Many moms struggle with their weight and would love to be able to shed a few extra pounds. One of the main obstacles they face though is the lack of time to go to the gym.
Between their work schedule, family and personal commitments, most moms simply can’t allocate an hour daily just to go to the gym.
In many places, a gym membership can be a bit over the budget as well. So, what is the solution? Walk it off!
Is Walking a Good Way to Lose Weight?
YES! As a matter of fact, walking is a great way to lose weight. Walking is helpful for weight loss because it assists in the burning of calories.
You will burn an extra 150 calories a day by adding 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily life. Of course, the faster you walk, the more calories you burn.
But why is walking a good form of exercise? Simply put, walking is a form of cardio. Cardio is a shortened form for “cardiovascular,” which refers to the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular).
A regular cardio workout strengthens and speeds up your heart, allowing oxygen-rich blood to flow more effectively to all of your muscles, organs, and tissues.
Cardio is also very effective at burning calories, which in turn helps you lose weight.
Other Health Benefits of Walking
While many of you may look at walking as just a means of losing weight, there are plenty of health benefits you get along with it.
- Walking helps to prevent heart disease as it raises your heart rate. It also lowers blood pressure and strengthening the heart. In only 24 weeks, postmenopausal women who walk between one-two miles a day will lower their blood pressure by approximately 11 points (source).
- Walking causes your breathing rate to rise, allowing oxygen to move faster into your bloodstream. This aids in the removal of waste products and improves your energy and healing ability.
- Walking tones your thigh and stomach muscles. You can even get well-toned arm muscles if you pump them while walking. This enhances your range of motion by moving weight and pressure from the joints to the muscles.
- Walking on a regular basis can help a person’s memory as well as reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
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Lose Weight by Walking: 8 Tips for Success
Here are some of the tried and tested tips for you to follow that will increase success in your weight loss journey.
1. Go for a Walk in the Afternoon
A recently published study suggests that the afternoon is actually the better time to go for a walk, as opposed to early in the morning (source).
Researchers discovered that obese men who exercised in the afternoon lost more body fat, had improved blood glucose regulation, and less insulin resistance over the span of 12 weeks than those who exercised in the morning.
The reason for this may be that when people eat more later in the day, blood glucose levels increase, so increasing physical activity when blood glucose levels are higher can help lower them when they are required the most.
2. Walk in a Brisk Pace
For every 60 minutes of brisk walking (around 3.5 miles per hour), you’ll burn around 300 calories.
If you can get in 30 minutes of brisk walking on a flat surface every day for a week, you’ll have burned 1,050 calories by the end of the week.
Studies have shown that this amount of weekly calorie expenditure will help prevent heart disease (source), and you’ll notice a difference in your appearance and mood soon.
3. Keep Changing Your Pace When Walking
One of the first research to calculate the metabolic cost, or calories burned, of changing walking speeds was from Ohio State University in 2015 (source).
Walking at various speeds consumes up to 20% more calories than walking at a slow rate, according to engineering researchers.
So although 30 minutes of brisk walking is a fantastic idea, consider adding a few minutes of accelerating and decelerating your brisk walk.
4. Go Outside
Walking in nature can make you feel better by lifting your mood, reducing stress and anxiety, and even lowering cortisol levels (source).
This is significant because high cortisol levels promote fat and carbohydrate metabolism, leading to an increase in appetite and cravings for nutrient-poor foods and, as a result, weight gain.
5. Walk Whenever You Can
When possible, take short walks of 20 minutes or less during the day to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
After and in between meals, go for a quick walk to help regulate your blood sugar, avoid food cravings, and improve your metabolism.
When doing errands, walk between destinations instead of driving if the distance is less than a mile.
When you’re upset or depressed, go for a short stroll. It will boost your mood while also helping you to burn a few more calories.
Most importantly, instead of taking the elevator, always take the stairs.
6. Maintain Good Posture
The right posture will help you get a better workout and burn more calories, as well as reduce exhaustion and common walking-related injuries (source).
Maintain a neutral stance by relaxing your back, elongating your spine, and keeping your shoulders neutral. Keep your eyes on the horizon to keep your neck and head in good alignment.
You must also pay attention to how your foot connects with the ground. To help absorb impact and relieve tension on the joints, your heel must hit the ground first. From there, your foot must roll gently forward and push off of your toes by using toe flexor muscles.
7. Stay Hydrated
Maintaining adequate hydration is also important in your walking-based weight loss efforts. Since the human body contains more water than any other substance, keeping hydrated is vital for almost all body systems.
Proper hydration has a major effect on our cognitive performance and energy levels. Even a mild form of dehydration, 1-3 percent, has been shown to affect brain function in studies (source).
This involves mood and motivation, all of which are essential factors in walking safely and effectively.
Related Post: 12 Detox Waters for Weight Loss
8. Do Not Stress About It
According to a 2013 study, stress may cause our body to metabolize food more slowly (source).
To make matters worse, when we’re nervous, we crave unhealthy, sugary foods.
Researchers found a combination of high-calorie cravings and a stress-induced, sluggish metabolic rate can lead to substantial weight gain.
So, by exercising you lose weight and alleviate tension, which means you will also be less likely to stress eat.
How Many Steps Should I walk to Lose Weight?
While the exact amount varies depending on your age, gender, and lifestyle, one study discovered that walking at least 15,000 steps a day is linked to a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.
If 15,000 steps a day sounds too daunting, 10,000 steps per day will help you stimulate your metabolism and improves your mood.
If you live in a city and walk to public transportation like me, you may find that you can easily hit 10,000 steps per day without really trying. Especially if you make it a habit to take the stairs instead of elevators whenever you can!
There you have it, everything you need to know about how to lose weight by walking. So go put your shoes on. It’s time to go for a walk.