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Does Walking Help Trim Down the Thighs?

author image Joanna Pompilio
Joanna Pompilio has written professionally since 1999. She is a regular contributer for "Long Island Woman" and "San Diego Woman" magazines. Regular features include topics ranging from fashion, beauty, health and fitness, and home d├ęcor. She graduated cum laude with Bachelors of Arts in journalism and gender studies from American University.
Does Walking Help Trim Down the Thighs?
Woman walk on path in autumn Photo Credit Anetlanda/iStock/Getty Images

Walking is a simple way to burn fat, including in your thighs, and does not require any exercise equipment. Add a slight incline to the treadmill or walk a hilly path to help burn more calories. Walking can be done virtually anywhere, at any time, at a comfortable pace. Not only can it help trim thighs, walking helps speed up metabolism and has been shown to help the skin and joints. Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

Power Walking

Walking is a mild, low-impact workout that can ease you into better fitness and health. Power walking to lose weight — including from the thigh area — is one of the easier workouts for any fitness level. Walk faster than your normal pace, but not as if you were in a walking race. Keep in mind that every step should feel stronger than the previous one. Your strides at the beginning are going to be short and fast, but with time, you will develop a longer stride. Thirty minutes every day, three or four days a week — even if split up into 10-minute sessions throughout the day — is a good starting point. To lose significant weight, your might need to increase your daily exercise total to 45 and 60 minutes. Reduce pressure on your joints by walking or jogging in a swimming pool, which will also add resistance and intensity.

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Add An Incline

Does Walking Help Trim Down the Thighs?
Have a snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels even and provide energy during walks. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Add variety and increase intensity in your walking routine by adding an incline on the treadmill or incorporating hills when walking outdoors. Using diverse speeds and inclines ensures that your body will not become too adapted to the same practice and thus will not stop burning fat. Walking with an incline burns more calories, the American Council on Exercise explains, provided that the incline is challenging enough for your fitness level. When walking uphill, lean forward; this is easier on leg muscles. Walking downhill can be harder on the body, particularly the knees, and can cause soreness. Slow your pace while walking downhill, slightly bend knees and take shorter steps.

Walk In the Sand

Walking in the sand will give thighs an intense workout. Try to slow down your pace to work thigh muscles and tendons more effectively, the Women Menopause and Weight Loss website recommends. Place emphasis on each foot as you press it into the sand. Walking for long periods of time in the sand, wear sneakers. Walking in the sand in bare feet can result in shin splints or sore heel tendons.

Walk Backward

It might not seem demanding, but walking backward adds intensity to a walking workout, since it is a novel activity for most people. Even a slow pace of 2 miles per hour intensifies a walking routine, and you can walk backward on a treadmill or stair-climbing machine, too. When walking backward outdoors, choose a smooth surface and keep far away from traffic, trees, potholes and other exercisers; a deserted track is ideal. To avoid muscle discomfort and injury, start gradually and do not try to walk backward more than a quarter-mile the first week.

Additional Benefits

Walking has a number of health benefits beyond helping to trim fat in the thighs and elsewhere. If done consistently, walking can help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, the "bad" cholesterol; raise your levels of high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol; lower blood pressure; reducing the risk of or manage type 2 diabetes; and maintain a healthy weight or assist in weight loss. Habitual, brisk walking can also reduce your risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging.


While you will use your thighs while walking, it's impossible to target just your thighs for fat burning. This concept, known as spot reduction, is a myth, the American Council on Exercise notes. Cardiovascular exercise will burn calories throughout your body, including in your thighs — but you must expend more calories than you consume over time to lose weight from any part of your body. You can burn these calories through exercise, trim them via a reduced-calorie diet or a combination of the two. Discuss a diet and exercise plan with your doctor before beginning.

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