How Much to Walk to Lose Weight
Do you feel bad for yourself because you are overweight and obese? Do you want to shed extra pounds off your body but without having to perform heavy exercises and workouts in the gym? It seems very arduous to lose weight without heavy exercise. But there are many other ways to lose weight without sweating your butt off.
Walking is an excellent form of physical activity, and you can easily lose weight by just walking a few miles a week. Yes! You heard it right; just walking, at the right pace, can help you lose weight.
A 1997 study confirmed that obese individuals could easily lose their weight by just walking a few miles per week.
It is the simplest form of physical activity, and you can easily integrate walking into your daily routine. It is not only useful to lose weight, but also maintains your weight within a healthy range.
This article looks into how walking can help you lose weight, how much you should walk to lose weight, how to walk to lose weight, and some tips to incorporate walking into your daily life routine.
How Walking Helps Lose Weight
You need a certain amount of calories for complex biochemical reactions in your body that make you walk, breathe, think, live, and function properly.
However, daily calories requirement can vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, and physical activity level.
Any surplus calories after meeting daily requirements, directly add to the fat stores of your body, showing more pounds on your weighing scale.
You can lose weight if your calorie expenditure is more than your daily calorie consumption. Either you should consume calories less than your daily needs or you must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Walking daily can help you burn extra calories and lose weight.
Let’s dive into the science of how walking helps you lose weight.
Walking Burns Your Extra Calories
You have to burn extra calories to lose weight, and that’s what you do when walking. According to a 2010 study, you burn almost 100 calories by walking one mile (1.6 km), depending on your sex, age, and weight.
According to a 2012 research, appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers asked some non-athletic adults to brisk walk at a pace of three to five miles per hour and others to run at a speed of six miles per hour for about one mile. Researchers claimed that people burned around ninety calories per mile when they did brisk walking. Besides, people who ran surely burned more calories than those who walked. But they only burned 23 extra calories per mile.
Walking Burns Your Belly Fat
Extra fat around your mid-body not only adds to your weight but also poses serious health risks.
Aerobic exercises like walking can significantly reduce belly fat. In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry, researchers asked some obese and overweight women to walk for 60 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks duration. Researchers claimed that these women slimmed their waist by 1.1 inches and lost their body fat by 1.5% after 12 weeks of duration.
Walking adds to the weight loss effects of a calorie-controlled diet. A 2002 study showed that people who are on a low-calorie diet and walk for 60 minutes five days per week decreased an extra one and a half inches off their waist and burned 1.3% extra fat as compared to those people who observed the low-calorie diet only.
Walking Preserves Lean Muscle Mass
If you go on a calorie-controlled diet (and consume fewer calories than you need) to lose weight, you also lose lean muscle mass along with fat from your body. Of course, you don’t want to lose your muscle mass.
On the other hand, exercise (like walking) burns the extra calories and helps you oppose this effect by losing body fat without reducing lean muscle mass.
Walking Avoids Weight Regain
In a 2005 study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that most people who lose weight gain it all back in the end. This is because once they achieve their optimum weight goal, they stop all diet restrictions and gym workouts. However, It is also challenging to follow for a whole life.
But moderate exercise like walking is easy to comply with and keep doing for the whole life. Once you achieve your optimum weight, you only need to walk at a brisk pace for no more than 150 minutes per week to maintain your weight.
How Much To Walk To Lose Weight
A dedicated walking routine is an excellent strategy to lose weight. But you need to make sure that you are walking far enough at sufficient intensity.
Studies have shown that you need to brisk walk 35 miles to lose one pound of your body weight. You may break this into 5 miles (easily covered in one hour) per day for a week-long. This way you will be losing one pound weight every passing week while you walk five miles every day.
Walking Duration to Lose Weight
According to the American College of Sports and Medicine, an individual must perform 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise (like walking) or 150 minutes per week to stay healthy, maintain current weight, and avoid any disease risks associated with obesity.
But if you are overweight and obese and want to lose some pounds, you should consider walking even more. For obese and overweight individuals, a minimum of 200-300 minutes of moderate-intensity walking is recommended.
Walking Intensity to Lose Weight
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brisk walking is when you walk at a pace that increases your heart rate by 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. You can achieve this by walking at a pace of 120-130 steps per minute. You may also walk on inclined or uphill treads to increase the intensity of walking.
You should walk at the above-described pace for at least 30 minutes per day or 200-300 minutes per week.
Walking Distance to Lose Weight
As described above, walking at a brisk pace for a mile burns 100 calories, and you need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound (because one pound of body fat equals 3450-3600 calories) of your body. This makes 35 miles of walking at a brisk pace to lose one pound weight of your body.
How Much Weight You Lose by Walking One Hour per Day
According to the estimations given above, you will burn an extra 500 calories by walking, at a pace of 5mph, for one hour. If you walk one hour per day for one week, you will burn a total of extra 3500 calories in a week. So, you can shed 1 pound fat off your body by walking 60 minutes per day for a week.
Tips to Incorporate Walking Into Your Life Routine
It has become clear that walking is very beneficial for your health. It not only helps you lose weight, but also decreases the risk of serious health problems like diabetes, heart, and brain diseases.
Therefore, it is recommended for an adult individual to walk at a brisk pace for at least 150 minutes per week. You can easily walk 30 minutes per day five times a week.
You must incorporate the habit of walking into your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you include walking into your life.
- Use a Fitness Tracker: You should use a fitness tracker to record your steps. This will motivate you and give a sense of achievement. In a 2007 research, appeared in the Journal of American Medical Association, people who use fitness trackers to record their walking steps walk almost 26% more steps as compared to the people who do not use a fitness tracker. Moreover, those individuals were able to maintain their walking routine better.
- Go Walking to Your Workplace: You should go to your workplace by walking on foot. If it is too far from your home, you can park your car a little before your office and cover the remaining distance by walking. If you go by bus, get off a few stations before your work station.
- Join Your Friends: Try going on a walk with your friends or family members. This will keep your interest in going on a walk and set your walking routine.
- Walking Meeting: When you schedule a meeting with your old friends and colleagues, try to set a walking meeting instead of meeting at the table.
- Walk Your Dog: Set a daily routine of taking your dog to a walk. If you don’t have a dog, try joining your friends on their dog walks.
- Shop Walking: Try to walk as much as you can. You can go to the general store on walking. If the store is too far, park your car a little before the store and walk the remaining distance.
The Bottom Line
Walking is, for sure, the simplest way to lose weight and maintain the optimum weight. You can easily incorporate walking into your daily routine by following the above tips. You can shed one pound off your body every week just by walking, at a brisk pace (5 mph), for only one hour (5 miles) per day.