Can walking help you lose weight?

Walking is a low impact aerobic exercise that can be an underrated star of your weight loss fitness regime. It’s simple, enjoyable, costs nothing and can easily fit into your lifestyle. Walking not just keeps your heart, lungs and bodily muscles strong and improves your mood but helps you shed extra kilos and inches as well. If you are regular with your daily walk and follow a healthy diet, you are sure to lose weight including belly fat and even maintain it. (ADD LINK TO MELT THAT STUBBORN BELLY FAT) People who incorporate walking in their daily lives reportedly have a lower BMI (body mass index) and lower waist measurements than those who are less active. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh revealed that overweight people who walked briskly for 30 to 60 minutes a day lost weight without drastic change in lifestyle.

Walking Aids Weight loss: Cardio exercises are extremely important for our overall health and well-being, as they pump oxygenated blood throughout the body, improve metabolism, strengthen immunity, enhance stamina, boost energy and prevent diseases. According to experts, we should practice at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio vascular exercise (like walking) every week. Walking is an effective cardio exercise to burn calories and lose weight. Even if you walk at a moderate pace, you can burn about 100 calories in one mile. Your walking pace and duration will determine how many calories you will eventually lose. By walking you also maintain the lean muscle mass in your body even as you lose weight. The muscles play a crucial role in keeping the metabolism up, speeding up weight loss even further. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry found that participant women who walked between 50-70 minutes 3 days a week for 12 weeks, lost an average 1.5 per cent body fat and 1.1 inches around their waist. 

How much walking is enough: If you are aiming for weight loss, then do brisk walking for about 300 minutes per week or between 30 to 90 minutes on most days of the week. According to some estimates, if you take 10,000 steps a day while walking, you stand the chance of losing an average 3500 calories a week. You might want to cross even that limit if losing weight is your target. Try to do interval walking with alternating periods of fast and slow walking for best results. Make sure to combine walking with a calorie deficit yet nutritious diet as well. It’s important that you remain consistent with your walking and maintain the regularity in order to see the results. The longer, faster and more often you walk, the more weight you will shed. Also if you can incorporate an incline like a hill or stairs outdoors or on a treadmill at home/gym, you will provide more intensity to your walking workout. The higher the intensity, the more fat you will burn. If walking for a set amount of time every day is not possible, go for short spells of walk whenever you get the chance throughout the day. 

Ideas to include walking in your daily lifestyle:

  • Park your car at a distance from the grocery store or the doctor’s clinic and walk the rest of the distance. Even at the parking lot, select the farthest location to park the car, so that you can walk that much extra distance.
  • While using public transport, get off one stop earlier and walk till your destination. 
  • Set a routine and fix a convenient time for walking every day, be it the morning hours, around tea time or just after dinner.
  • Don’t try to walk so fast that you become breathless. You should aim to walk at a comfortable pace and increase your speed gradually, making sure to remain within your target heart rate. 
  • To break the boredom, consider roping in a friend or a family member as a walking partner or even take your pet out for a stroll.
  • Listening to music while walking is also a great way to enjoy the act.
  • Try and pick different routes for walking so that you do not get tired of looking at the same sights.
  • Consider joining a walking club that also offers the opportunity to meet and bond with new people even as you exercise.
  • If walking outdoors is not possible due to the weather or some other challenges, buy a treadmill and start walking your way to fitness at home. (ADD LINK WORKING OUT AT HOME: A WIN-WIN SCENARIO).
  • Wear a tracking device like the OneFitplus fitness band that can monitor the number of steps you have taken in a day and act as a reminder to keep trying harder. (ADD LINK TO LOSING WEIGHT IN THE DIGITAL AGE)
  • Download a smart fitness app like OneFitplus that can regularly track your calories burned, nutritional intake, water intake, sleep cycle, heart rate, BP etc. and keep you updated about your health.

  • Walking offers great health benefits and keeps you in good shape. Include walking in your daily regime to prevent the onset of certain diseases and have a long and healthy life. It’s an uncomplicated exercise that’s also flexible enough to be fitted into your schedule. It can be done by any age group, who may be at varying levels of fitness. You just need a good pair of shoes and you are good to go!

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