You’ve been doing it since you were about one year old, and you do it every day without even thinking about it. It’s so easy, that it’s hard to believe so many people swear by walking as one of the best forms of exercise to support a weight loss plan. Why is walking such great exercise, anyway?
It’s free. You don’t need a gym or any special equipment, and you can do it almost anywhere. Just make sure to wear good, supportive shoes.
It’s easy. You already know how to walk, and you don’t need special classes or a trainer to learn. That makes walking especially attractive to those who aren’t overly familiar with the inside of a gym, or don’t consider themselves exercise enthusiasts.
Yes, it’s effective… if you do it correctly. No matter how it’s structured, a weight loss plan always seeks to reduce the number of calories consumed through food while increasing the number of calories burned through exercise. Walking is a simple way to burn more calories each day.
However, you might have guessed that walking doesn’t burn as many calories as other, more difficult, forms of exercise. So yes, you do need to structure a walking program correctly. For example, a 155-pound person who walks at a pace of 3.5 mph will burn 149 calories in 30 minutes. But when you bump up that pace to 4 mph, the calorie burn increases to 167. So while simply strolling through your neighborhood will burn more calories than sitting on the sofa at home, choosing a more intense pace is the better way to focus on calorie burn and weight loss.
And of course, adding some hills to your route, carrying weights, or pushing a stroller will help you burn even more calories. Most people who walk to support a weight loss program start out walking at a pace that feels comfortable to them, and gradually challenge themselves more and more.
If you continue at the same easy pace for months, you will probably experience a “weight loss plateau” (you stop losing weight even though you’re still on your weight loss plan). So do remember to continue challenging yourself as you continue walking for weight loss.
If you need help putting together a walking program or weight loss plan, call us to schedule an appointment.