If I haven’t convinced you yet, walking can be a game changer. Just ask anyone who claims that walking has saved their lives. During my research, I came across stories of people whose depression lifted, whose anxiety waned, whose cardiovascular problems disappeared and many who lost a lot of weight too. And to think it all started with one step.
A brisk 30 - minute walk burns about 150 calories and if you walk longer or faster, that calorie burn increases. And when you take in less energy than you burn, you lose weight. But beware: Calories in Calories Out (aka CICO) is real thing. So as long as you’re not adding calories while you’re on your walking program, this should help you lose weight. In a study published by pubmed.org, minimally to moderately obese, but otherwise healthy women, lost on average of 10% of their beginning body weight on a six month program of brisk walking without changing their diet.
Walking with Dietary Changes
It makes sense, then, that if you add healthy diet changes to a regular walking habit, you could be looking at even more physical changes in your body. Verywell.com suggests you shoot “ for a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss. You can walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes.” In addition to weight change, walking can produce body mass changes, too. In one study of men and women in Germany, two groups were placed on a specific diet and one added a walking program. The study lasted 12 weeks, after which both groups lost about 8% of their total body mass. The diet and walking group lost significantly more fat than the diet-only group.
What if I don’t have time for long walks?
There is fantastic news here! In another study published in pubmed.gov, women who took two walks twice a day for 25 minutes each lost more weight than those who walked 50 minutes without stopping. The American Heart Association says even better than that, four 15-minute brisk walks can be as effective as one-hour long walk. Seriously, there are so many options!
How can I start my weight loss walking program?
It’s important to start any exercise program slowly and increase your duration and intensity over time. Start by walking 10–15 minutes a day at a comfortable pace. Then maybe increase that to twice a day. And then try increasing your duration by 10% each week until you’re walking 60 minutes or more a day. You’ll be surprised how quickly your stamina increases if you’re consistent.
So, get your sneakers on and get walking. But first, go ahead and click here to see how many people claim "Walking Changed My Life" and remember, as Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”