Walking For Weight Loss- Best Ways To Do It
Does walking make you lose weight?” “Can I go walking to lose weight?” “Is it possible to lose weight while walking?” these are some of the classic existential questions of those who would like to find an easy way to lose weight without having to try too much.
Although it sounds trivial, the habit of walking is able to increase metabolism, and this can help you reduce body weight. Unfortunately, although everyone has learned how to walk since they were young, not everyone understands how to walk so that the body is in good shape.
In this post, we tell you everything you need to know about walking for weight loss. Read on!
How does walking help you lose weight?
As an aerobic exercise, walking promotes caloric burning, which may be effective for weight loss. This activity is part of the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which suggests that people practice light and moderate activities for at least 150 minutes a week.
To lose weight with walking, it will also be important to reach at least a moderate intensity cardiac level, which increases your normal heart rate from 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. Thus, the practice will be among the exercises to lose weight.
One tip to be able to increase this heart rate even more (reaching 70% to 85%) and help with caloric burning is to include running in your walking plan. For example, for every 3 minutes of walking, it is possible to practice a 1 minute of running, then another 4 minutes of walking, and returning with 2 minutes of running.
These variations can be interspersed in a 30-minute workout. With a more vigorous pace, you can burn up to 300 calories.
How to lose weight walking
Take short and frequent strides, as wide strides can cause pain in your feet and hips. For an adult, it is optimal to take 113 steps per minute, but an accelerated pace will require about 150 steps per minute.
If you run and decide to switch to walking, it is advisable to double the time. For example, if you used to run for 40 minutes, double the time and walk and walk at an accelerated pace for 80 minutes. This will help you get optimal results and calorie burn.
However, not everybody can get that much time to walk. Therefore, it is advisable to “break up” your walk. That is, instead of walking for 80 minutes at once, divide the time and take a 40 minutes walk during your lunch break and another 40 minutes when going home.
a. Climb hills
Climbing hills is very good for weight loss. This is because you will increase your heart rate and allow a more intense caloric burn.
In addition, walking uphill like on a hiking trail is also very effective at burning calories and increasing the mass of the lower body muscles. If you have trouble finding a place to climb, going up and down stairs can also be a solution.
b. Include resistance training
Another way to enhance the results of your walk to lose weight is to add resistance training, with loads, which help to build lean muscle mass as well. In these workouts, you can practice push-ups, squats, dives, and other functional exercises also in short, high-intensity intervals.
Do this every three times a week for five minutes, then your metabolism will increase, and your body weight will gradually decrease.
c. Wear a heavy vest on your walk
Research has proven that wearing a heavy waistcoat while walking helps the body to work harder. For people who use an accessory that weighs 15% of their normal weight while practicing a moderate-intensity walk, they can burn up to 12% more calories.
However, it is necessary to ask for medical authorization to carry out the activity with these extra weights and also an accompaniment from your instructor.
d. Count your steps
Research shows that walking loses weight if the athlete accumulates at least 15,000 steps per day. If you think it is too much to start, gradually increase it.
A good tip is to adopt mobile applications to perform this count. Upon reaching that mark, over time, you will see that walking will help you lose weight, which is a goal that most people who want to lose weight dream of reaching.
e. Swing your hands
It sounds silly, but waving your hands while walking has its benefits. Swinging your hands can help speed up walking, burn 10 percent more calories, and build your upper body muscles. Make sure your arms swing back and forth to 90 degrees or as flexible as your body. Also, as you walk, swing them without distancing them from the body at any time. And remember not to close your fists.
What muscles work when walking?
At a slow pace of walking less than 5 km/h, muscle activity is minimal. Power walking starts at 7 km/h. At this rate, the legs, hips, and knees are actively strengthened. To a lesser extent, the muscles of the press and arms are involved. The muscles of the core act as a stabilizer.
When walking uphill, a good load goes to the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and gastrocnemius muscles. Nordic walking, in addition to those already mentioned, involves the muscles of the cervicobrachial region, pectoral and scapular muscles, triceps, and biceps.
How to take advantage of the walk to lose weight, appropriate positions
You must not stretch your steps too far. If you force your movements, you run the risk of suffering an injury. Your steps should be normal. The most frequent mistake to speed up the step is to stretch the stride in an unnatural way. Try to find a comfortable step, and never stretch your legs.
The shoulders should be relaxed and the chest straight. If your head bounces a lot and you feel a slight stretch in the front of your legs, it means that your strides are too long and that you are walking in a forced way. You should feel comfortable and without hurting anything.
The steps should be quick, but never lengthen your steps. Start with a normal step, and after five minutes, increase the frequency of your steps.
• Pay attention while walking and how you move your hips. It must be a continuous movement, but natural, that doesn’t hurt or bother you. Your pelvis and hips gain movement when walking.
• Your feet must step on the ground correctly. The heel must touch the ground first, and the toes are the ones that give the impulse. In this way, you avoid injuries and pain.
• Your head should be in a normal position, neither raised nor lowered. Do not look at your steps, for example, or you will end up feeling dizzy or suffering some kind of discomfort. The main thing is that your walk is as comfortable as possible, maintaining an adequate pace.
• You should keep your shoulders loose and relaxed at all times. Balancing them with ease.
• You must stay straight while walking. This way, your back is straight with your hips lose.
Proper breathing techniques to lose weight walking
Remember that walking is an aerobic exercise. Your blood provides oxygen to the organs and muscles that work. And thanks to this fuel, they can burn fat and turn it into energy. Therefore, it is necessary that you take a deep abdominal breath. Take air and inflate the abdomen, then exhale through the mouth. Too easy.
How much do you have to walk, and at what pace, to lose weight?
It is recommended to start the exercise to lose weight by walking in two half-hour steps so as not to overload. Half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon. Once you are used to it, for example, a week later, you can do it for an hour straight.
And why do we say you should walk for at least 30 minutes? The reason is, during the first 20 minutes of walking, your body will use the sugar in the blood for fuel. After that, it will shift to body fat to maintain its activity level.
Take into account that when we say “walking,” we are not talking about walking freely, as you do when you go shopping, for example. You must have a pace, and to lose weight walking, this pace must be about 7 km/h. This means that you need to walk at a fast pace.
For you to have a rough idea, it would be more or less to go a kilometer and a half in 10 to 15 minutes, no more. It is neither difficult nor exaggerated.
As for your pace, it is essential that you try to find speed so that your body can burn fat. Also, when the heart rate work at 60% and 70%, it compels the body to use its reserves to obtain the necessary energy, thus increasing the metabolism basal.
Tips when walking for weight loss
For many people, the idea of losing weight by walking does not always seem realistic. Any physical activity that is constant and that is done properly will allow you to convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy and not in adipose reserve. Follow these tips to help you lose weight while walking.
First of all, you have to convince yourself that from now on you will dedicate an hour a day to lose weight walking. Therefore, this time needs to be met.
A suitable technique to raise awareness is to buy suitable clothes and shoes. Comfortable pants, a T-shirt that doesn’t tighten too much, sneakers that stick well. If you can convince a friend or your partner to participate, then you will make exercise a healthy routine. Therefore, in the first place, you must become aware.
b. Set target
Setting targets is very important to stay motivated. Make a target of how many steps you have to take each day. Keep increasing the number of steps each day as a challenge. If you want to lose weight, make a goal of 10,000 steps per day and continue to increase it in the following days.
c. Take care of the food
Walking is very good for strengthening bones and muscles, improving health, and relieving stress. However, to lose weight by walking, controlling the calories that enter the body must also be done.
For your metabolic functions, you need 70% to 75% of the calories to expend every day. Therefore, it is also necessary to be very careful with food if your idea of practicing walking is to lose weight.
However, that does not mean that you should starve yourself before or after walking. It is necessary to include healthy foods in your routine, with complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and beneficial fats, such as oilseeds. If you have an adequate and balanced diet, you will be able to burn this excess in a simple way.
Make sure your body is consuming enough protein and vegetables. Cut down on sugar and overly processed foods. It is advisable to seek nutritional guidance to help you make a food diary and know what the proper portions are if you are looking to lose weight associated with walking.
d. Keep a record of your walks
Have you heard that making a food diary helps you lose weight, as this tool helps you pay more attention to what you eat? Well, know that a walking diary also helps weight loss. Writing down the day, time, duration, and intensity of the walk is a way to track your progress and motivate yourself to continue.
e. Use a walking app to make your life easier
It is much easier to follow the previous tips if you use walking or running app. These applications are able to measure various data of your exercise, such as duration, average speed, number of steps, and calories lost, in addition to recording the date, time, and location of the walk.
Over time, you can even access a graph with your hiking records and see how much progress you have made during that period.
f. Give preference to walking outdoors
Taking light walks on the treadmill certainly helps you lose weight, but doing it outdoors is even better. This is because when you take a walk in a park or square, you come into contact with nature and natural light, which is excellent for our mental health.
By “taking a breath,” you refresh your head and decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety, which could make you eat more than necessary. Thus, walking outdoors is an even more interesting option for those who want to lose weight.
g. Wear suitable shoes
There are many high-tech sneakers available on the market, and you can use one if you prefer. However, these models are often very expensive and will not make much difference if you are not interested in competing.
At this point, the most important thing is that you wear comfortable shoes that keep you safe without causing blisters or calluses. Light walking is not a high-impact activity, so simple running shoes will suffice.
Also, if you already take light walks to and from work, for example, try to do it wearing sneakers and carry the shoe “from the office” with you. Also, you can do the walk using dress shoes or with heels. However, these types of shoes can favor the appearance of blisters, calluses, and joint injuries.
h. Protect yourself from the sun when exercising outdoors
If you chose to walk outdoors, it is important to protect yourself from the negative effects caused by the sun. Preferably, walk before 10 am or after 5 pm, when the sun’s rays are less incident, and the temperature is usually a little cooler.
When walking during the day, it is important to use sunscreen on your face, neck, arms, and legs even if the sky is cloudy, as the radiation passes through the cloud layer and favors premature aging and skin cancer. It is also worth using sunglasses and a hat or cap to increase your protection.
i. Consult a doctor before starting this program
Whenever you start a new physical activity, you should see a doctor to determine if it is right for you. Walking is one of the most democratic exercises in existence, but it can be contraindicated in the case of orthopedic injuries, herniated discs, or hypertension.
Feeling pain, dizziness, or malaise during this physical activity is not normal, so you should immediately stop and seek medical help. Light walks are excellent for weight loss, but you shouldn’t neglect your health while exercising.
As you can see, it’s not that complicated. The results on the scale can start to be noticed after a month and a half. The weight you lose will always depend on your own metabolism, so remember to have a proper and healthy diet to achieve your goals.
Now that you know how to lose weight while walking, don’t forget that hydration is also a fundamental factor for the success of your workout. In addition, buy a suitable shoe for your exercises, which are flexible, soft, and with high impact absorption, further minimizing any possibility of injury to the joints.