Walking Can Totally Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals—Here’s How

Walking for Weight Loss

The health and fitness business is home to some real innovation; nevertheless, this sometimes results in misunderstanding. When there are so many different forms of exercise, pieces of equipment, and supplements on the market, it can be quite difficult to determine which ones will be most beneficial to you. But rather than pursuing the latest fad or spending a couple of hundred dollars each month for a fancy class, you might want to think about going back to the basics and doing something as simple as walking.

Walking is a great kind of exercise because it’s cost-free, doesn’t call for any specialized gear, and doesn’t require any prior experience. Putting one foot in front of the other is all that is required. Walking is a wonderful activity for boosting your level of physical activity and for enhancing your general health, but how can it help you lose weight? Is it true that walking is a form of exercise that can assist you in achieving your weight reduction objectives and shedding excess pounds? We contacted a number of different fitness gurus to obtain their input on the effectiveness of walking for weight loss.

Continue reading for their knowledgeable recommendations on the advantages of walking and how to make walking work for you in a way that is conducive to good weight loss.

The Numerous Advantages to Taking a Walk

Walking, in addition to being a cost-free mode of transportation and a means of getting from point A to point B, it has a number of positive effects on one’s physical health.

  • It improves your cardiovascular health Walking is commonly regarded as a good kind of cardiovascular exercise; nevertheless, according to Bolton, you shouldn’t automatically assume that any amount of walking will be enough to increase your fitness level. She recommends that you walk at a speed that puts a strain on both your heart and lungs (think of it as taking deep breaths). According to her, “power walking,” often known as brisk walking, is an excellent approach to improving cardiovascular health and challenging people of varying levels of fitness.
  • It is a low-impact form of exercise: “Walking is low impact, which means it is suitable for those who would perhaps be prone to injury when running or doing other high-impact activities,” says Parren. “Walking is low impact, which means it is suitable for those who would perhaps be prone to injury when doing other high-impact activities.”
  • It strengthens your leg muscles and improves your definition by walking two to four miles every day at a brisk pace is an excellent way to develop the muscular strength, endurance, and definition of your legs. “As your leg stretches forward, you are eccentrically (lengthening) tightening your hamstrings to regulate the forward velocity of your leg,” adds Bain. “This is done in order to prevent your leg from moving too far forward.” When you plant your foot and accelerate forward, the quadriceps are used in a concentric contraction, which means they shorten. This helps to support the knee. Your hamstrings, glutes, and calves can be strengthened and toned if you walk quickly, particularly if you do it while climbing an elevation. Walking downhill places a significant emphasis on the quadriceps.
  • It improves markers of physical health: Research that was published in 2015 indicated that walking decreases blood pressure, resting heart rate, and total cholesterol while simultaneously improving aerobic capacity.
  • It can lower your blood sugar: If you have diabetes or are just searching for better control of your blood sugar, making walking a daily habit is an efficient strategy to help utilize blood glucose and keep your levels at their ideal range. This is true even if you do not have diabetes. According to Bolton, “When you walk at a difficult pace, your muscles will consume the glucose in your bloodstream.” This will, over time, reduce your blood sugar levels, provided that you are consistent with your walking and eat a balanced diet.
  • It can help increase your bone density: “By challenging yourself by walking at a fast pace, it will help build muscles, increasing bone density,” says Bolton, who explains that bone density is an increase in the mineral matrix that is caused by stress on the bone from muscle engagement. Walking at a fast pace can help build muscles, which can help increase bone density. Basically, when you exercise, your muscles contract, which pulls on your bones and sends a signal to your body to start laying down more minerals, which increases bone density to support the muscles.
  • It can strengthen your immune system: According to research that was published in 2018, brisk walking at a fast pace for thirty minutes can increase the activity of your body’s white blood cells, which in turn boosts your immune system’s defenses against pathogens. This is a benefit that will surely come in handy during the winter months when colds and flus are more prevalent.
  • It can boost your mental health Walking is a tonic for the mind as well as the body, so the benefits aren’t limited to just your physical health. Walking, as Olona points out, “helps raise your mood and can even help with creative thinking.” Walking, like other forms of exercise, creates endorphins, which can boost your mood and may help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling with these mental health conditions, taking up walking may help. 3
  • It encourages you to spend more time outdoors: “Walking allows you to get out into the fresh air, which can help your mental health, not to mention the extra health advantages of sunshine and its beautiful Vitamin D,” explains Dr. Parren. “If you take your stroll with a four-legged companion, you’ll have all the ingredients for the ideal form of exercise!” Even if you don’t have a dog to walk, research has showed that exercising outside increases mood and self-esteem more than engaging in social activities indoors. 4
  • It can be social and accessible: “Walking doesn’t require any particular equipment and can be done anywhere. It is also the most accessible and economical sort of exercise,” says Bolton. Walking is also the most accessible and affordable type of exercise. Because it is a relatively low-intensity sport, you will easily be able to carry on a conversation while walking with friends or members of your family. In addition, with the exception of those with certain ailments or physical limitations, the majority of people are able to join regardless of their age, size of their bodies, or level of physical fitness.

Walking as a Means to Shed Pounds

There is no question that walking has several health benefits, both to the body and the mind. However, can it also assist with weight loss? This is what the research and our specialists have to say about it.

Does Going for a Walk Really Have the Potential to Cause Weight Loss?

You won’t believe it, but walking is one of the most effective activities for weight loss that you can do! To put it another way, brisk walking will cause your heart rate to increase, which, in turn, will improve your fitness and, when combined with a good diet, will assist you in shedding unwanted pounds “says Parren. Walking can lower both your body mass index (BMI) and your percentage of body fat, according to research that was published in 2014.

Even though all of our experts believe that walking can assist you in losing weight, you still need to pay attention to what you eat if you want to get the best possible outcomes. “Walking can help you burn calories, which can contribute to weight loss; but, you should also incorporate a smart diet into your routine. Yes, it is possible to lose weight if you decrease the number of calories you consume each day and increase the amount of time you spend walking “says Olona.

” At its core, weight reduction happens when we are in a calorie deficit, which may be achieved by either eating less calories or exercising more, or by doing both of these things,” says Parren. “There are additional elements that come into play, including stress, a lack of quality sleep, and dehydration; nevertheless, even if you are anxious, it is still possible for you to lose weight; the likelihood of this happening is merely lower. Walking, on the other hand, won’t help you lose weight if you continue to consume more calories than you burn off through your walking.”

What Kind of Walking Pace Should You Follow to Lose Weight?

When it comes to walking for weight loss, the pace, the distance, and the approach that you take are all important factors. According to Dr. Parren, “Walking briskly causes your heart rate to increase and causes you to burn calories, which will assist you in getting into a calorie deficit, which is what will cause you to lose weight.”

Walking, on the other hand, is not necessarily the activity that burns the most calories in the shortest amount of time. As an illustration, Parren reveals to us that “Walking one mile might burn approximately 65 calories for a person who weighs 120 pounds. This would imply that a thirty-minute brisk stroll may burn approximately 130 calories, but a thirty-minute run would burn approximately 300 calories as a contrast.” Having said that, walking will still assist you in burning calories, and there are several adjustments you may make to increase the amount of calories you burn.

She explains that if you walk quickly for 30 minutes while keeping your heart rate at 130 beats per minute, you will burn more calories than if you walk slowly for 45 minutes while keeping your heart rate at only 90 beats per minute. Going up and down hills is a wonderful way to boost your heart rate without having to increase your pace. You may get your heart rate as high as 170 beats per minute (bpm) walking up hills, which is the same as what you could expect when jogging.

Olona recommends that you go for a brisk power stroll. “The most important thing is to increase your heart rate. Involve your arms in the activity by bending them at a 90-degree angle, and concentrate on performing a power walk so that you may achieve and keep [that elevated heart rate].”

Should the Aim Be to Accumulate 10,000 Steps Daily?

Since a research study published in 2016 found that a 12-week walking intervention at this volume resulted in weight loss, reduced BMI and waist circumference, and lowered blood pressure, walking approximately five miles, which is equivalent to 10,000 steps, is often considered the daily goal for walking.

However, this is not the only approach to walking, and more recent study suggests that a lesser amount of walking, as long as it is done at a rapid pace, results in improvements that are comparable to the former and greater adherence.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to walk 10,000 steps in one day or to break up your day with three 10-minute bursts of fast walking; the important thing is to pick up the pace and get your heart rate up as much as you can when you’re walking to lose weight.

When trying to lose weight through walking, how should one monitor their diet?

When considering how to incorporate walking into your plans to lose weight, it is essential to adopt a holistic perspective on your health and wellness. A diet consisting of “whole foods,” as defined by Olona, “including lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, and excellent fats that are nutrient-dense,” is what she advises.

The next step is to compare the number of calories you consume with the number of calories you burn. “It is highly recommended that you keep an eye on [this] if your goal is to reduce your body fat percentage. When trying to lose weight, most people either underestimate how many calories they take in a day or they consume more than they think they do, and this may be quite frustrating “warns Parren. “Keeping track of what you eat is fairly simple when you use applications like MyFitnessPal; however, you need to double check that the foods you enter have accurate labels, as many of these apps are made by people and may contain errors. Checking the food’s nutrition label and entering the information yourself is the most effective way to avoid this problem.”

While it is never a good idea to get obsessive with tracking calories, it is helpful to understand the caloric proportions of foods so that you can fuel your body effectively. Counting calories has gotten a poor rap in recent years.

How to Keep Tabs on Your Advancement

It is really important to keep track of your development. If you are walking for the purpose of losing weight, according to Parren, “it is certainly advisable to monitor data like pace, distance, and heart rate.”

Surprisingly, if you are serious about walking in order to lose weight, a plain pedometer might not be the most effective tool to invest in as a purchase. According to Paren, monitoring your heart rate is one of the most important statistics you can keep track of. When your heart rate is higher, you will burn more calories throughout the day. Therefore, if you want to keep an eye on your heart rate, it is a good idea to invest in a monitor that was developed specifically for that use. In general, heart rate monitors that you strap to your chest have a tendency to be more accurate, whereas heart rate monitors that are worn on the wrist tend to be more comfortable and handy. And for those of you who are interested in counting your steps, you can probably do it with your phone or one of the many fitness trackers that are available on the market today.

Tips for Better Walking Workouts

Even though walking is probably the most basic kind of physical activity, there are a variety of things you can do to add variety to your exercises and make them more effective.

Ensure That You Are Wearing Appropriate Footwear.

“Your footwear are similar to tires in that they have a shelf life,” she said.

“300-400 miles depending on your activity level and how you run or walk,” says Bolton. “It’s a range.” She suggests that you may need to replace them more frequently if you pronate (walk on the inside of your feet) or supinate (walk on the outside of your feet) in order to prevent problems with your knees or hips. When it comes to choosing the style of shoe, she recommends going with either a sneaker designed for running or cross-training, or a walking-specific shoe.

Find Something Entertaining To Do On Your Walk.

If you are going to be by yourself and are having trouble staying motivated, Bolton suggests bringing some form of entertainment with you, such as podcasts or audiobooks. “I make it a goal to’read’ at least one book every month by walking.” According to Bolton, “It not only inspires me to walk, but it also teaches me new things.” One other advantage comes from being able to listen while moving about. According to Bolton, “certain research demonstrate that the retention of information for active people.”

Don’t Ignore the Importance of Posture

According to Bolton, “your shoes and your posture are quite vital.” “I also advocate activating your glutes before engaging in walking,” she said. In order to achieve this goal, perform exercises such as squats, lunges, or bridges before going for a walk. When performing each repetition of these exercises, make sure to fully focus on and engage your glutes.

“If you keep your chest open, you’ll find that you can breathe more easily. It is also essential that you focus on breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest when practicing this technique “According to Bolton, the right posture plays a significant role in ensuring that one is breathing correctly. “When you walk, make sure your hips are directly beneath your shoulders, look up, keep your head up, and don’t take too many steps,” the instructor instructed. “Try not to take too many steps.”

Transform the Landscape

Altering the surface that you walk on throughout your walks not only offers variation to your workouts to keep you from becoming bored but also helps prevent injuries that can be caused by overuse. Grass, trails, cinder, wood chip walkways, jogging tracks, and sand all give greater shock absorption than concrete or asphalt, making these surfaces preferable for the health of joint cartilage and bones. Additionally, whenever there are changes in the incline or footing, your body is forced to activate additional muscles for stability, which makes walking that much more difficult.

Add Hand Weights

Taking the time to grab a set of light dumbbells before beginning your workout can not only help you tone your shoulders, arms, and chest, but it may also raise your heart rate. According to Bolton, “every time your hand is over your heart, it elevates your heart rate, which helps with the intensity of your workout.” [Citation needed] If you are going to utilize hand weights, the most effective way to exercise with them is to keep them over your heart rather than holding them at your sides. Holding them at your sides adds weight to your body, which increases the intensity of the workout; but, working out with your hands aloft is considerably more effective.

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

In addition, Bolton recommends that you bring a water bottle with you on your walks and make sure that you are adequately hydrated. She argues that proper hydration is essential for the growth of muscle, the maintenance of normal body temperature, the lubrication of joints, and the health of the heart.