The simple law rules behind weight loss is that the human body requires energy (measured in calories) to function normally, to lose weight, you need to spend more energy than you consume. People who are more physically active tend to burn more calories, so walking more can naturally help with weight loss. The more you walk and the faster your pace, the more calories you burn. Walking on a slightly uphill route can increase the intensity and make the effect even better.
The 5 Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss
- Low threshold: Walking is a mild aerobic exercise suitable for people of all ages. It is not easy to get injured and does not require special equipment or venues, making it easier to practice and develop habits.
- Promoting physical health: Walking also helps to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. In the long run, it can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of diabetes and certain cancers. Walking outdoors during the day and exposing yourself to sunlight can also stimulate the body’s synthesis of vitamin D, help absorb calcium, and strengthen bones.
- Fat loss and muscle building: Simply eating less to lose weight will not only reduce fat but also some muscle. However, muscle has a higher basal metabolic rate than fat, which means that it can burn calories even when you are sleeping. Therefore, by turning fat into muscle through walking, you can successfully lose weight and keep it off.
- Eliminating belly fat: Regular walking is one of the most effective ways to reduce abdominal obesity. A small study lasting 12 weeks found that obese women who walked three times a week for 50-70 minutes each time were able to successfully reduce their waist circumference and body fat.
- Improving mental health: Exercise can alleviate depression and stimulate the secretion of endorphins in the brain, which helps to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. Low-intensity walking is an excellent choice that won’t reduce your motivation due to excessive exertion.
Tips and Precautions for Walking to Lose Weight
Step Rhythm and Posture:
- Lift your head and straighten your chest.
- Keep your shoulders, neck, and back straight but relaxed.
- Slightly clench your fists, bend your elbows about 90 degrees, and swing your arms naturally forward and backward.
- Slightly contract your abdomen
- Land on your heels first to avoid joint injuries.
- Walk faster than usual, causing sweat and slight panting.
Equipment and Shoes:
- Shoes: Choose shoes that are light, breathable, moderately soft, with arch support with good coverage, thick and flexible soles or running shoes.
- Clothing: In warm seasons, wear light-colored, sweat-absorbing, and quick-drying clothes, wear hats and apply sunscreen; in cold weather, wear several layers of clothing for easy putting on and taking off. If walking at night, wear bright-colored clothes or clothes with reflective materials to improve visibility.
- Equipment: Download fitness apps on your phone or wear fitness trackers.
- Route: It is convenient to walk in the community but consider choosing different routes each week to avoid monotony. Walking on cement, tile, and asphalt is possible, but the best surfaces are grass and dirt, as they have a softer surface and less impact on the feet, although it is necessary to watch out for holes. If the route has uphill and downhill sections, it is advisable to take smaller steps downhill to avoid injuring the knees. Precautions: Stretching exercises should be done before and after walking to prevent injury and increase flexibility.
How many calories does an hour of walking burn?
According to research, the number of calories burned while walking depends mainly on body weight and walking speed. For example, a person weighing 55 kilograms who walks at a speed of 5.6 kilometers per hour can burn 206 calories per hour. If a person with a weight of 82 kilograms walks at the same speed, they can burn 311 calories per hour, which is even more effective.
How can you gradually develop the habit of walking for weight loss? For people who do not have an exercise habit, they can start by walking for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week and gradually increase the frequency and duration over the course of 3 months. This will help you develop a regular walking routine effortlessly.
Karviva & EverWalk
As a brand with a vision to reconnect people with the Root of Good Health, Karviva has been active in serving the community’s needs. The founder of Karviva, Dr. Angela Zeng is a multi-awards recipient in both medical research and wellness beverage fields. Angela has partnered with EverWalk, a none profit organization founded by Diana & Bonnie, to promote walking as a safe, accessible way for everyone to get healthy.