The fitness industry has evolved with a lot of equipment, supplements, and other fancy classes that mostly promote weight loss. Back in the old days when people do not have any access to the gym, there was one very effective activity that naturally triggers a healthy weight loss, and that is walking.
You can walk everywhere! It's free, easy, and does not require any expertise. Walking is a basic physical activity that promotes healthy weight loss aside from traveling from one point to another.
But, can walking totally help you reach your weight loss goals?
Let's find out about its benefits in this article.
1.It improves your cardio and endurance
Walking is an excellent cardiovascular exercise that is good enough to make you fit! You can add difficulty level by walking for extended periods to promote your endurance. You can also brisk walk to make your heart and lungs work harder or walk uphill to challenge gravity and make your own body weight as resistance.
2.Walking is easier and low impact than other exercises
Walking is easy to perform and suitable for anyone especially those who can't perform high-impact exercises such as running and jumping. It prevents injury while being able to move efficiently while doing this as an exercise. Walking is a low-impact, low-intensity exercise that you can enjoy without forcing too much force or effort.
Lastly, most people can do it regardless of size, age, and fitness level.
3. It's a great leg workout!
Brisk walking improves your endurance and stamina while it increases your leg strength and definition. Walking uphill challenges your hamstrings, glutes, and calves while walking downhill strengthens and conditions your quads and your abs.Walking makes use of your entire leg muscles which makes it a compound movement with less effort.
The lower body muscles are the ones that carry your entire body weight, which means you'll improve your body composition by walking!
4.It improves overall physical health
Walking lowers blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. It also improves lung capacity and promotes faster metabolism. Walking also boosts the immune system! In the long run, it will prevent frequent visits to the doctor and expensive medical bills.
Imagine one simple movement without any equipment can help you
5. Walking increases your bone density
Walking is a low-impact, weight-bearing exercise. It builds strong bones, increases muscular strength, improves coordination, and balance.
Brisk walking and walking uphill increases its difficulty which makes it more efficient in building muscle mass and bone density. The muscle engagement will put stress on the bone in a good way. It will start repairing itself by utilizing minerals that will support your muscles so that they can efficiently work together as one unit.
6. It improves mental health and concentration
Walking is not only good for the body but also good for the brain. It elevates mood and boosts your critical thinking while your blood processes oxygen from the activity. It prevents anxiety and depression as it produces natural endorphins in the body.
It makes your mind wander and relax while you think about the things that you needed to do. It makes you plan your everyday actions carefully as it improves your focus.
7.Gets you a lot of D's
Exercising outdoors elevates your mood, get you some fresh air, and a lot of vitamin D! Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that makes the body efficiently absorb calcium for bone growth and healing. Walking outdoors is a social activity that lets you connect with people outside. You can also bring your dog for a walk so that both of you can get amazing benefits. It's literally putting sunshine back in your life!
Does walking really help you reach your weight loss goals?
As we can see, walking has a lot of physical and mental benefits, but can it really make you lose weight? Walking is the simplest and easiest thing to do for weight loss! Brisk walking alone can elevate heart rate level which makes you burn more calories from fat. In the long run, walking will improve your body max index by reducing your overall body fat percentage.
Walking boosts your metabolism and you could still lose weight even at rest! Walking is an overall exercise that builds your muscles while improving your cardio and stamina all at the same time. But remember, weight loss is more effective when you are on a caloric deficit. That means you're eating less than your required daily allowance (caloric maintenance) while maintaining a high level of activity.
How much walking do you need to lose weight?
It all depends on the distance, your pace, the intensity, and your technique! Walking for weight loss should include a calorie deficit to make it more effective. It may not be a time-saving way to burn calories but it is the easiest way if you know how to incorporate all the knowledge that you know about all the aspects of weight loss.
Time is also a factor together with the different aspects mentioned (the distance, your pace, the intensity, and your technique). For example, spending 30 minutes of brisk walking can elevate your heart rate up to 110-130 bpm, which means you are burning more calories than a regular walk of 45 minutes with a heart rate of 90-100 bpm.
Another great example is adding difficulty by walking uphill or downhill which can elevate your heart rate up to 140-170 bpm. It's a fat-burning zone that is similar to running but with lesser impact, intensity, and effort.
10,000 steps a day: is it the correct goal to have?
In 2016, scientific research was published showing that 10,000 daily steps, about 5 miles, was the necessary daily amount of steps to be taken in order for optimal body weight reduction, lowering of blood pressure and BMI levels in the body.
Although 10,000 steps per day has been presented as the one true panacea to all ills it is good to emphasize how many other subsequent researches have shown that 10,000 steps per day is not the only way to approach walking.
Whether you aim to take 10,000 steps over a 24-hour period or break up your day with three 10-minute bursts of brisk walking, increasing your pace and raising your heart rate is the key to walking to lose weight.
Monitor steps to lose weight
When deciding to tackle a route in order to lose weight, it is always good to keep in mind the fact that the approach to this type of route should be a holistic one.
It is not enough to dwell only on physical training or only on diet, but it is necessary to have a 360-degree focus in order to have concrete and long-lasting results.
Olona, an expert in this field, argues that it is necessary to have a diet based on:
- Whole foods
- Lean proteins
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Good fats with high nutrient density
Another key element to consiferate when going on a diet is to keep track of the calories you take in and the calories you consume with mollta precision. Very often, if this work is not done properly, you risk overestimating or underestimating these values, which will consequently cause you to make poor choices that will lead to failure to achieve the goal you set. Nowadays, keeping track of the calories you acquire on a daily basis is very easy: Applications such as MyFitnessPal or many others can be of great help for this purpose.
Calorie counting has earned a bad reputation in recent years, and while it is never good to become obsessive about keeping track of calories, it is useful to understand the caloric amounts of foods so as to fuel your body properly.
Monitoring your progress: some tips
If you have decided to exercise in order to lose weight, a smart decision would be to keep track of your physical activity. This will allow you to achieve your goal of losing weight in a way that is both tangible and effective.
If you are truly committed to walking in order to lose weight, a straightforward pedometer might not be the most beneficial piece of equipment to purchase as an investment. The scholar Paren argues that monitoring one's heart rate is the most significant value to pay attention to if the objective is to reduce one's body fat percentage. If you want to keep track of your heart rate, it is a good idea to invest in a monitor that was made specifically for this reason. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you will burn. Heart rate monitors that are worn as straps over the chest have the potential to provide more precise readings, but watches provide more portability and versatility. In addition, if you want to keep track of your step count, you may do it using your smartphone or one of the many fitness trackers that are available on the market today.
Walking Workouts: some tips
Although walking is one of the simplest and most natural exercises, it is worth noting that there are some tips that can improve your workout in order to make it more efficient. Let's look at some tips together below:
Bolton states that exercise shoes do not have an infinite lifespan and that every 300/400 miles run they should be changed. You should always monitor the condition of your sneakers: if you pronate (turn your feet in) or supinate (walk on the outside of your foot) you should replace them in order to avoid knee or hip problems.
Regarding the choice fof the type of shoe in this case, it is advisable to buy a specific walking shoe or a cross-training or running shoe.
Entertainment and walk
Dr. Bolton recommends listening to music, audiobooks or podcasts when you are doing a walking workout in case you are alone and have difficulty being motivated to continue your workout.
If you are a fan of audiobooks, also, a lot of research seems to show that learning concepts happens better when you are doing light physical activity such as walking or running.
According to Bolton, shoes and posture are of the utmost importance. "Activating the glutes before walking is another recommendation of mine," To achieve this goal, consider performing exercises such as squats, lunges, or bridges prior to walking. During each repeat of these exercises, make sure to counteract and engage the glutes. "Keeping your chest open will assist you in taking deeper breaths. It is also very crucial to make sure that you are breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest while you exercise "According to Bolton, one's posture has a significant impact in the way they should be breathing. "When you walk, try to keep your hips under your shoulders, walk with your head held high, and don't walk for too long at a time." "When you walk, try to keep your hips under your shoulders."
The terrain on which you walk has a great deal of importance. Again according to Bolton, it is advisable to change the terrain on which you walk every little while. This will firstly prevent the boredom of walking and secondly also helps to prevent overload injuries. Soils such as Grass, paths, stone, chip paths, running tracks and sand absorb shock better than concrete or asphalt, so they are better surfaces for joint health.
Adding small weights to your hands helps tone your shoulders, arms and chest as you work and can increase your heart rate. Every time your hand is over your heart, it increases your heart rate, which contributes to the intensity of your workout," Bolton explains.
In order for good muscle building, optimal temperature regulation and for heart health, it is good to carry a small bottle of water with you at all times in order to maintain constant hydration of your body.
Walking is the simplest way to lose weight! It doesn't need any fancy equipment or even a gym membership. Walking will save your life by boosting your health and it also makes you efficient at work by improving your body's overall performance.
Overall, walking helps you prevent diseases by improving your overall health and more than just helping you lose weight. Invest in your health by walking today. It's inexpensive, simple and everyone can do it almost everywhere while enjoying the view!