Among the possible health benefits of daily walking is reducing body weight. It’s also one of the least time-consuming and inexpensive ways to fit in. Finally, the health advantages of regular exercise are accessible to a large population simply by walking.
Most medical professionals concur that inactivity can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and obesity.
Walking, for instance, has been shown to have beneficial benefits on fat burning and waist circumference reduction in obese women in a study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry. The women walked for 12 weeks, 50-70 minutes thrice a week. So, by the end of the trial, people had lost an average of 1.5% of their body fat and 1.1 inches around their waists.
Although increasing one’s activity level in any way is beneficial, there are ways to boost the amount of fat burned while walking.
How to Walk for Weight Loss
Stepping up the pace
Pace matters in cycling just as much as in running, swimming, and other aerobic exercises. Walking faster causes a person to burn more calories than walking slower.
According to research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people burn more calories when they run faster. The runners also lost more weight than the walkers, indicating that caloric expenditure is proportional to exercise velocity.
Running is unnecessary if you pick up the pace a bit. On the other hand, if you walk quickly, you can burn extra calories and aid your weight loss efforts.
Putting on a vest with weights
Increasing the weight of a workout is a great way to boost calorie burn. Wearing a weighted vest while walking pushes a person’s body to work harder during a walk, leading to more calorie expenditure compared to a walk while not wearing a vest.
Researchers found that people walk at 2.5 mph on a level surface while wearing a vest that was 15% of their body weight burnt an extra 12% in calories compared to those who did not.
Walking at a constant speed up a gradient of 5% to 10% while wearing a weighted vest equal to 10% of one’s body weight increased caloric expenditure by an average of 13%.
Even while a weighted vest can help you burn extra calories, you shouldn’t try this at home by adding weights to your ankles, wrists, or hands. Muscle imbalance and injury are potential outcomes of both practices.
When donning a weighted vest, however, one must use extreme caution. A weighted vest can be a great addition to your workout routine, but like with any new form of physical activity, it’s essential to consult your doctor first.
In addition, a weighted vest shouldn’t be worn by anyone experiencing back or neck pain. For those who can do so without risk, a weighted vest can help them burn more calories while they exercise.
Climbing a hill
Walking uphill can help a person burn more calories. Some people may do this by walking at a steeper incline on a treadmill, while others may want to add hills to their usual walking route.
Two or three times weekly, a person should try to walk up an incline of some kind, whether it be a hill, a flight of stairs, or an actual incline.
Paying attention to posture and form
When you walk, you need to keep your form and posture up. Keeping your eyes on what’s ahead of you all the time can help you walk faster and with a longer stride. When a person walks, they should also tighten their abdominal muscles and glutes. Walkers can do this for a set amount of time or the whole time they are out.
This method can help someone get stronger without hurting them so that they can keep up with their regular walking schedule.
Add Intervals of Resistance Training
Some people find that combining their walk with weight training helps them burn more calories and gain muscle.
Here are a few examples of possible physical activities:
- squat thrusts (or burpees)
- exercise for the triceps
A person’s heart rate and muscle mass can benefit from short bursts of exercise. They can also add some variety to your daily walks.
Intervals of high-intensity walking
Intervals of increased speed when walking might be an excellent method to burn more calories.
The first 5-10 minutes of interval power walking are spent warming up. Then speed up, keeping up the pressure for 10 to 15 seconds before easing back to an average walking pace. This can be done as often as necessary throughout the stroll.
A person may wish to begin by adding power walking intervals of 5 minutes into their walks and gradually increase the duration of these intervals.
Three shorter walks per day
Shorter, more frequent walks can be as beneficial as longer ones. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your regular exercise routine, then breaking it up into several shorter walks throughout the day will be more manageable.
In addition, walking around after eating is recommended by many health experts. One study found that sedentary persons over 60 benefited more from 15 minutes of walking three times a day after meals in terms of blood sugar control than from 45 minutes of walking once a day.
Walking more frequently throughout the day
Many popular pedometers and fitness trackers recommend a daily step goal of 10,000, and a 2016 study backs this up. Approximately 5 miles of walking is equal to this distance.
Those who want to lose weight by walking should aim to walk at least 10,000 steps every day. However, some people may desire to raise their step count beyond that. To counteract this, any additional activity beyond the average daily can aid in weight loss.
Using a fitness tracker to keep track of one’s daily step count is a great way to motivate oneself to get more exercise. Even if you know you won’t be able to walk 10,000 steps every day, you should still strive to increase your activity level.
One must alter some of their current movement routines to increase the number of daily steps. Here are some tips on how to go about it:
- Climb on stairs, not on the comfy lift of your building
- Selecting a location further from the entrance to businesses, offices, and educational institutions
- Going for a walk while traveling to and from work, school, or other locations
- During breaks, workers go on walks rather than sitting in the break room.
A person should consult a doctor or other healthcare expert before beginning any exercise program or increasing the intensity by adding weight, pace, or incline.
A person should make it a priority to walk more frequently and for longer distances each day. Attempt increasing the difficulty of your walks or incline workouts a few times per week.