Last Updated on July 5, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise anyone can do. Let’s face it, you’ve been doing it for the majority of your life. Well, most of you anyway. When it comes to losing weight, this activity can be very beneficial. However, there are a few things that need to be considered if you want to lose by walking. The more intense you make it, the better off you’ll be.
6 Ways You Lose by Walking
One of the biggest reasons why people gain weight in the first place is because they are eating more than the body needs to survive. As a result, it stores all of the extra foods. Absolute fitness is about finding a balance between what you eat and what you need. This activity can be greatly beneficial for burning those excess calories and fats, depending on the amount of effort you put into it. Here are some ways the you can lose by walking.
The harder your body has to work, the more you’ll burn. For example, you’ll burn more fats doing a 15 minute mile than if you did a 30 minute mile. It’s not always about distance when you want to lose by walking. Sure it’s the same length, but your body has to work harder in order to achieve that faster rate.
Set a record for yourself for a certain distance. Every other day, try to meet that record or surpass it. No matter what your body type, striving to beat your personal records will begin to reshape your waistline. However, be logical about the process. If you’re obese, don’t expect to do a 15 minute mile. You need to find your limitations. Otherwise, you could injure yourself or worse.
Distance doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll burn more calories and fats. However, it does help develop a prolonged workout. The longer you can keep the heart rate elevated, the more beneficial the activity becomes. The amount you can lose by walking is a culmination of distance and speed.
Set a goal for the distance you want to cover each week. Don’t assume you can do 5k if you’re just starting out. Determine a good, safe distance that you can travel and strive to beat your record. Personally, I use Runkeeper to track walks and bike rides. It can help you set your own goals for getting distance and speed.
Traveling uphill is a great weight to add to your walk. It forces the body to adapt traveling up and against gravity. Anything you can do that will make the experience more difficult will keep the heart rate elevated. Don’t try to tackle too much, though. You don’t want to give yourself a heart attack.
I suggest starting off with smaller hills in your area. In reality, your neighborhood could be sitting on a slight incline. Even these small increases can contribute to what you can lose by walking. My area is full of small ups and downs. Just remember the steeper the incline, the harder your body will work. Don’t try to bite off something you can’t physically chew.
This form of resistance training can do wonders for burning calories and building lean muscle mass. Your body has to adapt to the extra pounds when traveling with ankle weights. Even something as slight as 2.5 pounds extra per leg can impact weight loss. Plus, you’ll find the response time of your legs to be much faster once the weights come off.
Ankle weights are relatively inexpensive. They can increase the workout by as much as 50% if you get a heavier set. You simply strap them around your ankles and begin walking. It’s important to note that they will exhaust the body faster, so you may not be able to travel the same distance as before without feeling winded.
Your Comfort Level
Physical comfort will play a part in keeping you active. If you’re feet hurt or you’re joints begin to ache, you’re not going to want to continue. Instead of an activity, walking could seem more like a chore at this point. You want to avoid that feeling as it will prevent you from getting the most out of the experience.
Proper walking shoes are vital to comfort, especially in long distances. I hurt myself bad in 2015 because I thought I could do a 5k walk in loafers. I didn’t have anything else to put on my feet, and I paid the price for it with metatarsal stress fractures. Not only will the right shoes help the feet, but they can also absorb some of the shock to joints when walking.
It does no good to burn off the extra calories while walking if you excessively eat. You can still remain overweight even if you walk every day if you don’t monitor your intake. Reducing sugars, fats and greasy foods will be of great benefit when you walk.
Try to stick to foods that deliver higher levels of proteins. For example, an egg before you go for a mile walk can help deliver energy to the body while allowing it to burn excess fats. Also, keep the body hydrated. A lack of water can lead to heat exhaustion, head aches and many other ailments. I am a strong supporter of MyFitnessPal, and for good reason. It’s a great tool to use when you want to keep an eye on the foods your eating.
How Much Can You Lose by Walking?
The amount of weight you can lose by walking is dependent on several key factors. Speed, distance, difficulty and your specific physique will dictate how much weight you can drop. Here are a couple of other aspects that will play a part in your weight loss:
- Motivation: How often do you commit to walking throughout the week?
- Determination: Do you walk even when you really don’t want to?
- Scheduling: Do you have specific routines that work with your regular schedule?
- Goals: Setting goals and breaking personal records can keep you motivated to continue.
Walking is one of those activities that can be done in a myriad of ways for health. Even taking the scenic route throughout the grocery store can increase your physical activity and contribute to weight loss. Try to get more steps throughout your day whether you’re planning a one mile walk or simply walking around in circles in your front yard. It’s all about keep the body moving if you want to lose by walking.