Walking for weight loss – the benefits of walking
Today we’re going to be discussing the benefits of walking and how it can help you lose weight, make you feel great, and how walking can assist you live a healthier and longer life. We’ve all read about how 30 minutes a day walking can benefit your health and maintain a healthy weight. Walking is not just an enjoyable activity to do but it will help you burn off the extra unwanted calories in your diet. By walking, you can achieve significant weight loss and if your serious about weight loss than you can increase your daily walk to lose more calories and start to look and feel great.
Purpose of Walking
Walking for weight loss is a great way to improve and maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of the day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
The benefits of Walking
- Improves Heart Health: Walking helps to improve your heart health. Walking is the best exercise for sedentary individuals, especially adults, to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease. Men and Women who walk at least 4 hours or more every week, were at less risk of cardiovascular disease. So make sure you walk 4 hours or more a week to keep cardiovascular disease, and stroke at bay.
- Aids Weight Loss: Walking is a great exercise and helps you lose weight. Walking burns anywhere from 90 to 200 calories in 30 minutes. You burn fewer calories if you walk at the strolling rate of a 30-minute mile. You burn more calories walking at the brisk rate of a 17-minute mile.
- Regulates Blood Pressure: Walking can also help lower blood pressure. You should walk for at least 60 minutes every day to keep your blood pressure in check.
- Fights Cancer: Lifestyle choices is one of the causes of cancer. Walking can help in weight loss, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Walking has been found to be helpful for those undergoing cancer treatment by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, it can also lower the risk of breast cancer.
- Improves Circulation: Walking can actually increase your intelligence. Walking helps to supply the brain with the required amounts of oxygen and glucose, which helps it function better. It also decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol. Which clogs arteries, and hence reduces the risk of stroke.
- Reduces Risk Of Diabetes: A sedentary lifestyle has led to an exponential growth of one of the most common diseases – diabetes. 5,000 steps a day with more than 3,000 of those steps being a brisk walk – to help manage type 2 diabetes. Walking every day can help control the blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can help you prevent type 2 diabetes.
- Strengthens Bones: Your bones tend to become weaker as you age. But the good news is you can strengthen your bones by walking regularly. This low-impact exercise prevents loss of bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis, fracture, and injury. Walking can also prevent arthritis and reduce the accompanying pain.
- Strengthen Muscles: Like bones, you can also experience loss of muscles as you age. Walking can help you by strengthening and toning your muscles and preventing muscle loss. Regular walking can strengthen your leg and back muscles.
- Delays Aging: A 30-minute walk everyday lived longer than those who were sedentary.
Walking may or may not activate the telomerase enzyme, which is responsible for maintaining DNA integrity, an important factor in aging. But it helps prevent many age-related problems.
- Reduces Strength: Walking can help reduce the stress levels by improving circulation, which, in turn, provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It also stimulates the nervous system receptors and decreases the production of the stress hormones. Breathing in and out while walking also helps to breathe out the tension.
Walking for Weight Loss
Regular walking offers many potential health benefits, including weight loss. It is also one of the easiest and most cost effective forms of exercise a person can do. Many people walk regularly and reap the benefits of being more active. Although any increase in activity level will bring benefits, there are some things a person can do to increase the amount of fat they burn while walking.
- Picking up the pace: As with running, swimming, and other forms of aerobic exercise, pace makes a difference. A person burns more calories walking at brisk pace compared to walking slowly.
- Wearing a weighted vest: Adding extra weight to a workout will burn more calories. Heavier people burn more calories because their bodies require more energy to perform the same task than someone who is not as heavy; wearing a weighted vest while walking encourages a person’s body to work harder during a walk.
- Walking uphill: To help increase calorie burn, a person should walk uphill regularly. For some this may mean increasing the treadmill gradient, while others may want to incorporate more hills into their walking routine. You should aim to walk up hills, stairs, or inclines two to three times a week.
- Focusing one form and posture: When it comes to walking it is important to maintain form and posture. You should walk so that you are looking ahead at all times as this helps increase the speed a person can walk as well as lengthen their stride. While walking, you should also focus one tightening their abdominal muscles and glutes. People can do this during the entire walk or for short intervals.
- Incorporate resistance training intervals: To burn more calories and increase the growth of new muscle, a person can try adding in resistance training during their walk.
Some exercises to try to include:
- burpees, or squat thrusts
- Tricep dips
Short exercise intervals can help increase a person’s heart rate and build muscle. They can also help make the walking routine more interesting.
Before adding weight or increasing intensity either through speed or incline, you should speak to your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Footwear for walking
Walking is a low-cost and effective form of exercise. However, the wrong type of shoe or walking action can cause foot or shin pain, blisters and injuries to soft tissue. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, with appropriate heel and arch supports. Take light, easy steps and make sure your heel touches down before your toes. Whenever possible, walk one grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact. To help make regular walking more pleasurable activity you can include:
- Varying your walk
- Walking the dog
- Walking with friends
- Joining a walking club
Things to remember
- Walking for 30 minutes a day or more one most days of the weeks a great way to improve or maintain your overall health.
- If you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, remember even a little is good, but more is better.
- Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion.
- See your doctor for a medical check-up before embarking one any new fitness program, particularly if you are aged over 40 years, are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.
Walking for weight loss has so many great health benefits. Walking can be sociable and enjoyable and can be done at anytime of the day. You can change your location and walk just about anywhere you like to help keep things interesting, unlike gym memberships where you usually only have one place to do your workout.
Just 30 minutes every day can be very beneficial to your health, it can improve your heart health, help with weight loss, regulate blood pressure, fight cancer, improves circulation, reduces risk of diabetes, strengthens bones, strengthens muscles, delays aging, reduces stress, and many more other health benefits which are associated with a daily walk. Although, walking is safe and not as strenuous as some other exercise workouts, I do recommend you see your doctor before commencing any cardiovascular workout including walking.
If you have any walking experiences and weight loss stories please leave a comment below. Thank you.
Shawn founder of Weight Loss Pro