A medium-sized adult has to walk more than 30 miles per month to burn 1 lb. of fat, according to MedlinePlus. Therefore, if you were to walk every other day, you would have to walk approximately 2.5 miles per session to shed 1 lb. a month. While this may be beneficial if you want to tone up, it is not enough exercise if you wish to lose a considerable amount of weight quickly.
Walking every other day, by itself, is not enough exercise to promote significant weight loss. To shed a noticeable amount of pounds, it is necessary to walk more regularly and consume a healthy diet. For optimum results, combine your walking program with high-intensity aerobic exercise and strength training. Check with your health care professional before making changes in your exercise or diet plan.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. The best way to do this is by balancing your food intake with exercise. If you wish to utilize walking -- a low- to medium-intensity exercise -- as your main form of exercise, you need to eat a low-fat diet and walk briskly for 30 to 60 minutes for five days a week to lose a significant amount of weight.
However, if you still prefer to walk every other day, it is necessary to include more intense aerobic exercises and strength training in your program to lose much weight. High-intensity aerobic exercises, such as running and swimming, burn more calories than walking. Strength training, by contrast, builds lean muscle. Muscle cells require more energy for sustenance and therefore burn more calories during exercise as well as rest.
Physical exercise -- including regular walking -- is not only critical for maintaining good health and controlling weight, it's also beneficial for reducing risk factors associated with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and other medical conditions. Furthermore, it can alleviate anxiety and depression and promote psychological well-being.
Engage a qualified instructor when strength training, because incorrect technique may lead to injury. It's also worth noting that because muscle is heavier than fat, it is possible that your weight will increase as your body becomes more toned, especially when lifting weights. However, body composition is a better indicator of your health than weight, so work with a fitness professional to find out what's best for you.
- “Walk Off Weight”; Michele Stanten; 2010
- "International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders": Dose-Response Effect of Walking Exercise on Weight Loss ... ; J. Bond, et al.; November 2002
- Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: Physical Activity Fundamental to Preventing Disease