Walking For Weight Loss
Exercise isn’t absolutely necessary for weight loss, but I do highly recommend increasing your activity. I say activity because I don’t mean hour-long intense HIT workout classes. I mean moving your body more. Movement not only increases our flexibility, it burns calories too. And a favourite for many of us is walking. So let’s talk all-things-walking-for-weight-loss!
The benefits of walking – walking for weight loss
If you don’t feel like walking, think about all of these benefits!
The benefits of walking for our physical health
Walking is good for our Heart Health
Walking is good for our heart health: brisk walking or power walking is great for our heart health as it improves cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure. These all reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke!
Walking gives us energy
It improves energy levels by increasing circulation and increases certain hormone levels.
Walking reduces our risk of illness
It lowers the risk of diseases such as cancers, heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. This is because walking improves the performance of your heart, lungs and circulation. It also strengthens bones – helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Walking helps us sleep
Walking can improve sleep quality. Especially if we walk outdoors. Getting outdoors during the day is great for our body’s internal “circadian” clock. This allows our body to produce sleep-inducing hormones as night falls, helping us sleep quicker and more deeply.
Walking burns calories – helping us to maintain a healthy weight
Helps us maintain a healthy weight. Walking burns extra calories helping us with our weight loss. You can burn 90 to 200 calories during a 30-minute walk depending on your pace.
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Benefits of walking for our mental health:
Walking reduces stress
Going for walk helps us to de-stress. We can think of walking as moving meditation. By listening to the sounds around us, the feel of the wind on our face, feet on the road, we can become more mindful and use our time walking to relax. Walking helps us to produce endorphins that stimulate relaxation
Walking has a positive effect on anxiety and depression
It is good for depression or anxiety and makes us happier. When walking, our bodies produce endorphins that not only relax us, but these endorphins also improve our mood.
Did you know: Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover (https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/).
How to walk for weight loss?
Walking for Weight Loss Tips!
To increase the amount of calories we burn and to really walk for weight loss, there are some things we can do!
Try walking uphill.
Walking uphill activates more muscles in the legs and causes an increase in your heart rate. As a result, this is good for heart health and increases calorie burning.
Walking on a treadmill for weight loss
If you don’t have any hills nearby, you can use a treadmill and increase the incline.
Work on your posture
When walking, try to keep your abdominal muscles clenched. This builds core strength and burns more muscles. Swing arms and look ahead to allow you to quicken your pace.
You can powerwalk either for the whole walk, or for intervals to boost your weight loss while walking. Remember to walk to warm up first and then try 30 seconds of intense power walking followed by a slower pace for a couple of minutes. Repeat this throughout your walk.
Do short walks throughout the day
If you don’t feel like an hour-long walk each day. Try a few short walks. 2 or 3 10-minute walks throughout the day add up and are easy to fit in even with a busy lifestyle. Walk 5 minutes from your home in the morning before work and back again. Do a 10 – 15 minute walk on your lunch, and a short walk in the evening. This is a great way to increase your steps, burn extra calories and help with your weight loss efforts!
Walk your dog in order to help with your weight loss
Sometimes we are just not motivated. But if you have a dog, remember, it’s your responsibility to walk with them. It’s also much more enjoyable to walk your dog than walk alone. So walk your dog!
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How to walk more when working in an office or sitting down?
If you work in an office, or spend the majority of the day sitting down, you may struggle to get in steps along the way. But there are actually numerous ways you can get more steps in. Try and apply some of these to your day:
- Go for an early morning walk or straight after work. If you need motivation, bring your dog. You’ll feel like you’re doing it for them.
- When you go grocery shopping, park far from the door. This is a great way to get some extra steps in.
- Always take the stairs. Did you know walking up the stairs is incredibly beneficial to your health?
- Set a 1-hour timer while you’re working to remind you to get up each hour to move around.
- Do a lunchtime stroll. Recruit some of your colleagues to join you!
Have I convinced you to start a walking routine? Click here for tips on starting that routine!
How much walking do we need for weight loss?
How often should I go walking to lose weight?
It is recommended that we do 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s just 30 minutes, 5 days a week. We can certainly do walking or power walking as part of this exercise.
A 30-minute walk 5 days a week is incredibly doable. Or two 15-minute walks, one morning and one in the evening. You can fit this into your day!
Walking VS Exercise for Weight Loss | Walking Vs Jogging or Intense Workouts
Let’s be honest, running is going to be the best option when it comes to burning calories and losing weight. Running and intense exercise is going to have your heart rate much higher than walking, resulting in quicker weight loss. That being said, that doesn’t mean walking is not good for those of us trying to lose some pounds.
Walking is still great for burning calories, and is great for our physical and mental health. It’s also accessible to all activity levels, unlike some workouts.
If you want quicker weight loss but don’t want to incorporate high-intensity workouts, then make sure to include power walking or brisk walking a few days a week.
I hope some of these “walking for weight loss” tips help you to get more active and burn some extra calories! For more tips, be sure to follow WeightMatters on Facebook!
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