How walking for weight loss could help you get fit and lose the belly fat for good.
We do it without thinking, so it’s easy to understand why most people don’t realise that walking for weight loss is a thing.
Who would’ve thought that a simple exercise such as walking would have so many benefits?
For many cultures, walking is simply a part of everyday life. Yet in our modern society, we probably aren’t doing enough of it because we sit for hours every day in our cars, behind our desks and in front of the television.
Let’s chat about the awesome benefits of walking and how you can improve your walk routine to help you lose weight and belly fat.
Walking burns kilos (kilojoules) /calories
Walking for weight loss is almost a “no brainer” because there are calories/kilojoules burnt during the process.
When actively walking, or walking for a longer period, the body turns to stored fats to convert those into energy. This process thus burns fat and you can lose some weight during this time. However, weight loss is not an “overnight” result, so don’t expect to drop a kilogram every time that you walk.
When it comes to calories and how many you need, it all depends on your gender, age and whether you lead an active lifestyle. For example, someone leading a sedentary lifestyle would burn far fewer calories than an athletic person.
With that said, an athletic person may need to eat more calories to burn for energy, whereas someone less active should burn and eat fewer calories.
Low on impact, high on results
Walking is considered a low-impact exercise which means it’s easier on the bones and joints than high-impact sports such as running.
It’s also an activity that’s free, pleasant and easy to pursue.
Boost your mood
When engaging in exercise, the body produces chemical reactions and some of these chemical reactions include “happy hormones” such as serotonin. Walking, especially amidst nature, has a way of uplifting the body and mind as you inhale and take in all of nature’s beauty surrounding you.
A brisk walk may also help lower feelings of anxiety and stress.
When it comes to exercises that people don’t naturally enjoy, it often leads to feeling unmotivated and at the end no exercise at all. But walking seems to appeal to most people.
Even very active individuals can benefit from a walking routine, as it helps loosen their muscles after a tough workout.
Maintain your weight
If you’ve reached your desired weight or “goal weight” for that matter, then you’re on a good path. However, keeping the weight off can be challenging.
Adding walking into your daily exercise regimen will help keep excess weight off. This is especially so because your body will burn extra calories and fats thus increasing your metabolic rate.
If you haven’t reached your goal weight yet, walking for exercise will help you to slowly lose weight. However, you should remember that it takes constancy and a healthy diet as key ingredients.
Walking tips to get your cardio workout naturally and lose weight
Get a step counter or fitness tracker
With a fitness tracker you can keep up-to-date with your progress and check how many calories you’ve lost as well as how many steps you’ve done for the day. If anything, this should motivate you to set goals and try to accomplish them.
Set realistic goals
It’s unfair to set unrealistic goals and put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Try to stay realistic in your weight loss journey. When setting a goal for steps, 15,000 steps a day for 7 days a week can help to drop weight more effectively.
If you want to benefit by walking for beginners, you could reduce this step count, and with time, gradually increase your steps to meet your goal. Walking is more passive than running and lifting weights so the results are generally slower compared to aerobics and other vigorous exercises.
Increase your walks a day
If you want to see weight loss through walking, why not take it up a notch and walk an estimate of 20 minutes 3 times a day. This must also be a constant exercise because consistency reveals positive results.
Even a short 15min walk after a meal can greatly improve blood sugar levels and reduce the sweet tooth cravings or drop in energy after munching a meal.
Hit the hills
Try find some hills on your walking routes and challenge yourself to climb them. In addition, you can select an incline when walking on the treadmill (some even have hill training programs you can try).
Walking hills will guarantee a nice burn in your glutes, hamstrings and calves for added fitness and fat loss.
Be sure not to stoop too far forward when ascending hills and keep your eyes focused about a meter to two meters in front of you (don’t angle your neck to look down at your feet).
Narrow down the kilojoules intake
While not all kilojoules are the same, for example, kilojoules in berries are not the same as the kilojoules of fried chips. Bearing this in mind, you can watch your kilojoules but more importantly, eat healthier kilojoules as opposed to processed fats.
Step it up with more exercises
To accelorate your weight loss, it’s a good idea to mix in some strengh training with your walking program.
Provided your doctor has given you the green light to do weight training and/or cardo, you can add some squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and lunges into your routine. By all means perform modified versions of these exercises if you are not yet fit and strong enough to do them with proper form.
Building muscles is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism because muscle burns more energy at rest than fat does. Plus muscles are essential for that nice toned look.
Go the long way
Short cuts are fun and it decreases the time it takes to get to a destination. However, when considering your walking regimen we can’t say the same.
In fact, when it comes to walking for weight loss and cutting down on belly fat, walking a longer route will benefit you more than the short cut. While you may arrive later at your destination, just think about what you’ve achieved by losing weight in the end.
And you don’t even have to be working out to use this principle. Park further away from mall entrances and take the stairs instead of the lift.
All that walking adds up!
Walking for weight loss: bonus tips to get you started!
- Invest in a good fitness tracker – there’s something about these devices that keeps people motivated and on schedule with their weight loss goals. Garmin, FitBit and Jawbone are some popular brands. Some models include calories burnt, heart rate, GPS location and lots more.
- Get into a habit of walking after a meal – if you have the time to spare, why not enjoy a leisurely walk after a main meal of the day. In this way you can burn calories and help stabalize your blood sugar.
- Take your dog for a walk or join a friend – sometimes walking with a companion makes it more fun and motivating, so take your dog for a walk, and if you don’t have a dog you can ask a mate if you can join them for a walk.
- Tackle errands on foot – if you stay near shopping centres, schools and other amenities then it’s ideal to leverage this and tackle them on foot instead of using your car.
- Walk with others – if your friends aren’t keen on walking with you then you can find people who are. You can join a fitness group and in this way, benefit from the encouragement and motivation that goes along with it. Why not check out your local “Run Walk For Life” group?
Don’t give up – “keep your eyes on the prize”
Progress won’t show overnight, so stay patient. Most importantly, don’t give up on your goals of losing weight in a healthy manner that will benefit your body in many ways.
Sometimes when we are really consistent with our exercising, we think that it gives us permission to indulge in sugary treats. Unfortunately, that’s the quickest way to undo all of your hard work!
Eat clean and you’ll see results in no time.
Remind yourself why you want to lose weight, and of all the benefits that come with living a healthier lifestyle.
Since walking is so beneficial why not start with baby steps. If you’re not accustomed to an active lifestyle, then walking is the perfect way to help you to stay healthy and even shape up. Instead of driving to a nearby shop, why not walk? The same applies for opting to take an elevator to a low floor, why not try the stairs?
Walking is a natural cardio workout and can help you gradually move from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Some people even opt to meet with their colleagues in a walking activity as opposed to sitting at a coffee shop. Both parties can benefit from this healthy exercise.
Losing weight is no quick fix and while other people may have faster metabolisms, others not so much. Don’t compare yourself to others but just take pride in the fact that you are doing something to benefit your health for years to come.
Do you walk for weight loss and better health?