When it comes to weight loss, all the attention seems to go to running, circuit training and other intensive activities. Many people tend to overlook walking and will not even consider it as a way of shedding extra pounds. But, this does not mean that it is not a useful way of losing some weight. The fact that it does not feel as intense as the other workouts and is low impact may make walking seem less useful for weight loss, but this is not true.
Like any other physical activity, walking will require you to use energy meaning that you will burn calories. And so if you make it intense enough (by walking briskly) you will end up with a calorie deficit as hence shed some weight. Perhaps understanding why walking can help you shed some kilos and how to make it more useful should convince you to start walking more.
Why Walking will Help You Lose Weight
You might not always have time to go to the gym as often as you might want to, but chances are that you will have more than enough opportunities to walk as you do your routine tasks. And although going to the gym is vital for your weight loss program, walking more can also be helpful and here is why.
#1 Walking Will Burn Calories
It is evident that you require energy to do any physical activity like walking and so you will burn some calories. If you walk enough and do it at the right pace you will burn a lot of calories, and so you end up using up more than you are consuming which is what causes weight loss. In fact, walking just for one mile at a brisk pace can burn up to 100 calories depending on your weight and gender.
#2 It Aids in Preserving Lean Muscles
When most people shed weight, they will also end up losing their lean muscle which is counterproductive. Since lean muscle is more active metabolically than fat, it helps you burn more calories and so losing some of it will slow down your weight loss. But, walking can help to preserve lean muscle and even build more which in turn help with your weight loss.
#3 It Improves Your Mood
Any form of exercise can boost your mood, but walking seems to be more useful for this. This encourages you to walk more as you feel good doing it. This, in turn, will make it easier for you to lose weight since you get to burn more calories.
How to Lose Weight by Walking
Walking is part of most people’s daily routine. Whether you are walking around the house from one room to another or in the office, this is still walking. But, the few steps you take in your workplace or home will probably not help you lose weight. For maximum benefits from walking here are some things that you need to do.
#1 Count Your Steps
When using walking as a method of losing weight the number of steps that you take matters. Ideally, you should aim at making at least 10,000 steps every day but if you can get to 15,000, even better. You do not have to do it all at once as you can take several short walks throughout the day. Also, walking more around the office and taking the stairs can make it easy to reach your daily steps target. Make sure that you always wear proper walking shoes because your choice of footwear will have an impact on the number of steps you make every day.
#2 Walk Uphill a Few Times Per Week
Walking uphill is more intense, and so it is a good idea to do it at least two to three times every week. You do not even need to hike to the hills around your home because you can do it on your treadmill by increasing the incline. Climbing stairs can also help with this as it increases your metabolic rate which helps you burn more calories.
#3 Cap your Calorie Intake
Even as you walk every day, you still need to watch what you eat. For walking to be useful for your weight loss program, you need to cap your calorie intake. Make sure that you do not take more than the necessary calorie intake for your gender and activity type and also follow a protein-rich diet.
Walking might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about weight loss, but there is more than enough proof that it can be beneficial. Walking for anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes every day at a brisk speed and reducing your calories intake can be all you need to shed some weight.