Walking is probably the most comfortable form of exercising nowadays. It is very useful and everyone loves it once they try it and understand how to achieve the walking principles in order to lose weight.
The part about walking is that it doesn’t present itself as exercise. It’s easy to spend the day on your feet without even noticing how much energy you’re spending.
Because it’s low impact, walking doesn’t put much strain on the muscles and bones, making it suitable for just about anyone. With regular practice, walking long distance can improve muscle tone and boost cardiovascular health.
How To Get Started
Walking more isn’t a very difficult thing to do, you just have to make a few adjustments to your lifestyle.
For example, get off the bus early or park far away from your destination and walk a few extra blocks. You can also walk to the grocery store and take the stairs whenever possible. To maximize your amount of steps, start and end your day by walking around your neighborhood.
To keep it interesting, walk to new destinations every once in awhile, like parks or different neighborhoods. Listening to music can also keep you energized and make exercising enjoyable.
In the cooler months, bundle up and walk outside or join a gym and use the treadmill. If you have trouble staying disciplined, recruit a friend to go with you.
At the beginning you need to walk three days per week for 15 to 20 minutes and afterwards, you will increase the time spent on walking from 30 to 60 minutes each day.
Taking it to the Next Level
Walking is an excellent and healthy way to get fit and/or lose weight. Combine your walking habit with strength training workouts and you will be able to build muscle content, which burns calories at a higher rate than fat, even while you’re resting.
Calories Burned From Walking
Once you decide to lose weight with walking you need to be aware about how many calories are burned with this activity. If you really want to try to lose weight, you need to walk fast because the quicker you walk the more pounds will be reduced. For example if you weigh 150 pounds you will burn:
2.0 MPH (slow pace) – 170 calories per hour
3.0 MPH (moderate pace) – 224 calories per hour
4.0 MPH (brisk pace) – 340 calories per hour
5.0 MPH (speed walking) – 544 per hour
From the chart above you can see that your pace while walking will show you how to lose 10 pounds. There is a big difference between normal walking and speed walking, and you can burn up to 3 times more calories with sped walking. If you choose to walk uphill you will burn even more calories.
Devising a Walking Plan
First start with calculating how many calories you need to consume every day in order to maintain your current weight. This is very important so you can make a weight loss plan. According to Good Housekeeping magazine you can use a basal metabolic rate calculator or the formula 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x your age) for women and 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x your age) for men. Then multiply your result by 1.2 if you are inactive, by 1.375 if you are lightly active, by 1.55 if you are very active and 1.9 if you are extremely active.
The number that you will get is actually the number of calories you need to consume every day in order to maintain your current weight.
The second step is to calculate how many calories you will burn by walking. So, person who weighs 200 pounds and walks 3.5 miles per hour will burn 346 calories in that hour. The easiest way is to use fitness calculator which will help you with the number of calories burned by walking.
You must calculate how many hours you need to walk in order to lose 1 pound. You need to lose 3500 more calories by walking than you eat to lose one pound. Then divide 3,500 by the number of calories you burn in an hour. So if you are 200-pound person than you burn 346 calories per hour by walking, you should divide 3,500 by 346 to get 10.11. This means that a person who weighs 200 pounds should walk 10.11 hours to lose 1 pound.
If you have a goal to lose 10 pounds just multiply your number of hours needed for losing one pound with 10 – 10 x 10.11 = 101.1. This number shows how many hours you need to walk in a month so you could lose 10 pounds but only if you consume the required number of calories every day to maintain your current weight.
If you want to reduce the number of hours for walking, you need to reduce calorie intake. So of you consume 500 calories less every day you will lose a pound per week without walking which can reduce the walking goal to 6lbs. or 1.5 pounds per week. Make a plan how many calories you want to lose by reducing calorie intake and how many by walking in order to achieve your 10- pounds goal.