Hello it’s me back again and today I am here to answer the above title …
There is a lot that has been written and said about how you can lose weight faster and easier, but surprisingly, the good old brisk walk always ends up getting ignored.
There are a couple of things that put walking ahead of all other exercises as far as weight loss goes.
The single biggest reason why walking is a good weight loss exercise is because it’s easier than all the rest.
Any fitness expert will tell you that the key to successfully maintaining your weight is continuity.
When people start an intensive weight loss program which includes dieting and a LOT of cardio, they do lose weight, but as soon as their weight loss goals are achieved, they stop, which simply causes them to gain all the weight back.
Another roadblock is the winter months. Often when it gets cold out, people stop their walking routine and the weight piles back on. That is why it is a good idea to grab yourself a good home treadmill for those cold months so that you can continue your routine year round.
When you are walking for weight loss, you can let it slip into your lifestyle which will allow you to not only lose weight, but also keep it down.
The Mechanics Of Weight Loss
Since we are going to be talking about stuff like calories and metabolism in this article, let’s take a closer look at what these terms really mean.
First off, the calorie, every person who has ever tried to lose weight will know this word.
Think of a calorie as a unit of fuel. In the case of automobiles, we use terms like a liter of gas; our body too needs fuel in order to function and do all the things that it does.
We get calories from food, and just like you need to fill up your car’s or bike’s tank once the fuel gauge approaches “empty”, we too need to consume food in order to replenish our supply of calories.
Different people consume a different amount of calories, depending on their metabolic rate (more on this in the next paragraph) weight and level of physical activity.
People who are large in size need to consume a greater number of calories everyday than people who are smaller.
So a person who is 5 foot 6 inches tall weighing 140 pounds may only need 1,500 calories every day, while someone who is 6 foot 1, weighing 220 pounds may require 3,500 calories per day just to get by.
When you walk to lose weight, these vital statistics will come into play as larger people generally burn more calories that shorter people.
Your metabolism is the second crucial component that you need to understand if you want to take up walking to lose weight.
Metabolism is simply the process by which calories that you get by food, turns into energy.
This is a fairly complex bio chemical process that keeps on going 24/7.
Even when you are asleep, your body keeps metabolizing calories into energy in order to carry out all of its involuntary functions such as breathing, regulating hormones, heart rate, repairing tissue damage, creating new tissues etc.
The amount of calories your body consumes for carrying out basic functions is called RMR, or Resting Metabolic Rate.
People who have a lot of muscle mass tend to consume have a higher metabolic rate as more energy is required to maintain those muscles (which is why weight training is also recommended for people trying to lose weight).
Walking To Lose Weight – Getting Started
If you have never walked (for fitness) before, then you might want to start nice and easy.
Don’t go walking 7 miles on the first day itself; you should attempt to make walking a part of your everyday lifestyle if you seriously plan to lose weight walking.
A good starting point is to go on a walk for about 20 to 30 minutes, 3 days a week. Initially you will face some resistance from your body as you try to accommodate the new routine; however it should become very easy to get yourself out there within 2-3 weeks.
Over said period, you will also begin to notice that your walking does not challenge you as it did before, when this happens; it’s time to up the ante.
Try walking for 45 to 60 minutes now, your goal should be to be a little out of breath with a heart rate which is noticeably faster.
As this begins to feel easier, walk 4-5 days a week instead of 3.
How Much Weight Loss Can You Expect
Provided you follow these walking tips to lose weight, you should begin to experience noticeable changes in your body within a month.
However, the exact amount of weight loss you will experience depends upon your present weight and diet as well.
An average person has a step of about 2.5 feet, thus they take around 2,500 steps to complete a mile.
Every mile that a person walks will burn away approximately 100 calories, so if you were to walk for about 5 miles a day, you can expect a loss of 500 calories.
Now if you do this 7 times a week, you are shedding away 3500 calories, which is equal to 1 pound of fat.
But It a Little More Complicated Than That…
This loss in weight is not all fat however, and will also include water and even lean muscle mass.
Dr. Donald Hensrud, chairman of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic states that “dieting and exercising causes the body to lose lean tissue and water apart from fat”.
Also, individual metabolic rates that are decided by genetics, your present fitness level and your size play an important part; a person weighing 200 pounds for instance will have greater muscle mass and will hence require more calories than someone who weighs only 120 pounds.
One of the most commonly asked questions is that should a person attempting weight loss increase calorie expenditure by exercising or decrease calories consumed.
Dr. Hensrud explains that while physical activity, such as walking is best for keeping weight off, in order to lose weight, restricting your caloric intake is better.
Managing your expectations is also crucial. While it’s good to want to increase your walking length, time, and speed, know that quick results never last (a plethora of studies have confirmed this).
Dr. Hensrud reiterates – “sometimes success is more about maintenance than dropping scales.”
Walking is a great way to lose weight, with a few modifications to your lifestyle; you can add turn it into your daily routine and provided you follow the walking tips to lose weight, you can be rest assured that you will be well on your way to leading a healthy, happy life.