Walking for weight loss has many benefits, for your health and your wallet. Walking can be a mere method of transportation or an exercise plan. Read more to learn about all the benefits of going on a walk!
Walking for weight loss has many benefits, for your health and your wallet. Walking can be a mere method of transportation or an exercise plan. The key to exercising this way is directing attention toward duration and intensity. Let's go over some reasons for why you should try walking for weight loss and how to get started.
Let's start walking
With today’s society filled with sitting desk jobs, cars, and fast paced life, there is little opportunity for the need to walk for any reason. However, this lifestyle can lead to a multitude of health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Incorporating more walking throughout your day will not only reduce body weight but also the risk of these health problems. Walking improves joint lubrication (diminishing joint pain) and strengthens muscles and the respiratory system.
Combining a walking routine with a diet plan also has shown to be beneficial in weight loss. If you add just 30 minutes of quick-paced walking to your daily schedule, you could burn about 150 more calories per day. Keeping duration and intensity in mind, the more time spent walking and the quicker the pace, the more calories will be burned. If you don’t think you have time for a workout in your schedule, you can split up the walk into 3 shorter workouts throughout your day. Walking after meals has extra health benefits because in addition to burning calories, it can help control blood sugar levels. Also, it is important to keep up the walking program to maintain the weight loss achieved.
It's important to keep safety in mind, depending on your current health position. This workout plan may sound simple, but overdoing it can increase risk of soreness, injury, and burnout. There is nothing wrong with starting out by performing short frequent walks or walking at a light intensity. There is always room to progress towards longer walks and vigorous intensity. With any exercise it is vital to be mindful of correct posture and form (looking forward and tightening abdominal muscles and glutes). This does not only provide benefits with health, but also with strength building.
A good friend of WeStrive's, Jordan Grahm, actually went through a 200 Lbs weight-loss story and it all started from going on long walks
There are numerous tips to increasing the amount of calories burned and therefore weight lost while walking. The first suggestion is picking up the walking speed since the quicker the pace the more calories burned. This doesn’t mean you have to run, but a brisk walk is a good option to consider. This idea can also be incorporated through intervals of power walking. This can be completed by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes then increasing the pace for 10 to 15 seconds and repeating the cycle. Another tip is to wear a weighted vest while walking. The added weight encourages the body to work harder and therefore burn more calories to use as energy. However, you should not invest in a weighted vest if you suffer from back or neck problems. Also, people should avoid ankle and wrist weights because this can lead to muscle imbalance and injury, which would be detrimental to your health rather than helpful.
Another way to increase calorie burn is to walk uphill or increase the incline on the treadmill about 2 to 3 times per week. Incorporating different forms of resistance training into your walking program, such as squats, burpees, pushups, tricep dips, or lunges can be beneficial because it increases heart rate and muscle building while adding variety to your exercise plan. The last tip is to progress your step count over time. Current guidelines suggest 10,000 steps per day, which adds up to about 5 miles. However, you can design progressive goals to increase your step count gradually and aid the weight loss process. An easy way to increase your step count is to alter daily movement patterns such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator, parking farther away from destinations, or walking to destinations.
Overall, walking for weight loss is beneficial for your overall health, and is a great exercise option for people that do not want to spend a small fortune on exercise equipment or have many hours available to execute an exercise routine. However, if this does not sound like the right type of exercise for you, there are plenty of other programs out there that could be.
So, tell us, why aren't you walking right now?
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About the Author:
Abigail is a 2nd year student at the University of Texas at Austin studying sports medicine. She's originally from Long Beach, California and loves being active. Her true passion for fitness shows and she couldn't be more thankful to get to share this excitement with readers seeking insight on a variety of health related topics.