I hope you have all had a good Christmas. Like many people, I like to treat myself to lots of delicious food at Christmas. If I’m not careful, however, it is very easy for me to put on weight. So, with gyms closed, but with the weather here being fairly mild, I’ve been doing a lot more walking.
Does Walking Help You to Lose Weight?
Depending on the duration and intensity of your walking, it’s possible to lose weight, but diet is important, too. A combination of physical activity and dietary changes, including eating fewer calories does promote weight loss more effectively than does exercise alone.
If you’ve got a smart phone, downloading a relevant app could help you get the most from your outings. There are plenty of FREE versions to choose from, including…
- MapMyWalk GPS (iPhone & Android)
- Walkmeter GPS (iPhone & Android)
- Go Jauntly (iPhone & Android)
- Strava (iPhone & Android)
- Walkmeter (iPhone & Android)
Each of these has a different feature to enhance your walks, from social functions that involve your friends to maps that encourage exploration.
30 Minutes A Day
Physical activity, such as walking, is important for weight control because it helps you burn calories. If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn = more weight-loss
However, getting the right balance is important. Overdoing it on the walking can increase your risk of soreness, injury and also burnout. If you’re new to regular exercise and physical activity, you may need to start out with short walks or walking at a light pace, and gradually build up to longer walks or more moderate or vigorous intensity.
Once you’ve lost weight, exercise is even more important — it’s what helps keep the weight off. In fact, studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term get regular physical activity.
An Easy Entry To Exercise
Walking requires little in the way of equipment, it can be done more or less anywhere, and it’s less likely to stress the joints in the way that running can.
But just because walking upright is an easy, natural way for us to expend energy from the food we eat, it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to do it better—and increase the fat burn.
Ten Tips To Losing Weight By Walking.
- Choose the right shoes: When walking on normal flat surfaces, shoes only require to be low-heeled, comfortable, cushioned and lightweight.
- Create a Walking Playlist: This will motivate you to push harder and go farther and the best part is that you probably won’t even notice the extra effort that you end up putting in. Look for songs that are between 75 to 130 BPM
- Find a Walking Buddy: Having a strong support group is vital to achieving and maintaining weigh-loss success – those who are part of a social support network lose more weight than their solo counterparts.
- Hit the Pavement Before Breakfast: The best strategy for lowering body fat percentage is to exercise soon after waking up. Your body is already in a calorie deficit, and it will ignite your body’s fat-burning ability. The reason is Glycogen levels are depleted during sleep, so your body will utilise body fat as an energy source.
- Walk Briskly: If you can fit in 30 minutes of brisk walking every day, you’ll have burned off around 1,050 calories at the end of the week. Not only will you start noticing that you look and feel different, this sort of weekly calorie expenditure helps protect against heart disease, too.
- Swing Your Arms: Vigorous arm pumping not only speeds your pace, it also provides a good upper body workout. An arm-swinging walking style causes you to burn 5 to 10 percent more calories.
- Vary the Terrain: A great way to burn more fat is to switch up the surface you’re walking on. For example, walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a the pavement, while walking on soft sand increases caloric expenditure by almost 50% if you keep your pace the same.
- Use Hand Weights: Hand weights can boost your caloric expenditure. If you want to use them, start with 0.5kg (1lb) weights and increase the weight gradually. The weights shouldn’t add up to more than 10 percent of your body weight.
- Add high-intensity walks to your routine: Try 20 minutes of high-intensity walking on 3 nonconsecutive days per week as you’ll burn more fat during and after these cardio-intensive workouts. On the other days, do moderate-intensity activity for about 30 minutes per session.
- Drink plenty of water: Weight-loss doesn’t get easier than this: A Study has shown that simply drinking more water may increase the rate at which healthy people burn calories. They estimate that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an extra 17,400 calories over the course of the year— that’s a weight loss of approximately five pounds. Now imagine maximising that water weight loss hack with a metabolism-boosting walk.
- Bonus – Walk to de-stress: More of a benefit, really, but walking briskly really does calm you down by sparking nerve cells in the brain that relax the senses, research has shown. And that’s good news for your weight loss goals. For example, stress can actually cause the body to metabolise food more slowly and to make matters worse, the food we crave when we’re stressed out tends to be fatty and full of sugar. Plus, the combination of high-calorie cravings and a stress-induced, slow-pace metabolic rate can result in significant weight gain. So, by walking to lose weight and reduce stress, you won’t be stress eating as much: it’s a win-win.
Not so much a benefit, but another opportunity I take when I’m out walking is to take some photos on my phone. It’s a good way to record where you have been and with apps like Strava, you can add them to your walk to look back on.
Here are a few photos form my walks over Christmas.
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