We’ve talked about the many benefits that walking can have on your health time and time again in our blog. Walking improves our mood, relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and more. Few exercises are as good for you as a walk a day.
But is it really possible to lose a few pounds just by leaving your house and going for a walk? Maybe you’re doing this now, but you haven’t noticed any significant change in your figure or reached your weight loss goals. Could it be that you’re doing something wrong?
Don’t despair! Pay attention to the following tips on how to lose weight by walking. It’s much easier than you think!
1. Lose weight by walking…is it really possible?Of course it is. As you already know, any physical activity that requires effort will activate your metabolism, speed up your heart rate, and help you burn fat.
- Walking is a great way to burn those extra calories and carbs you eat before they get converted into stored fat.
- Just by walking every day and keeping your heart rate up will help you increase your muscle mass, further burning excess fat. As you build more muscle and burn more fat, your overall health will improve.
- Indeed, walking regularly helps increase your base metabolic rate and burns fat, but remember that to enjoy those benefits you also need to watch what you eat and limit your consumption of fatty foods, refined flours, commercial and processed foods, candy, sugary sodas, and the like. To put it simply, you need to lead a healthier lifestyle.
2. What other factors do you need to take into account to lose weight by walking?
1. How long should you walk?If you want to see results within the first two months, you ideally need to walk for half an hour, twice a day (morning and evening), every day.
Having two walking sessions a day will help speed up your metabolism, burn more fat, and build more muscle. If you just want to improve your overall mood and lifestyle, you can walk for half an hour only once a day. But in order to lose weight more effectively, you’ll need to take two walks a day, preferably outside of peak sunlight hours.
Make two spaces for this in your daily planner!
2. How fast should you walk?A nice brisk walking pace is around 4 miles an hour, or a mile every 15 minutes. If you can maintain that pace you’ll burn fat efficiently and keep from overexerting yourself.
The reason for this is that when your heart is only working between 60 to 70% of its capacity, your body tends to store reserved energy as fat, which is what you’re trying to eliminate so this doesn’t help you at all (and it won’t make your jeans fit better, either).
So try to remember that you need to be moving a mile every 15 minutes. Make that your goal!
3. Watch your stepsIt’s important that you consider how you walk. Take note of the following things:
- Taking longer strides isn’t going to help you cover those miles more quickly. Walking faster will.
- Pay attention to how you move your ankles. When your heel hits the ground, your ankle should be flexed at about a 45° angle. No more, and no less. Otherwise, you could end up with problems in your feet.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, and try not to tense them.
- Remember to also keep your head steady, or you could start to feel dizzy or even have neck pain. Look forward, and hold your head in a neutral position that’s neither raised nor lowered. Remember that as you walk, you should keep your eyes focused about 15 feet ahead of you. This in turn will help you keep your head in a natural, comfortable position and keep the pressure off of your neck.
- Make sure you don’t move your hips too much, and focus on walking with smooth and natural movements. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort or pressure.
- And what about your arms? A lot of people don’t really know what to do with their arms when they’re walking – should they bend them, or let them hang at their sides? What’s the best option? Keep them bent, at about 90°. While you’re walking, it’s important that you let them move naturally, and don’t hold them too far from your body. It’s easy to get into a rhythm, with your left arm moving while you take a step with your right foot, and vice versa.
- Remember not to clench your hands into fists while you walk, because it could keep you from moving your arms. Relax your hands.
4. Choose a nice setting for your walksDon’t pick an area of the neighborhood that’s full of rocks or gravel. You could take a wrong step and wind up with a sprain or even a hip injury. It’s a better idea to choose flat surfaces with sidewalks or parks.
You also need to choose comfortable and closed-toed shoes to protect your feet from the impact. Remember to wear loose fitting clothing that breathes.
One last recommendation before you step out that door – if you’re the kind of person who likes to listen to music while you walk, be very careful.
Headphones can distract you from what’s going on around you, and plenty of accidents have occurred because of this. Proceed with caution!