Contrary to popular belief, you can lose weight by simply walking. In fact, it is actually relatively simple to lose a pound a week by building the habit of walking. More importantly, you can do it without following a fad diet or submit to one of those exhausting exercise programs on YouTube.
The trick to walking to lose weight is to understand two simple rules:
- Know how many steps you need to take each day
- Commit to this step account daily
It sounds simple, right? Well, in this article, we will not only cover the science behind this form of exercise, we will also provide useful information that you can use to start today.
The Health Benefits Of Walking
If you are planning to start a walking regime to increase your overall health and lose weight, there are probably several questions on your mind.
How many calories do I burn by walking? Does it make an undue effort on my legs? What about the leg cramps? Does it really offer cardiovascular benefits? Why cats don’t love me? (ok this one is just on my mind)
As someone who has been a runner for a quarter of a century, I used to think: “Walk? Who are you cheating? ”
So I continued to emphasize my feet, knees, legs and everything else below the waist doing high impact workouts because I did not fully understand the benefits of walking for health. But let me show you what research institutes think of walking
- The American Heart Association recommends walking instead of running.
- Walking decreases bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of hypertension and diabetes.
- The AHA and research associated with the National Corridors Health Study examined more than 30,000 subjects and found that “Medium-intensity walking and running at vigorous intensity resulted in similar reductions in the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and possible coronary heart disease during the six years of the study “.
How Does Walking Compare With Running With Respect To Calories Burned?
You will probably be surprised to learn that walking can often exceed the calories burned when you run. We are going to create a hypothetical friend called “John” who needs to lose weight because he weighs 136 kilos.
Using a running calculator, we can show that John will burn 908 calories running at 6.43 k / h for one hour.
Because John weighs 136 kilos, the strength in his legs is 907 kilos while he runs. However, if John walks at 4.82 k / h for one hour, he can burn 540 calories. The strength in his legs is approximately 408 kilos. If John decides to increase his speed to 6.43 k / h, he will burn 747 calories, which is equivalent to 82 percent of what he would burn in the same distance for less than half the tension in his legs. If John just wants to walk around and “smell the roses,” he can walk at 3.21 k / h for two hours and burn 857 calories.
In all cases, walking involves less discomfort and pain than running.
What About All Those Pain Related To Exercise?
According to an exercise physiologist and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, “The discomfort and pain should be minor and are simply indications that the muscles are adapting to your fitness regimen.”
Dr. Brian Parr, associate professor in the department of exercise and sports science at the University of South Carolina, agrees.
He says: “The idea that exercise should hurt is just wrong – muscle pain during or after exercise usually suggests an injury. However, some muscle pain is inevitable, especially if you are new to exercise.”
So it is good to have pain, but not to be hurt.
Why You Cannot Lose Weight With A Pill?
I can also hear some of you inhaling sharply at the thought of any discomfort. What about the diet pills or the new diet that I heard? Believe it or not, the Mayo Clinic has studied this.
In an independent eight-week study, the researchers used a popular raspberry ketone supplement against a placebo. The 45 participants in the study who completed the trial all eight weeks reported their weight loss results.
The group that received the supplement lost an average of 2 kilos during the eight weeks; and the group that received the placebo reported losing an average of 0.4 kilograms during the eight weeks.
Briefly, it seems that the supplement worked and that the raspberry ketones were responsible.
The supplement, however, contained almost a dozen ingredients, so it was impossible to say with certainty that it was the raspberry ketones that were responsible for the weight loss.
In addition, the duration of the study was too short for researchers to determine the long-term efficacy of the supplement with any degree of correlation.
In comparison, a healthy diet without fad diets or supplements along with a moderate exercise regimen will result in weight loss of 0.5 to 1 kilo per week, which would have resulted in a loss of 2 to 4 pounds in the eight weeks of the mentioned study.