How Much Do You Need to Walk a Day to Lose Weight?
If you’re not used to walking regularly or doing any kind of sport, you should start off slowly, and steadily increase the duration of your walks as your body adjusts to the new exercise routine.
We’d all like to exercise, but few of us actually ever dare to do it. Changing your routine from one day to the next is no mean feat. But once you get into the habit of walking, you’ll find it’s much more enjoyable than you first thought.
There’s no point in sticking to a strict routine for a few weeks, and then going back to a sedentary lifestyle, which, according to this study by the Austral University of Chile, is linked with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. In this article, we’ll tell you how to lose weight with a simple daily walk.
In reality, losing weight is much easier than it might seem. You don’t need to invest in a luxury gym or weight loss creams. Do you want to know what you really need? Just one thing: TO WALK. According to this investigation published by the Costa Rican Journal of Public Health, walking doesn’t just help to build muscle tissue or lose weight. It can also help to improve lung capacity and boost the cardiovascular system.
If you’re tired of fat building up and you’ve tried everything to get rid of excess abdominal fat, it’s time to get moving.
Why should you walk? Walking is an aerobic exercise, which means that the majority of your muscles are at work. Therefore, it burns a huge amount of calories, oxygenates your body, and maintains healthy heart functions.
Who can do this exercise?
Numerous scientific studies have shown that everyone can and should exercise, including people who are used to exercising or a regular basis, and those who have never done any kind of physical activity in their life.
However, it’s recommended that you visit a doctor to confirm your state of health. That way, any physical alteration can be ruled out, whether it’s respiratory or cardiac.
How frequently should I walk?
To begin with, you should act in accordance with your physical condition. If it’s been a long time since you’ve exercised, avoid walking long distances. Start off by walking short intervals (between 10-15 minutes) at a moderate speed.
- You can also begin by walking two times a week and slowly increase the frequency.
- The key is to stick to a routine.
- If you walk at least 30 minutes a day and keep a close eye on your diet, it won’t be long before you start to see results.
Use a pedometer or step counter
A pedometer is specifically designed to measure the number of steps taken during a walk. It also measures speed, distance, and rhythm. This serves as an incentive, encouraging you to set yourself a goal, such as increasing the number and speed of steps taken in a day, in order to help you lose weight.
You can also take it to work or have it on you while doing house chores. At the end of the day, it’ll tell you how many steps you’ve taken and the number of calories you’ve burned. You’ll also know what you need to do next to achieve your goal.
Benefits of walking
- It helps to reduce the risk of obesity.
- Strengthens bones. This may help you avoid fractures and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
- It may improve circulation and strengthen the heart.
- It may reduce your risk of stress, anxiety, or depression, thanks to the production of endorphins.
- Once you’ve visited the doctor, set yourself a goal, as long as you don’t push yourself too hard.
- Don’t stop walking under any circumstances. If you can’t walk all week, then organize a schedule and set small goals.
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Remember to warm up before you walk, for at least 5 minutes. And don’t forget to stretch afterwards, too.
- Watch your diet, reduce fat intake, and adopt healthy eating habits.
- Maintain good posture: straight back, contracted belly, and relaxed arms. According to a study carried out at the Matanzas University of Medical Sciences (Cuba), bad posture can lead to back problems.
- Control your breathing. Inhale and exhale in time with the rhythm of your walking. You could even try out some breathing techniques, as described in this investigation. What’s more, controlled breathing can help to alleviate emotional stress.
A simple daily walk can significantly help you to lose weight. Plus, it’s the perfect exercise for breaking out of that sedentary lifestyle, as it’s low impact, and doesn’t require too much physical exertion. And the best thing of all is that anyone can do it, regardless of age.
The most important thing is to be consistent, and above all, adapt your routine to your physical condition. Similarly, it’s important to complement your new exercise routine with a good diet, and get a prior medical check-up to make sure you’re in good health. In certain cases, the doctor may advise against walking, or only going for gentle strolls.
Finally, don’t ignore your body. If you feel symptoms such as dizziness, high blood pressure, or excessive fatigue, you must stop or reduce your speed.