Walking for Weight Loss: What You Should Know
While there are many benefits to walking aside from just losing weight, there is no mistaking this added health benefit. If you want to lose weight by eating right and adding in some more exercise, walking is a great choice. It is good for beginners, can be completely free, and is really easy to start doing.
Here are some things to know if you plan to begin a walking routine to help you lose weight.
Know How Much You Walk Now
Before you begin to walk in order to lose weight, start becoming aware of how much you walk now. Turn on the pedometer on your phone and carry it everywhere with you, or get a fitness tracker to wear throughout the day. Don’t try to walk more or get in more exercise during this process; try to have the same lifestyle you have always had, and just see what it says at the end.
After about a week or so, look at your stats. If you were using a fitness tracker with an app, it should have been keeping track of each day. This will show you about what your activity level is, and how much it varies by the day. This is going to help you know where to start.
If you tended to have about 30 minutes of active walking a day, aside from your regular tasks, then you know to lose weight, you should increase it to maybe 60 minutes of walking a day. If you were getting an average of 3,000 steps a day, try to double it to 6,000 steps a day and see how that helps.
Track the Calories Burned
Another reason getting a fitness tracker is a great option is because it will tell you exactly how many steps you talk or minutes you walked, compared to the food you ate. Since so much of weight loss relies on a calorie deficit, this is really important. You do need to track your food intake for this to be accurate, but that can be done digitally with an app that connects to your fitness tracker, making it even easier to do.
Burn More Fat with Incline and Speed
When you get more accustomed to your walking routine, it is time to step it up a little. If you want to burn more calories and fat during each workout, it requires increasing your speed and/or incline. Do this gradually so you don’t get burnt out or have trouble completing your walking routine. Try increasing the incline just to 2 or 3 at first, do that for a few days, then increase your speed. Go back and forth and keep pushing yourself to see how it changes the calories burned.
Add in Other Forms of Exercise
While walking alone can still burn calories to help you lose weight, you will have faster progress when you add in other forms of workouts as well. Weight training is great and can be done in a gym or at home with free weights and/or a kettlebell. You can add in some resistance training like yoga or Pilates, or take a local fitness class for a little variety.