Can you lose weight by walking an hour a day? Absolutely! Walking definitely makes an effective exercise for losing weight along with better health. Brisk daily walks are considered both low impact and aerobic exercise. Other exercises may provide a larger calorie burn, but you can lose weight with regular walking workouts in comfortable clothes.
Walking is an especially good way to get physical activity involved in your weight loss campaign if you haven’t been exercising. Rather than jumping right into some high intensity strength training or workouts, why not get your body in shape with regular walks, working up to an hour a day.
Keep reading to discover how to lose weight by walking an hour a day.
Can you lose weight by walking an hour a day?
There is plenty of research along with millions of personal testimonials proving that a daily routine of walking an hour with purposeful movements and realistic goals will help you slim down and tone up.
This natural bodyweight workout provides plenty of vigorous aerobic activity in a brisk walk to burn enough calories to lose weight.
As a regular walker you will be building muscle strength as you burn calories. Each session will build walking stamina aiding you in burning even more calories and improving your fitness stride.
But for your walking program to be effective you’ll need to walk for an hour as many as 5 days a week.
By walking an hour 5 times a week at a moderate intensity level you not only burn calories, but you teach you body to raise it’s resting metabolism. We all burn calories even while watching TV, but when your body gets the message that you’re walking 5 times a week, your resting metabolism will increase.
How To Get Started Walking?
Even though we’re talking about walking for an hour 5 times a week, you may want to start with a less intense and simple goal? Thinking of your walks as strength sessions when you start out lets you acclimate your body to regular exercise and build muscle mass in your lower body.
To burn calories and help you lose weight, you’ll need to walk at a brisk pace which is faster than a casual stroll. If you’re not used to regular physical activity, you will probably quit after a time or two. To avoid this, start off by walking about 20 – 30 minutes always followed by a minimum of a 30 second recovery walk.
To actually burn the excess fat you’ll need to work up to a brisk pace when walking. A brisk pace means fast enough to increase the speed of your heart and increase the rate of your breathing. Fitness trackers are a great asset to setting your physical activity guidelines.
You don’t need to walk fast enough to start panting and gasping for air.
However, by the time your walk is over you should notice that you are taking deeper breaths at least from time to time. Of course, if you can walk fast enough to pant that means you’re burning more calories.
When to Increase Your Walking Time?
If you’re serious about your exercise aiding your weight loss program, you will need to work up to an hour 5 times a week. Not only will you increase your walking time, but move from moderate aerobic activity to more intense workouts.
However, if you aren’t used to physical activity when you begin, you could experience some light to moderate muscle soreness. In fact, if you are overweight, and accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, a walking 1 hour a day weight loss program could seem impossible..That’s why I would never recommend walking everyday from the outset.
Walking should energize you and make you feel good. If you’re feeling like you’ve been beat up the next day, slow down and decrease your walking time. Just continue walking from 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week.
Most people should be in shape to increase their walking time, moving into more vigorous aerobic activity within 3 weeks.
On the other hand, if you can start right out with a brisk walk for an hour, by all means do so. Just remember, the quicker you can get to an hour, the more calories you will burn.
How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?
Depending on your pace, walking can burn between 300 and 400 calories per hour. That definitely sounds impressive, until you consider all the facts.
It’s been worked out that a pound of fat equals about 3500 calories. That means to lose that pound of fat you will need to use 3500 calories more than you consume
.So, let’s say you start right out walking at a pretty robust pace for an hour and use up 400 calories.
At that pace, it would take 8-9 days to use the 3500 calories at one hour a day. That’s one pound of fat burned in 8-9 days. (provided you didn’t eat more calories than normal)
One of the reasons walking is such a great physcial activity for slimming down is that it’s a simple way to help get into a calorie deficit. The afterburn effect isn’t as effective as strength training for building lean body mass. But setting a safe and healthy goal is a realistic way to reduce your weight.
When you first begin walking, the pace you set for yourself should be faster than a leisurely stroll, and not so fast that you couldn’t hold a conversation. (Keep in mind that the results depend on how fast and how long you can or are willing to walk day after day.
And that you don’t give yourself permission to eat more because you exerted yourself. Like any endeavor, the more effort you put into it, the better the results.
How Fast Should I Walk?
A normal walk through the park isn’t likely to help you lose weight. Your walking speed, while not speed walking, must be fast enough to burn enough calories to lose weight.
I lost weight by walking an hour a day , but the rate of speed was fast enough to get my heart beating faster than normal.The number of calories burned while walking depends on getting your heart speeded up and breathing harder than normal.
Regular brisk walking doesn’t need to leave you gasping for air. But you should walk fast enough that you are taking deeper breaths than normally.
Start a walking routine of 3 times a week for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks, you will know if you want to continue, and if you do, it’s time to increase the days, the time, and the pace.
Move to 5 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour for the best calorie burn.
Begin each session at a normal pace as if you were at the mall. Continue this pace for about 5 minutes to give your body a chance to stretch and warm up major muscle groups.
Warming up muscles with a few stretching exercises does a couple of things:
- Helps avoid possible injury from stressing cold muscle
- Allows you to get to a faster pace to burn more calories faster
Heart Rate is Important to Losing Weight. The American Heart Association recommends exercise to raise your heart beat to 50-75 % of your maximum even if you are a beginner.(Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220) They suggest 70-85% of your max after your body is acclimated to a workout.
If you’re serious about any cardio exercise for losing much weight, a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor is a good investment. You can keep up with what your heart is doing, along with several other stats.
It won’t be long before you’re planning your time for and looking forward to your daily brisk walks.
Benefits of Walking an Hour a Day
Walking regularly is one of the most efficient ways to maintain a healthy weight and good health. This partial list of the positive effects of walking should make you a regular walker:
- Burns calories
- Lowers cholesterol
- Strengthens your heart
- Tones muscles
- Releases stress and anxiety
- Builds strength
- Lowers blood sugar
- Reduces stress and anxiety while improving mental health
- One of the best exercises for people with type 2 Diabetes
No matter what your age, the benefits are too numerous to name. People of all fitness levels can participate in this natural physical activity and improve their BMI and health which can add years to your life.
I have no idea why everyone isn’t improving their fitness stride with walking, or what they don’t like about it? Walking is the most natural exercise, easy on your joints, and it’s free.
You can walk outside, on treadmills in your home, in gyms, or in malls. You can walk alone or with a walking group.
Walking at a brisk pace can use up to 250 calories in an hour. Do that for 5 days and burn 1250 calories in a week.Not only can you lose weight by walking an hour a day, but the health benefits of this daily activity are countless.
There’s no doubt that walking for significant weight loss works. If you’re serious about losing weight, change your eating habits and start walking off the pounds.
Why Can’t I lose Weight Walking?
Discouraged that you are walking several times a week and not losing any weight? There’s several good reasons why walking or exercise of any sort is not burning off the pounds.
1. Not Increasing Your Pace
You must keep in mind that a leisurely walk through the mall or down the street is not walking to lose weight. You don’t really need to speed walk, but a brisk pace is fast enough to increase your breathing and heart rate.
The way I keep a brisk pace throughout my walks is by staying conscious of:
- Extending my stride farther than normal
- Swinging my arms farther than usual.
Focusing on either of these should help you speed up the pace to a point that has no choice but to burn calories.
Ever wonder where the excess fats goes? Over 90% of weight loss is obtained by your body converting fat cells to carbon dioxide that you excel through breath.
That’s why keeping the pace at a rate that increases your breathing rate is vital to weight loss.
2. Not Deep Breathing
Because it’s the exhalation that removes the fat cells, it’s imperative to take deep breaths.
Create consistent deep breathing during your entire walk by focusing on breathing through your nose and out your mouth. You will probably notice this causes you to expand your chest much more than normal.
The extra expansion works chest, back, and abdominal muscles. That naturally creates a need for more energy, burning more fat.
3. Not Using Your Entire Body
Be sure to use your entire body as you walk, vs walking stiff as a board. Remember, walking to lose weight is exercise. So, the muscles you can get involved, the more calories you burn.
Here’s 5 ways to stay lose and use your entire body to walk:
- Swing your arms. Make it a habit to think about your arms from time to time. Make sure you are extending them far out in front and behind you as you walk.
- Pretend you’re skiing. Bend your arms at the elbows holding your hands out in front of you. Make fist and pretend you’re pushing your way through snow with ski poles.
- Use high intensity interval training methods. Try walking as absolutely fast as you can for a given period of time (start with 15 seconds) followed by a period of time that allows you to slow or return your breathing to normal as you continue at your normal pace. Do this over and over for 15 minutes.
- Walk up inclines. Instead of avoiding hills and inclines, embrace them. Look for slightly elevated stretches or hill to walk to activate more muscles and burn more calories.
- Walk with weights. Walking with weights is a great way to add intensity to your exercise. Try carrying a light weight dumbbell in each hand, wrist weights, ankle weights, weighted vest, or even a backpack with a couple of bricks in it to force your body to burn more calories. 1-3 pounds for each weight is a good and safe weight to add more intensity.
4. Not Walking in the AM Before Breakfast
Experts around the world seem to agree that the most effective time to exercise for weight loss is in the mornings before eating.
The reasoning behind this is that your stomach is empty and your body has to speed up the metabolic process for energy. That simply means it’s forced to burn that stored fat for energy when you walk in the mornings.
Most people are able to walk much faster and stronger in the morning. By the time evening gets around, you’ve spent a lot of energy and strength getting through the day.
5. Not Controlling Your Appetite
The reason most of us are overweight is because we never go without food long enough to actually get hungry. What we really sense after exercise is how our stomach feels when it’s not so full.
And the temptation to eat or snack after a workout can be horrendous, especially in the first stages of a diet. And if you don’t change your diet, it’s not likely that you can walk far enough to lose weight.
- Do not drink sports and energy drinks laden with sugar during or after your exercise.
- Do not give yourself permission to eat snack food just because you had a good workout.
Stick to these foods even after a workout to get the most from your exercise routine.
Guidelines for Getting the Most Out of Walking to Lose Weight
- Walk in good quality shoes made for walking. You need something to support your spine, feet, ankles, knees and hips. The first thing to notice when shopping for walking shoes is if the sole flexes when holding the heel and toe. If not, don’t walk in them.
- Set realistic goals. If you haven’t been exercising, do not start out walking an hour or more than three times a week. Try walking for 10 – 20 minutes a couple time a week. If you’re body is up to it, start increasing the distance and pace after a couple of weeks.
- Stand up straight. Don’t slouch or hunch over when walking. Focus on purposeful movements. Keep your hips under your upper body to avoid bad posture and needless muscle soreness. Don’t watch your feet, and keep your gaze straight ahead.
- Keep a journal or log. Keeping up with how long and how fast you walk each time will help keep you focused on your weight loss goals.
- Have two places to walk. Walking outside has many advantages, but you need to have a place that’s dry and warm when the weather is bad. Malls make a great place to walk in inclimate weather.
- Pedometers are inexpensive. Buy a pedometer and strap it to your ankle to keep up with how far you walk. Ideally, you should always be increasing speed or distance and a pedometer will help with distance.
The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat everyday. Walking is a very natural way to do that, and you don’t need expensive workout videos or a personal trainer to learn how to walk.
When you walk to lose weight, it’s important to remember that calories you burn depends on how far and how fast you walk.
Start out at a realistic pace and distance and gradually work up to as much as an hour a day, 5 days a week. The more intense your exercise and the longer the duration, the more calories you burn for weight loss.
However, overdoing any exercise defeats the purpose. If you cause yourself injury, soreness, and needless pain, you merely shut down your exercise routine.
Yes, you can absolutely lose weight walking, but it will require cutting calories at the table, and discipline to walk regularly. For the best results possible book mark this site, and come back often for your daily fitness inspiration.