When people are looking to lose weight, many often think that they need to do lots of crazy, intense exercises. However, sometimes just going for regular walks is all you need to lose weight.
With the current situation, the world is in, Walking is one of the only ways many feel they can get out of the house. It is such a relaxing thing to do, as you can choose pretty, scenic routes and all you need to do it is yourself and a decent pair of shoes!
Walking is also a great exercise because it’s easy to do with someone else. In fact, when going on a nice stroll with a friend, you can often lose track of time and end up doing miles of walking without even realizing! This is the type of exercise we want, maximum output with minimum input!
However, if you want to lose a significant amount of weight through walking, then it’s not quite as simple as just walking up and down your street a couple of times. How much should you walk to lose weight? Well, keep reading to find out.
Can you lose weight by walking?
I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that walking is a great way to lose weight! Many think you have to go for a run to get a good cardio workout but going for a walk will help you achieve almost exactly the same results, just perhaps at a slightly slower rate.
The important thing to note, however, is that many find it much easier going for a good, long walk than they do going for just a short run. So, if you’re able to walk further than you ever would be able to on a run, then you’ll actually be able to see just as good, if not better, results!
Walking is great for shedding fat because it gets the heart pumping and is an excellent form of cardio. You can also walk at different paces, going faster to burn a few extra calories!
You can even make it more intense by walking up some hills and rocky areas (although always make sure you are being safe). It’s something people at any level can do, and there are so many ways it can be modified (such as by changing distance, pace, or even terrain) to make it suit you perfectly!
As long as you are in a calorie deficit (see more on this in the next section) then that’s all that matters if you want to lose weight, and you can choose any exercise you like to achieve this deficit. But I promise you, walking is probably going to be the nicest option you’ll come across!
How far should you walk?
Firstly, it’s important to understand exactly how it is you lose weight. As just briefly mentioned, in order to shed fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This means burning more calories than you consume.
To lose a pound of fat in a week, you need to achieve an overall calorie deficit of about 3500 calories a week (it will differ slightly depending on your daily average calorie consumption pre-diet).
To find exactly how much you need to burn then you need to calculate (using your weight, height and age) what your recommended daily calorie consumption is, and then figure out from this how much of a deficit you need to be in to achieve your personal weight loss goals.
So, the average number of calories you consume daily will determine how many calories you need to burn in order to achieve that overall calorie deficit, and this will then allow you to figure out how far you need to walk to shed that fat.
If you walk one mile a day (which can take less than 15 minutes), then you will burn between 600 to 800 calories overall in a week. This might not sound like a lot, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to walk a mile, and it’s a great first step for those just getting started on this fitness journey. A mile could be just walking to the shop and back. Easy, right?!
You can then gradually increase this or start higher straight away if you’re eager! So, if one mile burns between 600 and 800 calories, 2 miles will burn double this!
If you can build yourself up to eventually walk about 5 miles every single day, then you will be burning an average of 2,800 and 3500 calories. If you remember what was mentioned earlier, you’ll have noticed this is the amount you need to burn in order to shed a whole pound of fat! That’s all you need to do!
So, if you walk 5 miles every day for a week (or the equivalent of this, you could walk further on some days and then less on others) and keep this going for 4 weeks, you could burn 4 pounds of fat in a month! Partner this with an extremely healthy diet and you may see even bigger results.
5 miles might sound like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all in one go. You could go for a two-mile walk in the morning, then walk to work, then walk to a coffee shop for lunch, walk back from work and then maybe walk the dog in the evening!
You’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there are to walk instead of driving or using public transport. Walking to work might sound like a chore, but many people have said it actually helps to wake them up and make them much more productive at work.
Walking is such a great way to lose weight in a way that is going to be manageable and which you will be much more likely to stick to. Going for a walk is nowhere near as daunting as going for a run, going to the gym, or doing a HIIT workout.
It’s something you will really be able to keep doing in the long-term, so you can keep seeing those amazing results and will be more likely to actually keep the weight off!
Benefits of walking
There are a few reasons, other than for losing weight, why walking is so good for you.
One of the great benefits of walking is that it gets you outdoors where you can get some fresh air. This has been shown to be amazing for improving people’s mental health, which I’m sure is something we all need in the situation the world is in today!
You can take the opportunity on your walk to clear your mind or think through all the things you want. Many people even consider walking a form of meditation.
Will help you get vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient our body needs, but unfortunately many people in today’s society are deficient in it. You get vitamin D from the sun, so by getting outside and walking you’ll be able to get your daily dosage of the essential nutrient.
This, in turn, will help to prevent you from experiencing fatigue, getting headaches and will make you overall more alert.
Will save you money
Walking more is also going to save you money if you use it as an alternative form of transport. If you’re not using your car as much then you’ll save money on petrol, and if you don’t use public transport you won’t be having to pay out for bus or train tickets!
To make your walking weight loss journey a little bit easier, below are some tips to help you!
Walk with a buddy
As mentioned earlier, walking with someone is a great way to make the walk more enjoyable and to also help make the time go much quicker. Furthermore, having a walking buddy means you can both motivate and push each other to go for those walks even when you aren’t feeling like it.
This will make you much more likely to stick to your goal of walking every day, which will help you achieve those weight loss goals much quicker!
Change your route
Another tip is to switch up your routes. If you are always walking to the same place every time, then it can get rather boring, and you might soon stop going on the walks altogether. Try changing up your routes every now and again so you have new scenery to enjoy!
If you jump straight into walking by trying to do 5 miles immediately, then you are less likely to stick to it and will probably stop after about a week.
Instead, start small by doing just a mile a day, or even every other day. Keep doing this for about a week or until you start to naturally feel like you want to walk a little bit further. Then walk 2 miles a day, then 3…so on and so forth.
It will get so much easier to do the more you do it and is a much more realistic way of starting your new walking routine.
Plan your route ahead
It’s also a good idea to map out your route beforehand. Whilst spontaneous walks can be great, planning ahead will help you to stick to walking in the long-term.
Furthermore, figuring out your route before setting off will mean you can make sure you are walking the distance you need to be.
Use it as your chosen form of transport
Walking can actually also be a very productive thing alongside being a great form of exercise. You can kill two birds with one stone by planning your walking routes around places you need to go.
For example, if you have a lot of daily errands that involve going to the shops or post office then you can walk there instead of driving. Then, your exercise for the day is done and you’ve ticked off the things on your to-do list!
So, now you know everything you need to about how far you should walk to lose weight. Walking is such an easy, enjoyable thing to do. It won’t only help you to shed some of that stubborn fat, but the fresh air you will get will help improve your mood and mental health in so many ways.
So, go and get your walking boots on right now and have a nice stroll somewhere pretty!
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