Is walking enough of a workout for weight loss?

Often, when we’re thinking about exercising for weight loss, high impact workouts like sprinting, spin classes, strength training and HIIT comes to mind. However, did you know that working out could be as easy as walking in the park? Literally!

Now, we don’t know about you, ladies, but we just let out a big sigh of relief.

If you’re right at the beginning of your fitness journey, or you’re looking to get back to working out after injury, then walking can be a very effective exercise. It’s excellent for building a base level of cardio. However, bear in mind we’re not talking about a slow stroll; you need to get your heart rate up.

So, lace up those walking boots and let’s talk more about walking as a form of exercise!

Why is walking such a great form of exercise?

There are tons of benefits thanks to walking? For example, walking is great for:

  • healthier blood sugar levels
  • stronger cardiovascular system
  • lowers blood pressure
  • improved fertility

Plus, so many other great benefits, like boosting your mental health by reducing feelings of anxiety and stress. In addition, walking stimulates blood flow to your brain and around your body, boosts your metabolism, and improves your overall mood. According to research, just 30 minutes of walking a day can significantly improve your mental health.

Also Read: Strength training at home: The complete guide for driven women

Plus, every 1,000 daily steps that you take is linked to a 28% lower risk of early death, according to research demonstrated at the American Heart Association’s 2021 Epidemiology and Prevention Lifestyle Cardiometabolic Health Conference. If walking is your primary form of exercise, then aim for 10,000 steps a day.

Walking for weight loss

That’s not where the benefits of walking end, though! While walking is not the most efficient type of workout for weight loss, it is possible to lose 10 pounds through walking.

We’re looking to create a calorie deficit to lose weight, right? So, for example, say you weigh 160-pounds, and you walk at 3.5mph for an hour, you’ll burn around 302 calories.

If you walked briskly at a rate of 4-5 miles per hour, you could burn just as many calories per mile as if you were running at a slower speed. And as walking has a much lower impact on your body, you’re less likely to suffer from injury.

Also Read: Here’s how to shape up this Spring!

So, you absolutely can lose weight by walking, and it does count as exercise. However, if weight loss is your goal, we’d recommend that you add in a few weekly workouts of strength training and stretching into your routine once you’re feeling fitter.

How far should you walk each day to lose weight?

According to the World Health Organization, the US Department of Health, and the American College of Sports Medicine, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week for your health and 300 minutes a week for weight loss.

Moderate intensity walking would mean walking at a brisk pace, around 3-4mph. If you’re less fussed about the numbers, this should mean that you’re breathing heavily enough that you can talk whilst walking, but you can’t sing.

150 minutes probably sounds like a lot, but that breaks down to 30 minutes per day, split across five days. Plus, you don’t have to jump straight into 150 minutes. You could start slowly and gradually increase your activity week by week. The most important thing to remember is to ease into it.

Also Read: Sneaky ways food makes you gain weight

Depending on how inactive you were before, you can definitely overdo it, so start slow, with some walking maybe two or three days a week and build it up. By gradually increasing your activity, you’re less likely to hurt yourself.

How to lose weight whilst walking

So, with all of that in mind, here are our top tips for using walking as a way to lose weight!

  1. Walk for ten minutes – start at a comfortable, steady pace for ten minutes a day, aim to reach a goal of walking for 30 minutes straight a day.
  2. Walk for 30 minutes a day – step up the pace to a moderate-brisk pace that means you can talk whilst walking but not sing.
  3. Switch up the terrain – walking on steep ground, like up a slope or hill, will cause your heart rate to increase constantly, and this causes your metabolic rate and calories burnt to increase as well. Plus, walking on uneven terrain challenges your lower body to step it up.
  4. Take the stairs – find a park, building, or gym with multiple flights of stairs. Try to climb a set of steps every ten minutes during your 30-minute walking workout. Then progress to climbing the stairs every five minutes, climbing the stairs six times during your 30-minute walking workout.
  5. Try walking intervals – so pick up the pace for one minute, then recover at a moderate walking pace for four minutes, and then repeat these five more times. Once you find this easy or less challenging, try walking faster for two minutes, recovering for three minutes. And slowly increase the amount of time you’re walking briskly until you’re walking quickly for all 30 minutes.
  6. Try jogging – if you’d like to progress to jogging, try the same interval training method from tip five. So, start by jogging for one minute, recover by walking for four minutes. Over time, increase the amount of time you’re jogging and decrease the amount of time you’re walking until you’re jogging for 30 minutes all at once.

The bottom line

So, there you have it, walking can absolutely be a workout and help you lose weight. Whether you’re looking to progress to jogging or looking for a low impactful way to enjoy many health benefits, walking is a great workout.

And remember, before you step up your walking routine, make sure you’re comfortable with any changes and stay safe to avoid any injuries.

Use Trimtone to support you

If you’re ready to start your fitness adventure and start introducing walking into your routine, have you considered how Trimtone could support your healthy living goals?

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