-400 calories. More vigorous speed will tend to lose more weight.
Suppose if you walk with a speed of 3mph (mile per hour), then you will burn 540 calories per day. And at the end of the week, you will be able to lose more than 1 pounds without any dietary changes.
So if you want to lose your weight fast, then eat lean and drink lots of water for weight loss along with walking.
Health Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss
If you are planning to improve your overall health by walking then you need to fully understand why to prefer walking over high-intensity workout (if you are unable to practice on gym instruments) or running.
Yes! It’s true that walking provides the easiest way to lose weight.
Telling this thing to any runner or workout trainer will be answered like, “Are you kidding?”
Being as a runner, they continue to put stress on their feet, knees, shins, and everything below the waist by doing a hard workout and running without fully understanding the health benefit of walking for weight loss.
- The American Heart Association prefer walking over running.
- According to them, walking briskly can help to improve your heart health, and lower down high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
- They recommend 30 minutes of physical activities per day, 150 minutes of moderate activity per week and 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to drive health benefit.
- The AHA and National Runner’s Health study conducted a study together in which 30,060 was runners and 15,045 was walkers. They analyzed that, “Medium intensity walking and vigorous intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and coronary heart disease over the study’s six years.”
I think these are the pretty cool reason to start walking for weight loss and good health.
Why prefer walking for weight loss over running for beginners?
If you are a beginner, then you might be having so many questions in your mind. Like…
Is walking for weight loss good? How much I need to walk to lose weight? Should I prefer high-intensity workout for weight loss? Or running to lose weight?
Let me guide you honestly…
These questions are obvious to come, as beginners.
The selection of exercise/workout/running/walking for weight loss is your choice.
But how to take more effective decision that not lead to harm your body and you can be regular for the longer duration until your weight loss goal is achieved. Right?
So, if you are an obese person, then I will suggest, taking the walk challenge for weight loss first. Then, after building some stamina and flexibility, you can move to higher intensity workout for more weight loss but initially start by taking small steps.
And you know the interesting thing, choosing walk over running is more effective and save you from legs and knees’ stress.
If you are not a runner, then starting running for you can be very hectic initially. It may lead to some serious stress and injury to your legs & lower body.
When we run, a force of seven times the person body weight creates on legs. Suppose if your weight is 150 pounds, that force will be half of the tone. And if you are obese then it could be multiple tones. So running can be dangerous for you to start as beginners.
But if you prefer to walk to lose weight, then maximum force on your knees and legs will be only 3.4 times to your body weight. So, walking will be less stressful than running.
Comparing Calories Burn in Walking & Running
It might be surprising to you that calories burn in walking can often exceed the calories burn in running.
Let’s meet your new hypothetical friend named “Christine” whose weight is 300 pounds.
See what happened…when she choose running for weight loss.
If she runs 4mph in one hour, then she burns 908 calories by running, using Running Calculator. And the force developed on her legs will be 7 times than her body weight, means 2100 pounds.
908 4mph 2000lbs
Calories Burned Speed Force on legs
But if she chooses to walk 3mph, then by walking calorie burn calculator, calorie burn is 540, and the force on her legs will be approx. 900 pounds.
540 3mph 900lbs
Calories Burned Speed Force on legs
But if she decides to walk 4mph, then she burns 747 calories, which is 82% of calories burned by running on same distance for less than half the stress on her legs.
So if you want to lose weight by walking then prefer to walk for more hours as walking means less discomforts and pain than running.
“Everywhere is walking distance if you have time.”
How to Lose One Pound/Week by Walking
As I told above that your speed of walking decides your weight loss.
Let’s go back to Christine…
She used to walk 3mph and burn 540 calories and when she walks 4mph then it’s approx. 747 calories a day. Right?
To lose one pound a week, you need to burn 3500 calories. Means per day you have to burn 500 calories by walking.
So, if she chooses 3mph, then she can easily lose 3780 calories per week without making any dietary changes and opt any intense workout.
30 Days Walking for Weight Loss Plan
To achieve this target, you should have a definite walking plan.
Find walking plan suggested by MyFitnessPal that is divided into 2 categories:
- Plan for beginners
- Plan for intermediate walkers
Obviously, we should start from the easy way, as it doesn’t hurt the body.
Walking Challenge for Beginners:
Starting with 2000 steps:
Let’s calculate the calories burned in this 10,000 steps challenge.
Suppose if you walk at natural 3mph, for 20 minutes for first 2000 steps. Then your body burns 180 calories for 2000 steps. Means you burn 45 calories per 500 steps taken.
So, for 10,000 steps you burn 900 calories each day that is more than one pounds.
Now, you can see how quickly your body tends to lose weight by walking. If you add few more things to your weight loss goal, like, cuts outs few dietary, then the fat burning process will be very fast.
Remember one thing,
Don’t forget to stretch before and after your walking workout.
Regular Walking Plan: After Beginners
After completing your 30 days walking plan for weight loss, start this intermediate walking challenge for another 30 days as your baseline.
Things You Need to Remind Before Walk
Have a look at certain things you need to carry before start walking to lose weight.
1. Right Walking Equipment
Before going to your walking challenge, you should have comfortable, loose-fitting workout clothes. Although cotton was good choice fabric in past, but “wicking” fabric is best for workouts in sweating as it allows moistures to pass through them easily.
It also helps to reduce chafing problem as it creates less friction than cotton. You can find them in any brands.
2. Calculate Your Steps with Pedometer
If you find calculating your steps difficult, then you can use a steps tracking device, pedometer that will count your steps taken during walking for weight loss.
Best recommended pedometer you may be interested in-
3. Find Your Baseline
You beginning should be slow and easy. For that, measure the number of steps you take for 2 to 3 days using a pedometer.
But don’t try to do anything different for first few days and maintain the average number of steps you take as your baseline.
Make that baseline as your starting point, and increase your steps gradually.
For e.g. If you walk 1,000 steps on day 1, then 3,000 on day 2, and finally 2,000 on day 3, then your baseline would be 2,000 average steps.
4. Supercharged Your Weight Loss by Diet
A healthy diet plays important role in weight loss if combined with an intense workout.
There are 2 ways to reduce weight-
- Either you burn your calories in intense workout
- Or try to take fewer calories
But if both the things combine then it speed up your fat burning mechanism together.
Know what to eat and avoid in weight loss-
10 Ways to Get Extra Steps in Walking for Weight Loss
1. If you are a morning person, then go to a perfect location to see sunrises and sunsets. And people who are struggling to get up early, know how to wake up easily in the morning.
2. Avoid escalators/elevator and use stairs maximum.
3. Walk around, while talking on the phone.
4. Next time when you plan a meeting, possibly make it outside (walking).
5. At work, instead of using the closest restrooms, walk one floor up and down. Try to use stairs most.
6. While going to grocery store, just walk instead of driving.
7. If you are an animal lover and have animals in your house, then go by walk to your local animal shelter or dog walk.
8. If you are in a relationship, then take a romantic walk with your partner to burn few calories.
9. Walk to your favorite places or else invite your friends to go for walk in nature.
10. If you feel stuck in desk while working, then set a computer alarm clock to go off after every two hours. And get up every time it beeps and takes a walk as It will increase your steps count and productivity too.
So, what your plan now?
Get started your walking for weight loss. Now it’s your turn to lose weight…
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Take Care & Stay Fit!!