You would not believe how often I get asked “What should I do so I can lose weight by walking?”. While walking is an excellent way of getting outside, enjoying some fresh air, and getting some steps in – many people aim to lose weight walking but simply aren’t optimizing their walks to promote their goal.
Today we’re going to look at 3 things you can implement the next time you’re out, so you can lose weight by walking. Let’s get into it!
Evaluate your walking speed
One of the first things you can look at if your goal is to lose weight walking, is to evaluate whether you’re walking at a slow leisurely speed, or are you walking at a brisk pace?
Some experts classify brisk walking by the number of steps per minute. >100 steps per minute equates to approximately 3.5 mph. The challenge lies in that it’s hard to put a general number on speed that is accurate for everyone due to differences in step length, terrain, and a multitude of other factors. That being said, if you count your steps over the course of 60 seconds and you’re over 100 steps/minute, that would generally be classified as a brisk pace. If you can maintain this pace over the course of your entire walk, you’re positioning yourself to optimize your walking for weight loss.
I also realize that it can be tough at the beginning to determine whether you’re keeping the same pace throughout your walk. I suggest using an app such as Strava which allows you to track your walking and will tell you your walking speed, distance, and altitude change during your walk.
Change your route and terrain
One of the great things about walking is that it doesn’t require any equipment, it’s generally very enjoyable, and you can do it at any time of the day. That being said, it can be easy to fall into patterns and begin going through the motions without accomplishing anything. One of the things that is common with exercise is something called a plateau. Essentially this is when your body adapts to the demand you’re placing on your body and can keep you from continuing your progress
I challenge you to try taking routes that include more hills, or go out for a hike! Changing your route not only allows you to see new scenery, it also allows you to change the intensity of your walk. Adding more hills will force your muscles to work harder and in turn, help you burn more calories.
Pair walking with a proper diet To support your progress
If you’ve ever spoken to a health or fitness professional you will have heard this time and time again “You cannot out train a poor diet”. This quote is almost considered clichee because of how often it is said but I promise you, it is true!
No matter how far or how fast you’re walking each day, if you’ve got a poor diet, it makes your progress so much more difficult. I encourage you to go give this article a read about 4 simple ways to make eating healthy easier.
If you’re putting all this extra work in by including walking in your life, wouldn’t you want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to ensure you’re getting the results you want? Take a look at your diet and see if it’s supporting or hindering your progress!
Yes, You Can Lose Weight By Walking BUT…
In conclusion, the answer is yes- you can lose weight by walking. That being said; it’s going to be extremely hard to lose weight by walking if that’s all you’re doing.
The key to living a healthy lifestyle in which you’re healthy both mentally and physically is to focus on all aspects of your health. Starting your journey to a healthy lifestyle by implementing walking into your life is a fantastic first step (pun intended), but also ensure you’re focused on improving the areas that may be challenging as well such as nutrition, sleep, adequate water intake etc.