Walking to Lose Weight: Does it Work?
We can never repeat it enough; the key to losing weight is to adopt a healthy and balanced diet and regular physical activity. But there’s no need to run a marathon, swim across the English Channel or lift weights in the gym! Fitness walking is a physical activity in its own right that helps you stay in shape and even lose weight.
Walking, an Economical and Practical Physical Activity
The lack of time is often the first argument put forward when you are reluctant to play sports. With work, public transport, and family life, it is sometimes challenging to free up an hour or two to go and train in the gym. So that’s the huge advantage of walking! A sporting activity that requires no special equipment and can be practiced almost anywhere, anytime, and in any weather. And even if you do fitness or cycling elsewhere, including walking in your program is always a good idea. Some diets, such as the famous Okinawa diet, insist on the importance of walking every day, regardless of age.
Walking is a natural and fundamental movement of the human being, a complete activity that uses many muscles: the quadriceps, which are the muscles of the thigh, the hamstring muscles, the abdominals, the back muscles, feet but also shoulders. Walking, therefore, mobilizes the whole body and, as long as you speed up your pace a little, really allows you to refine your silhouette. It is no coincidence that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking 10,000 steps a day to stay in shape, reduce sedentary lifestyle, control weight, and fight against cardiovascular disease.
Walking to Lose Weight: How to do it?
It is very easy to find running programs intended to promote weight loss. Workouts that can be perfectly adapted to walking. When we walk at 5 km/h, we speak of dynamic walking; the energy expenditure is 240 calories per hour, i.e., three times more than that at rest. When the pace increases to 7 km/h, caloric expenditure reaches 360 calories for 60 minutes of effort. Different factors, however, influence the effects of walking on weight loss: a person who weighs 80 kg will spend almost twice as many calories as a person weighing 50 kg. The terrain on which the walk is performed also has an impact. Walking at a brisk pace on a hill increases calorie expenditure, as does the addition of lower extremity loads (bags, wrist weights, dumbbells, etc.). But watch your joints…
How Fast to Walk to Lose Weight?
There’s no secret; if you want to lose weight by walking, you will have to walk fast. So we forget the little walk-in-walk mode, and we see walking as a sporting activity in its own right. To observe the concrete benefits of the silhouette, you must walk at least 7 km/h! This is the minimum to increase the heart rate, force the body to burn fat…and therefore lose weight.
Our Tips for Walking More Every Day
If you do not want to take up Nordic walking, it is quite possible to integrate the practice of walking into your daily life very easily. The first thing to do is, for example, to walk to work, at a good pace, rather than taking the car or public transport, to go for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, to get off one metro station more early. To lose weight by walking, you must, above all, walk regularly. Rather than walking 1 hour a week on weekends, it is better to walk every day, increasing your speed, 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening, according to your abilities and desires. Do you have to accompany your children to their activities? Go there by walking! An evening planned with friends a few kilometers away? Put on your canvas trainers, and let’s go for a brisk walk. Also, forget the escalators and elevators to favor the stairs. A phone call to make? Instead of sitting on the couch, walk around the block. You see, the opportunities are endless!
Nordic Walking, to Move up a Gear
Nordic walking, very popular in Scandinavian countries, is gaining more and more followers worldwide. Much less traumatic for the joints than running, it brings similar benefits if you want to lose weight. The movement is very different from that of a classic walk and is closer to the practice of cross-country skiing (a grueling and magical activity to burn calories!), where you extend your arms in front of you to propel yourself and go further, quick. One hour of Nordic walking allows an energy expenditure of 400 calories against 240 if you walk at a normal pace. This is a real sport that requires investing in small equipment: running sneakers and sticks to propel the body are essential.
Walking is a very effective way to lose weight, provided that it is done at a sufficiently high pace and regularly. Do not hesitate to invest in small equipment such as Nordic walking sticks to increase the effects on your silhouette. And above all, do not forget to have fun while doing it!
See Also: Get ideas to Lose Weight Fast: 8 Methods that Work
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I lose weight just by walking?
Walking is a great way to lose weight, but you need to do it at a fast pace and regularly to see results.
How many calories does walking burn?
Walking briskly can burn up to 100 calories per mile in an adult.
How often should I walk to lose weight?
To lose weight effectively, you should walk at a fast pace every day for at least 30 minutes.
Is it better to walk faster or longer?
To lose weight, it is better to walk faster rather than longer. Walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes will burn more calories than walking at a slower pace for an hour.
How can I make my walk more interesting?
If you find walking boring, you can try adding lower extremity weights or listening to music or audiobooks to make the time pass quicker. You can also try a walking group or Nordic walking to add variety.
How long does it take to see results from walking?
After a few weeks of regular walking, you should start seeing some results in weight loss. However, it is important to keep in mind that losing weight requires a combination of diet and exercise. So, if you’re not seeing the desired results, try adding a healthy diet to your routine.
Where do you lose weight first when walking?
Deep abdominal fat is the first to be burned when you walk at a brisk pace. However, you will eventually see results all over your body as you continue walking regularly.