Obesity and overweight have become the prime concern of the present-day population.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity and excess weight gain among adults in the US was 42.4% in 2018.
Consumption of fast food, processed foods, and carbonated drinks, along with decreased physical activity, are considered to be the potential contributors to the obesity crisis.
The health hazards associated with obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, have incited the millennial population to lay high emphasis on weight loss.
Despite busy schedules, people are spending a good amount of time, money and efforts to lose weight. Most of the weight loss aspirants are either hiring a personal trainer or getting a gym membership or investing in fitness equipment, among others.
However, many forget that the most powerful way to burn excess fat is free, i.e., Walk!
Regular walking is the easiest and the most cost-effective form of exercise a person can do to reap many potential health benefits including weight loss.
Regardless of age or obesity level, a dedicated walking scheduled coupled with a proper diet is an excellent way to slim down.
A study in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry revealed that the participants shed an average of 1.5% fat and 1.1 inches waist circumference after walking for 50-70 minutes 3 days per week for 12 weeks.
However, to achieve your weight loss goals, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re walking enough and at the right intensity.
Here, we bring you some tips to follow when you’re walking for weight loss.
1) Walking Duration
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensive exercise a day or 150 minutes a week is required for cardiovascular fitness.
However, for weight loss, you are supposed to do a little more.
As per ACSM recommendations, individuals looking to shed weight should bump this number up to 200–300 minutes a week (3.3–5 hours).
In other words, an hour walk for 4-5 days a week is essential to achieve your weight loss goals.
2) Walking Intensity
The individuals looking for weight loss should ensure that their heart rate reaches a moderate-intensity level during the walk.
According to the CDC, a moderate-intensity exercise is an activity that increases the heartbeat of the participant to 50–70% of the maximum heart rate.
However, if you want to implement a vigorous activity level (70–85% of your maximum heart rate), you need to cut down the duration of your walk by half to achieve the same benefits of the moderate-intensity level.
[Also Read: How Beneficial Is Walking for a Healthy Lifestyle?]
In other words, a 30-minute walk/run at a vigorous intensity level is the same as a 60-minute moderate-intensity walk.
A Fitness Application can help you in measuring your heart rate and intensity level.
3) Walking and Running
Apart from providing the same health benefits as running, walking can significantly decrease the risk of injury. However, the duration is vital for those who prefer walking for weight loss.
[Also Read: 7 Mind-Training Tips for Long-Distance Running]
Let’s look at the detailed comparison between walking and running compiled by the American Council of Exercise (ACE)
|Activity||Person Weight||Distance||Speed||Total Calories Burnt||Calories Burnt Per Minute|
|Running||150 pounds||3 miles||1 mile/ 10 min||340||11.3|
|Walking||150 pounds||3 miles||1 mile/20 min||224||3.7|
While the above comparison reveals that running is more effective in burning calories, you can make up the difference by walking longer. In the context of the above example, you need to walk for one and a half hours or around 4.5 miles to achieve the same benefits as running.
4) Tracking Food Intake
Walking intensity, duration and number of steps collectively play an important role in losing weight. However, nutrition, diet and food intake are equally important.
Leverage Fitness Applications to track your food intake to get a more accurate picture of the quantity and types of food you are consuming.
This, in turn, helps you make informed decisions regarding smarter portion sizes, low-fat food products and other aspects that help in weight loss.
Walking regularly is essential for weight loss. The more you walk and the faster you pace, the more calories you’ll burn.
However, balance is undeniable. Overdoing can increase the risk of soreness, injury and burnout.
If you’re new to regular physical activity, you should start with short walks or light intensity walks and gradually build up to moderate or vigorous intensity walking.
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