Have you ever gotten back from a walk and felt a bit out of breath or as if you just got in a proper cardio workout? Especially if you are on a weight loss journey, this probably had you thinking ‘will walking help you lose weight?’ And it can!
It is recommended to get daily movement and walking in, but there are in fact specific weight loss benefits of walking. It is also a low-risk form of exercise and is much more gentle on the body than running or other forms of cardio.
Does walking help you lose weight?
If you’re wondering ‘can just walking help you lose weight?’, the chances of seeing significant weight loss results with just walking are slim. Though you could slim down to some extent from power walking and no diet changes, walking (and even high-intensity exercise) won’t produce significant results unless you also adjust your daily calories intake, both in terms of nutrition and nourishment as well as portion sizes.
So walking alone is not enough to counteract poor diet choices.
If you are eating right, however, walking is a great addition to your weight loss strategy.
How much walking will help you lose weight?
It’s important to remember that any walking, at any speed, is better than no walking.
When you are first upping how long you are walking, you want to begin by first establishing your baseline. Discover how long you can walk from the start. A great way to do this is to track your steps for 3-5 days and find out how many steps you are making on average per day.
If you go for a 30-minute brisk walk, you could burn up to 150 more calories a day. If you want to burn even more, you can walk at a quicker pace and extend the length of your walk.
You can add to your baseline by bumping up your steps by perhaps 2,000 steps or your walk by an extra 5 minutes in walking time.
From there, you can add in a 2-minute or 2 block arm-swinging power walk to your paced walk. Then you could add in a couple of 2-5 lb arm weights into your walk.
Our bodies were designed to walk and get proper movement in every day. So to bump up the weight loss benefits of walking, pick up your pace and make it happen!
The pace at which you make your walks more challenging is, of course, all dependent on how you feel just as with any exercise. There are some days that you may be able to challenge yourself and walk at a quicker pace for a longer period of time, but there are also going to be days when the sun just feels that much hotter and pushing yourself is not the smart decision.
Other tips to lose weight with walking
- Wear the appropriate workout attire. Don’t let what you are wearing hold you back! Wear a pair of walking shoes while you are out so that you properly support your feet and the rest of your body. Wearing a pair of shoes that do not have enough support could not only make your feet tired but also hurt your back.
- Stay entertained on your walk. If you enjoy walking in nature, find a trailhead that gives you plenty to look at and immerse yourself further into. If you like to chat with someone, find a walking buddy. If you like to listen to something while you walk, download music or a podcast so you can put your earphones in and stay motivated. You won’t notice the time fly by as you walk if you are properly entertained!
- Plan ahead. When you are out for your walk, the last thing you want to do is waste time wondering which direction to go or being so tired by the end of your walk and not knowing how to get home. So plan ahead to some extent so you have some idea of where you are going.
- Walk first thing in the morning. Many wellness experts speak about how going for a walk first thing in the morning is the most effective for fat-burning. This is because glycogen levels are depleted when you wake up and so your body will shift to burning fat as an energy source.
Remember to make note of how often you are walking, the intensity of your walk, how your breathing is, and how you feel afterwards. As you continue with your weight loss journey, you’ll see that the daily movement will make you feel even better and get you used to and comfortable with a more active lifestyle.
And remember, for the best results – be mindful of your food intake! You’ll see the best weight loss results if you combine movement, exercise and diet.
You’re still wondering ‘can walking help you lose weight and tone up’?