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How to burn fat while walking
How to burn fat while walking

Whether you’re just starting out with physical activity or looking for a less impactful exercise, we can all agree that daily walking is good for your body. However, if you’re walking to lose weight, there are several steps you need to follow, including walking at a faster pace (also called brisk walking).

Even though you’ve probably been running for years (you’re basically an expert), it’s always a good idea to check your form. Running with proper form can increase your efficiency and prevent injury. So keep your head up, shoulders back, and core engaged—don’t slouch. You’ll also want to make sure you’re wearing the best running shoes (no flip-flops for this endeavor).

We’ll show you some ways walking can help you lose weight, including the number of steps you should take and the intensity levels you should slowly increase. And if you’re ready for a bigger challenge, consider the benefits of wearing a weighted vest on your daily walks – it can help speed up your weight loss.

“Adults should strive for a healthy, stable body weight,” Katrina Piercy, director of the Division of Prevention Science at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, told Yahoo.

Brisk walking is one way to achieve this goal, as it is a form of moderate-intensity exercise that helps burn calories and maintain (or even improve) muscle mass. However, weight loss is a very individual process that depends on factors such as your current activity level, as well as your height, weight, gender, and muscle mass. Additionally, both the amount of weight you want to lose and the amount of weight you want to lose per week will impact the amount of walking you should achieve each day.

You’ve probably heard that you need to walk 10,000 steps a day, which is just over 4 miles for the average woman and nearly 5 miles for the average man. This is a good guideline, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll find that 10,000 steps is an overwhelming goal. You may want to invest in a fitness tracker to measure how much you’re already walking and then gradually add more steps over time. Consider adding an extra 500 to 1,000 steps a day each week.

Active choices, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or incorporating short walks into your day, can also help with weight control, Piercy said. It can also help you reach your step goal.

You should also consider your diet and the number of calories you consume each day. If the calories you consume are significantly higher than those you burn, you are unlikely to see significant weight loss results. Diet and exercise go hand in hand, so if you are looking for a way to better control your diet and start walking at the same time, consider subscribing to a meal kit delivery service.

If you’re going to lose weight, Piercy says you may need to do more than the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week (that’s 30 minutes per day, five days a week). “Some people need to do the equivalent of 300 or more minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week to reach their body weight goal.” This depends on your metabolism, your current weight and your weight loss goals.

Physical activity can help reduce belly fat and maintain muscle during weight loss, Piercy says. In addition, it can be beneficial in maintaining your body weight and can also help prevent weight gain in the abdominal area that occurs as you age.

Walking is a great exercise and something you can easily do whether at home, outside, or at the gym. As long as you’re doing a moderate intensity walk and not just strolling, you should see results.

If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your walking, try taking a different route. Increasing your intensity level is a surefire way to burn more calories and see results faster. To increase intensity, consider:

  • Hiking hill. Try running hills or inclines on a treadmill rather than on flat ground. Not only will this provide a greater cardiovascular challenge, but it will also help build more muscle mass in your legs and glutes.

  • Increase your speed. Increase the pace as you become more comfortable walking. For example, if you normally walk at a pace of 2.5 miles per hour, try to finish your walk at a pace of 2.8 or 3.0 miles per hour. Each walk should feel challenging, so as you get fitter, it’s important to continue to test your own limits.

  • Add intervals. You can also add intervals to your routine. For example, walk at your normal pace for one minute and then increase your pace for another 30 seconds. Alternate between these higher and lower speeds throughout the walk.

  • Consider using hand or ankle weights. Additional resistance can also increase the intensity of your workout.

Piercy recommends using the speaking test to determine the intensity of your walk. In general, a person doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity can talk during the activity but cannot sing, she said. “A person doing high-intensity activity cannot say more than a few words without pausing for breath.”

As you hike, look for these signs: If you can carry on a conversation without gasping for air, it might be time to increase the intensity a bit.

In addition to weight loss, walking – or any other physical activity – offers numerous benefits that have a positive impact on your overall well-being.

In adults, Piercy says, physical activity can help prevent eight types of cancer and reduce the risk of dementia, all-cause mortality, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and depression. It also improves bone health, physical performance and quality of life.

You may also notice immediate improvements after exercise. A single session of moderate to vigorous physical activity, Piercy says, can lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, improve sleep, reduce anxiety symptoms and improve some cognitive aspects on the day of exercise.

“There’s no wrong way to walk,” Piercy says, but “comfortable shoes can make walking more enjoyable.” You should also consider orthopedic shoes if you have pain in your foot, knee, hip or back, especially when walking.

When walking to lose weight, the most important thing to do is to maintain a brisk pace. As mentioned above, you will get the best results with a moderate intensity pace or higher. However, if you are just starting out, simply walking is better than sitting and you will see results too.