If you’re looking to lose weight and improve your overall health, you may be wondering if walking can help you achieve your goals.
Does walking help lose weight everywhere? The answer is both a yes and a no. While this may be confusing, this shouldn’t deter you from considering it as an exercise.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that can promote weight loss all over your body by burning calories and promoting fat loss. It’s also an attainable and enjoyable form of exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. But there are some considerations.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of walking for weight loss and overall health and share tips for making the most of your walking routine.
Why Consider Walking To Lose Weight?
Walking is an excellent exercise choice for people who want to lose weight, and it offers several benefits over other types of exercise. Here are some reasons why walking can be an effective weight loss strategy:
Accessibility – walking is an easy and accessible form of exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment or a gym membership. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and a safe place to walk.
Low-impact – walking is a low-impact exercise that puts less stress on the joints compared to activities like running or high-intensity interval training. This makes it an ideal choice for people who may have joint pain or injuries.
Calorie Burn – walking is a moderate-intensity exercise that burns calories and promotes weight loss. The number of calories burned depends on factors like your weight, walking speed, and distance covered.
Easy To Adjust Intensity – walking can be adjusted to suit your fitness level and weight loss goals. You can increase the intensity by walking faster or walking uphill, or you can add weights to your walk to increase the resistance.
Improves Overall Health – walking regularly can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Boosts Mood – walking releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that can improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Health Benefits Of Walking
Walking has numerous health benefits backed by scientific research, including:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease with just 30 minutes of walking per day1.
- Lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 50% with 30 minutes of walking per day2.
- Improving mental health by reducing stress and anxiety3.
- Preventing cognitive decline in older adults4.
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels5.
- Improving sleep quality6.
- Helping with weight loss7.
Does Walking Help Lose Weight Everywhere?
Walking is a great way to lose body weight and burn fat all over your body. When you walk, you use multiple muscle groups which help to increase your metabolism and burn calories.
By burning more calories than you consume, you can lose body fat and decrease your body weight. Walking also helps to tone your muscles and improve your overall body composition.
However, when you lose weight, it is not always possible to target specific areas for weight loss. Your body will tend to lose weight in a more general pattern, and some areas may lose weight faster than others.
The amount of weight you lose and where you lose it from will depend on several factors, including your overall body composition, genetics, and diet. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to combine walking with other forms of exercise and a healthy diet.
Types Of Walk
There are several different kinds of walks that people engage in for exercise, leisure or transportation purposes. Here are some descriptions of three common types of walking:
A stroll is a relaxed, leisurely walk that is taken at a comfortable pace. It is usually done for pleasure or relaxation rather than for exercise or fitness. Strolling is a great way to clear your mind, enjoy nature, or engage in conversation with friends or family.
Brisk walking is a moderate-intensity activity that involves walking at a faster pace than a stroll. It is a form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, burn calories and improve overall fitness. Brisk walking involves swinging your arms, walking with an erect posture, and taking longer strides. You should be able to talk, but not sing, while brisk walking.
Power walking is a more intense form of walking that involves moving at a faster pace than a brisk walk. It is often used as a form of exercise to improve cardiovascular health and fitness.
Power walking involves a rapid pace, a longer stride than brisk walking, and the use of arm swings that incorporate a greater range of motion. The intensity of power walking can be increased by walking uphill, using hand weights, or incorporating short bursts of jogging or running. You should be breathing deeply and be unable to carry on a conversation while power walking.
Walking For Beginners
The accessibility and benefits of walking make it an ideal exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Here are some tips for beginners who want to start walking and make it a regular part of their routine:
- Start with small steps. Begin by incorporating short walks into your daily routine, such as walking to work or the grocery store.
- Use your lunch break. Instead of sitting at your desk during lunch, do brisk walking around your office building or nearby park.
- Park farther away. Park your car farther away from your destination to add more walking into your day.
- Take the stairs. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs to increase your daily step count.
- Walk and talk. Take a phone call on a walk instead of sitting at your desk.
- Join a walking group. Joining a walking group or fitness class can provide accountability and motivation to stick to a regular walking routine.
- Walk with a buddy. Walking with a friend or family member can make the experience more enjoyable and provide support.
- Set goals. Set achievable goals for your walking routine, such as increasing your daily step count or walking a certain distance each day.
- Make it fun. Listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts while you walk to make the experience more enjoyable and engaging.
Walking Weight Loss Routine
Developing a regular walking routine can be an effective way to lose weight all over your body. Here are three sample walking routines and what they can do for weight loss:
- A 30-minute brisk walk most days of the week. This routine can lead to significant calorie burn and promote weight loss all over your body. By maintaining a brisk pace, you can increase your heart rate and boost your metabolism, leading to greater calorie burn.
- A 45-minute walk on varied terrain, including hills and stairs. Walking on varied terrain can challenge your muscles and increase calorie burn while incorporating hills and stairs can provide additional resistance training for the legs and core. This routine can be an effective way to build strength and promote weight loss.
- An hour-long walk, 4-5 times per week. Increasing the duration of your walks can lead to greater calorie burn and support weight loss all over your body. By walking for an hour, you can cover more distance and burn more calories while also enjoying the mental and physical health benefits of being outside and moving your body.
Walking Properly And Shaking Up Your Routine
Walking can be an enjoyable exercise for weight loss when done correctly and shaking up your walking routine can help you stay motivated, challenge your body, and prevent boredom. Here are the many ways to spice up your walking routine and make the most out of your walk:
- Maintain proper posture. Keep your shoulders back and chest up, and engage your core muscles to maintain proper posture.
- Use proper footwear. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning to prevent injury and discomfort.
- Incorporate interval training. Mix up your walking routine by incorporating short bursts of high-intensity walking followed by periods of lower-intensity walking.
- Vary your terrain. Walking on different terrains, such as hills or uneven surfaces, can challenge your muscles and burn more calories.
- Increase your distance. Gradually increase the distance you walk over time to challenge yourself and improve your endurance.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walk to stay hydrated and maintain energy levels.
- Track your progress. Use a fitness tracker or app to track your walking distance, speed, and calories burned to monitor your progress and stay motivated.
These details may seem minor but knowing how to walk properly and shake up your routine can help you stay injury-free, prevent plateau, and see better results in your fitness and weight loss goals.
Effective Weight Loss Tips
It’s important to remember that walking alone may not be enough to achieve significant weight loss. To create an effective weight loss plan, it’s important to combine walking with other strategies. Here are some tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals:
- Consume fewer calories than your body needs. This can create a calorie deficit that can lead to weight loss.
- Increase physical activity. The more calories you burn, the more it can help you create a calorie deficit and lose weight. Walking is a great low-impact form of exercise, but you may also want to consider incorporating other types of exercise as they can also be effective at burning calories and contribute to weight loss throughout your body, such as belly fat, thighs, etc.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Consuming nutrient-dense foods and avoiding high-calorie options can support your weight loss efforts.
Working Out Alongside Walking
Starting with a walking workout can be a great way to kickstart a more active lifestyle, which may gradually progress toward a full-fledged exercise routine.
Combining walking with other types of exercise can be an effective strategy for losing weight all over your body. Here are some examples of how incorporating other types of exercise alongside walking can lead to weight loss:
Adding strength training exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups to your routine can help build muscle, which can boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.
Alternating between periods of fast walking or jogging with periods of recovery can increase your heart rate and calorie burn, leading to more significant weight loss.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can work your entire body and burn a significant amount of calories, making it a great addition to your weight loss routine.
Yoga can help increase flexibility, build strength, and reduce stress, all of which can contribute to weight loss.
Cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise that can help you burn calories and improve your overall fitness. Combining cycling with walking can provide a varied and effective workout routine.
What To Keep In Mind
When it comes to walking for weight loss, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that while walking can be a great form of exercise, relying on it alone may not be enough to achieve significant weight loss. It’s important to combine walking with other forms of exercise, such as strength training or high-intensity interval training, and a healthy diet to create an effective weight loss plan.
Additionally, proper form and technique are crucial when it comes to walking for weight loss. Maintaining good posture, engaging the core muscles, and using proper footwear can help avoid injury and maximize the benefits of walking.
To achieve the best results, aim for a brisk pace and gradually increase the length and difficulty of your walking routes over time. It’s also important to stay hydrated and fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods to support your weight loss goals.
Finally, it’s worth noting that walking not only helps with weight loss but also offers a host of other health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health and reduced stress levels. By incorporating walking into your overall fitness routine, you can improve your health and achieve your weight loss goals.
1 Murtagh EM, Murphy MH, Boone-Heinonen J. Walking: the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2010 Sep;25(5):490-6. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e32833ce972. PMID: 20625280; PMCID: PMC3098122.
5 American Heart Association. (2013, April 4). Walking can lower risk of heart-related conditions as much as running. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 23, 2023 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404170225.htm
6 Sullivan Bisson AN, Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Walk to a better night of sleep: testing the relationship between physical activity and sleep. Sleep Health. 2019 Oct;5(5):487-494. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2019.06.003. Epub 2019 Jul 26. PMID: 31358470; PMCID: PMC6801055.
7 Hong HR, Jeong JO, Kong JY, Lee SH, Yang SH, Ha CD, Kang HS. Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Sep;18(3):277-85. doi: 10.5717/jenb.2014.18.3.277. Epub 2014 Sep 10. PMID: 25566464; PMCID: PMC4241903.