When it comes to weight loss, everyone wants fast results. But faster isn't always better, or sustainable. Ideally you should aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds of fat each week, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This translates to about 8 to 16 pounds in two months. Walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour for 30 minutes, a 155-pound person can burn about 149 calories, or 298 calories in one hour. Over the course of 60 days this is 17,880 calories, or just over 5 pounds. You are going to have to increase that intensity, and make dietary changes, to lose 20 pounds in two months.
Wear supportive shoes that are designed for walking. This will help protect your feet and joints so discomfort does not stop your walks. Also, wear exercise clothes made of fabrics that allow sweat to cool from your body.
Start your workout with a five-minute warm-up. This is a moderate pace that gets your body ready for a harder workout. A moderate pace is individual based on your ability and fitness level.
Increase your pace, outside or on the treadmill, so you are walking at a brisk pace. Use your arms for momentum by bending the elbows and swinging back and forth. Use longer strides to push your body.
Maintain your challenging pace until minute 55, then slow down. The last five minutes of your workout is a cool-down. It allows your heart and breathing rates to return close to normal, and brings the blood back to your core.
Keep all walks a minimum of 60 minutes. Perform them five to seven days per week for weight loss, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Stretch after you're done walking to maintain flexibility and help prevent muscle soreness.
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Diabetes Forecast: 4 Ways to Boost Your Walking Workout
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Key Recommendations
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription; American College of Sports Medicine