Walking isn't the fastest way you can burn calories to lose weight, but if you stick with a simple workout, you'll eventually have reason to tighten your belt. Part of using an exercise such as walking for weight loss is to perform the correct amount of it. Too little, and you won't notice any weight difference; too much, and you risk straining your body and developing an injury.
Find Time for 300 Minutes
You don't necessarily have to walk daily if you wish to lose weight, but regular exercise throughout the week is crucial. Adults with weight-loss goals should dedicate at least 300 minutes to medium-intensity aerobic exercise every week. Don't feel overwhelmed by this number; an hour-long walk, five days per week, is enough to bring you to 300 total minutes of walking by the end of the week.
Walking is an ideal exercise for those who wish to lose weight but aren't well-versed in more strenuous forms of fitness. This workout requires no learning curve and minimal equipment. Even if you haven't taken a walk for the sake of the exercise, you've certainly walked around your home, place of work or the grocery store. If you can't walk for 60 minutes at a time, try six 10-minute walks instead. Initially, keep your walking workouts to three times per week with a day of rest between each session. When your body builds endurance, you can gradually work toward the 300-minute goal.
Walk Away From Fast Foods
Even if you're conscientious about walking 300 or more minutes per week, you won't automatically begin to lose weight. Successful weight loss requires you to burn more calories than you consume, which means you often have to create a reduction in your caloric intake to complement your increased workout efforts. The exact reduction that is necessary depends on your current diet. You can, however, make positive progress by avoiding high-sugar, high-fat foods.
Look for Chances to Walk
If you typically find it challenging to devote a significant block of time to exercise, increase your odds of sticking to your walking workout by recruiting a walking partner. You can keep each other disciplined and serious about your goals. Walking your dog or taking a stroll with your family are simple ways to work toward your 300-minute goal, as is getting off at a bus stop a mile from home, rather than just a few steps from your door. Take a short walk during your lunch break at work and park at the distant end of the mall parking lot to force yourself to walk for a few minutes before and after you shop.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: How Much Daily Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?
- ExRx.net: Aerobic Exercise Prescription Components
- American Council on Exercise: Trimming Off the Fat
- USA Today: Weight-Loss Tips: 25 Ways to Lose Weight, Keep it Off
- Healthy Women: Get Motivated: The Workout You Won't Cancel
- Reader's Digest: Walk to a Healthier, Slimmer You