Did you know there are a ton of benefits to daily walking? Yes, weight loss is one of them! If you are looking for an effective way to lose weight, movement is at the top of the list of ways to do it. You want to burn more calories than you consume, so start walking!
If you ask anyone if walking is good exercise, they’ll tell you the answer is yes.
I’m no different in my opinion. Sure, I love my strength training with weights but you can’t beat a good walk either for clearing the mind after a long day at work (or before!) or for just getting out there and appreciating the fresh air and scenery.
What I love about walking is that you can fit it in at a time that’s good for you (this aligns well with my post The Best Time to Workout) and walking doesn’t require lots of pricey equipment. A good pair of lightweight and cushiony walking or running shoes, and you are good to go! Walk tall, relax your shoulders and just enjoy.
Read on for why you should try to walk every day, or at least 4-5 times per week. If that seems like a lot to you, start with once a week and build up from there. I guarantee – when you start to walk regularly, you’ll really miss it on the days you don’t get out there. Walking is what I call part of a sustainable lifestyle, so let’s do it!
Why Is Walking Good For You?
Walking can reduce pain and fatigue, to start. So, before we dig into how walking for weight loss works, let’s look at why good walking is for you.
- Walking is great because you can do it when it fits your schedule. No running to make it to a gym class and you don’t have to drive there. You just need to lace up your shoes and step out the door. Fabulous!
- Walking lowers your stress levels. And not only that, but studies show that walking can have positive effects on your mood – even lessening symptoms of depression.
- Walking helps you focus and improves your memory.
- Cardiovascular improvements are seen with walking.
- You’ll see better muscle tone and decreased fat with walking.
- With a daily brisk stroll, you’ll better your cholesterol levels.
- The risk of disease (like diabetes, some cancers, and stroke) is lessened by walking.
- Walking is excellent for strengthening bones and muscles.
And we all want better sleep, right? Getting out for a walk helps you get needed zzzs, too! Take a look at my post on why you need better sleep and how sleep can help you lose weight here.
Now it’s easy to see that walking is really good for you and that it’s based on science The proof is there, so why not give it a try?
How Much Should You Walk To Lose Weight?
Studies show that 30 minutes, 5 days a week at a moderate pace does the trick. It’s that easy, my friends! Walking for weight loss is the way to go.
I don’t think there is such thing as too much walking. Of course, if you are new to the exercise or have physical limitations like an injury, start slowly and work your way up.
But it’s important to note that to get the weight loss benefits, you should combine your walking with a calorie-deficit diet. I explain this in my video on walking for weight loss, but in a nutshell, this is the scoop:
No matter the amount of walking you do, if your diet is unhealthy the weight won’t come off. I’m saying you’ve got to enjoy foods like fruits and veggies, whole-grain breads, lean protein, and healthy dairy. It’s important to limit processed foods (even better if you can avoid them altogether).
If you’ve been eating a lot of processed stuff like packaged cookies, crackers, chips, pre-prepared meals, and the like and just don’t know where to start, don’t worry – I can help. Take a look at my Healthy Meal Plan For Beginners. I promise it’s not difficult and includes meals that are easy to prepare and tasty, too!
And if you want even more direction and assistance, like emails from me and a whole lot of tools to use on this journey, I’d love for you to try my 30 Day Healthy Program. I’ve got a follow-up program as well, called The Cleanish Movement and it’s something I really loved putting together. Remember, I’m always here to help!😀
Do I Have To Keep Walking To Keep The Weight Off?
I recommend you keep walking, yes. And as I mentioned before, and I am serious here, folks – once you get into the habit of walking you will MISS it when you don’t go.
Even once you reach your target weight, the benefits of walking keep on coming! You’ll only improve your health by continuing the walking. A randomized controlled study has shown that participants who reached their weight loss goals but kept up their walking regimen maintained their weight loss and waist circumference.
Considering the good things about walking, it only makes sense to continue. I’m always telling you to do things for yourself like self-care and clean eating. Keep doing the walking for YOU.
Remember my video on how walking can reduce inflammation? I’ve written a post on it as well (find it here) and in that post, I stress how good walking is for your body. So yes, please keep walking not just to keep the weight off but to keep working toward a better you. A healthier and happier you, that’s what we’re aiming for!
Can You Lose Belly Fat From Walking?
Definitely, you can lose belly fat from walking. This study, on the effect of a 12-week walking exercise regimen on abdominal fat, showed that getting your steps in does indeed help you lose belly fat.
No one wants belly fat hanging around because it can cause problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. I’ve compiled 15 tips on losing belly fat (based on science), why not add them to your day?
Here are a couple of them:
- Eat more fiber (try my overnight oats)
- Drink apple cider vinegar (find out how much to take here)
- Avoid sugar including hidden sugars in processed salad dressings, ketchup and peanut butter
How Many Steps Do I Need To Do To Lose Weight?
I think a goal of 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day is ideal.
Don’t let this number discourage you. Start with what you can do and aim to increase the number of steps every week. Did you know that at a brisk pace, 8,000 steps is equal to about 4 miles? You can do it!
I’ve got some tips and tricks to getting in those extra steps until you are ready to go for longer walks.
- Take the stairs always, instead of the escalator when at the mall. At home, carry up your laundry in smaller loads and make more trips. It adds up.
- Park further away from the grocery store when you are looking for a spot for the car.
- The kids love the park. While they are playing, walk the perimeter. You’ll see the steps add up!
- Call a friend and suggest a walk.
- Do housework where you are on your feet, like vacuuming or mopping.
- Take the dog for a walk – again. They’ll never say no to a stroll around the block.
And if you really want to make those steps count when you are out walking, add in a few hills. Doing so makes a difference!
Start in moderation and increase as your ability improves. You don’t want to overdo it and injure yourself or get discouraged. You’ve got this – small steps mean success overall.
A Little Bit About Resistance Training
I LOVE resistance training. It’s an excellent addition to a walking regimen. Resistance training means anything like yoga, lifting weights, using resistance bands, and more.
Resistance training does a lot for you, such as improving your posture and helping you build muscle strength. You’ll have more flexibility for everyday tasks, too. I’ve got an at-home workout here if you’re ready to add resistance training to your workout. Start with as little as 10 minutes on the days you do resistance training and you’ll see results you’ll love. Increased confidence, here we come!
Final Word On Walking
It’s time to give walking a try. Combined with a cleanish diet (I love The Cleanish Movement because it’s not restrictive!), it’s a sure-fire way to shed a few pounds and gain several advantages on your journey to good health at the same time.
Walking is low impact so perfect for just about everyone, no matter what stage you are at as far as fitness and weight loss go. I assure you, it’s only going up from here!