Does simply putting one foot in front of the other each day make a difference when shedding those extra pounds? The answer may surprise you. According to CDC, more than 145 million people include walking in their daily physically active lifestyle.
Moreover, about 6 in 10 people walk for transportation or fun, making it the most popular form of exercise in the United States.
While some do this to keep their body active, walking is a weight loss complement routine for others. But most people ask, does walking everyday help lose weight? The short answer is yes.
How much do I need to walk daily to lose weight?
Physical activities like walking play a crucial role in weight management as it facilitates calorie burning. By incorporating just 30 minutes of brisk walking into your daily routine, you could burn around 140 to 160 extra calories daily. Naturally, the greater the duration and intensity of your walks, the more calories you’ll be able to expend. Here is a complete details on how much time you should walk daily to lose weight?
How Does Walking Help Lose Weight?
Walking will direct and indirectly help you lose weight. For starters, it will help burn calories to create a deficit. At the same time, it will boost your basal metabolic rate (BMR), improves muscle mass, and offer psychological benefits.
- Creates Calorie Deficit
Walking can help you lose weight, but you likely need to walk regularly at a brisk pace for long periods. Moderate-intensity walking can burn 150 to 300 calories per 30 minutes, depending on your weight, speed, and incline. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week spread over at least three days for weight loss.
Doing more activity above your normal daily routine will help create a calorie deficit needed for weight loss. Combining your walking plan with a healthy diet that includes more fruits and vegetables and limits added sugars and unhealthy fats can boost your results. Regular walking can also build muscles to help increase the calories your body burns at rest.
- Boosts Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the calories your body burns at rest throughout the day for basic functions like breathing and blood circulation. Regular walking can raise your BMR by increasing the amount of muscle mass in your body.
More muscle requires more calories, even at rest. Studies show that aerobic exercise like walking 3 to 5 times per week can increase BMR by 7% to 14% over several months. Since BMR accounts for 60% to 75% of daily calorie burn, even a small increase can promote weight loss.
- Improved Muscle Mass
While walking is a low-impact activity, it still uses and engages muscle groups which help maintain and build muscle. More muscle mass raises your BMR and metabolic rate since muscles are more metabolically active. Read Here: Can Daily Exercise Help You with weight Loss?
More muscle means your body burns calories faster around the clock, even at rest. Muscle also takes up less space in your body, so additional muscle can raise your energy needs and promote weight loss.
- Psychological Benefits
Walking provides psychological benefits that can aid weight loss efforts. It releases feel-good endorphins that improve mood and reduce stress. This can help curb emotional eating and overeating driven by stress.
Regular walking can also boost self-esteem and self-confidence, which is essential for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle changes needed for weight loss. Setting goals and tracking walking progress gives a sense of control that aids motivation.
Remember, walking alone likely will not lead to significant weight loss for most people. To lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to create a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories daily through diet and exercise. Walking can help burn some calories, but you’ll likely need to cut calories from your diet.
Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn While Walking
While walking can provide some health benefits, certain adjustments to your routine can substantially boost the number of calories you burn with each step. There are many straightforward tips and strategies to optimize the fat-burning potential of walking workouts.
Learning how to make these purposeful adjustments can help transform your daily walks into highly effective fat-fighting workouts. Here are the various ways you can maximize calorie burning while walking:
- Increase Your Pace
Increasing your walking pace is one of the most effective ways to boost calorie burn while walking. The faster you walk, the more effort your body expends and the more oxygen your muscles require. This translates into a higher number of calories burned per minute. Upping your walking pace from 3 to 4 miles per hour can increase the calories you burn by 30% to 50%.
Aim for a brisk walk between 3.5 to 4.5 miles per hour for optimal calorie burn and fat loss. At this pace, you’ll be working at a moderate intensity level that maximizes calorie burn and fat utilization. As you become fitter, you can gradually increase your pace even further. Read Here How To Write Your Own Journal To Lose Weight fast
- Walk Uphill
Incline walking is another highly effective strategy for boosting the calories you burn while walking. Every 1% increase in incline corresponds to a 3% to 5% increase in calories burned. This is because walking uphill requires more muscle and cardiovascular effort.
Aim to incorporate hills and inclines into your walks as often as possible. Even a small incline of 2% to 3% can make a difference. If you walk on a treadmill, simply increasing the incline a few degrees provides similar benefits. The steeper the incline and higher the grade, the more calories you’ll burn with each stride.
- Interval Training
Interval training during walks is another potent way to maximize calories burned. This involves alternating between periods of brisk walking and lighter recovery walks. Aim for the fastest sustainable pace you can maintain for 60 seconds during brisk intervals. Then slow down for a 90- to 120-second recovery walk.
Research shows interval walking burns up to 28.5% more calories than steady-pace walking. This is because intervals keep your heart rate elevated for longer and force your body to work harder during brisk periods. Interval training also helps improve your overall aerobic fitness so you can walk faster for longer.
- Lift Weights as You Walk
Adding small hand weights to your walk can ramp up calorie burn and muscle tone. Using just 2 to 3-pound hand weights, perform upper and lower body exercises as you walk. For example, do bicep curls, shoulder raises, and squats as you move.
The added resistance of the weights forces your muscles to work harder with each exercise repetition. This boosts calorie burn and effectively combines resistance training with your cardiovascular workout.
Over time, regularly lifting weights while you walk can build lean muscle mass. And the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate and the more calories you burn at rest. So adding small weights to your walks provides a double benefit of blasting more calories during the activity and raising your long-term metabolism.
- Increase Your Weight
Wearing a weighted vest while walking provides many similar benefits to lifting small hand weights. The added weight forces your body to work harder to move your mass, resulting in higher calorie burn and greater muscular challenge. Aim to wear a vest that weighs 5% to 10% of your body weight for optimal results.
The heaviest vest you can comfortably exercise with will optimize the number of calories you burn. Weighted vests are a convenient option for ramping up the intensity of your walks, especially if lifting hand weights becomes cumbersome. Weighted vests offer the benefits of increasing incline and adding more mass for your body to move – providing an effective one-two punch for maximizing fat burn.
- Monitor Your Heart Rate
Monitoring your heart rate while walking and aiming to stay in the fat-burning zone helps optimize calorie burn. Your fat-burning zone is between 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate, meaning you’re working hard enough to burn fat but not so hard that you rely solely on carbohydrates for energy.
A heart rate monitor lets you know if you’re in this ideal zone to burn the highest fat percentage. Exercising in your fat-burning zone for the maximum possible time helps utilize more body fat for fuel, resulting in more calories burned overall. So keep an eye on your heart rate while walking and adjust your pace, incline, or rest periods to stay within the optimal range for burning the most fat.
the Final thought
Does walking everyday help lose weight? Yes – walking daily can help you lose weight, especially if you take the right approach. Increasing your walking pace, incorporating hills and inclines, performing intervals, lifting weights as you walk, wearing weighted vests, and monitoring your heart rate can all maximize calorie burn and make your daily walks highly effective for fat loss.
However, for significant and sustainable weight loss, pairing your walking program with a healthy diet lower in calories is also important to create the needed calorie deficit. With consistency over time, turning your daily walk into a purposeful weight loss workout can help shed those extra pounds.
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