Is Walking Really Enough for Fat Loss?

Walking can it be enough for fat loss, Can you lose weight walking? These are the questions we all need to ask and if it can help you achieve your fat loss goals. I think that walking is being largely ignored by the mainstream as a means of weight loss, they are all behind the hype of new fad diets, routines, programs etc….

In this post, I will try to discover how walking can be an effective way and how to utilize this into a routine or program for you. Always remember that you are in control of your weight loss program and keep that goal in sight. Keep going the end result will come…

How can walking help?

The most things in life are simple to do but we avoid them for better and quicker ways to get to the end result, we look for shortcuts!

Walking is probably the most overlooked exercise. Did you know that walking can get that flatter stomach for you and is better than sit-ups? A quick note here you must have heard of abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym, Think about this for a moment?

Why not try it, its FREE! no gizmos, no special clothes, equipment and no gym fees. It’s easy you have been doing this since you were an infant, anyone can do this no matter what level of fitness.

What are the health benefits of walking?

When you walk you are actually carrying your own weight. This is called weight-bearing exercise, these types of exercises or ways of getting fitter and healthier only rely on your own weight. Yes! you’re weight whatever that may be, you will reach, what you set out to do, just be focused.

Some of the benefits are listed here to make you aware of the overall benefits of walking:

  • Increased heart and lung (cardiovascular and pulmonary) fitness
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improving the management of conditions such as high blood pressure(hypertension), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain (arthritis) and diabetes
  • Improved balance and stronger bones
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • Reduced body fat

Remember body fat cannot be spot reduced see my post on Reducing Body Fat – Fat Spot Reduction

What do the health organisations say?

As you know each country has its own authority to help you to get fitter and healthier, their underlying goals are for people to stay out of hospitals. There is a lot of information out there from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the NHS (UK) each have their daily recommendations and if you pay attention they make sense. Let’s see…

  1. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day or most of the week
  2. A minimum of 20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise three times a week
  3. For two days a week resistance, strength building, and weight-bearing exercises

I know it looks like a lot, but if you think that then you are missing the point, let’s go back when you start out it will be less than the recommendations but within a week or two, you will surpass this as you begin to enjoy doing this. For all those who think they have hectic lifestyles all you need is to rethink how you manage your time, 30 minutes a day can be easily achieved.

If you are not an active person then start with five-minute walks, then slowly build on these, you are not getting a quick fix here but an overall lifestyle change, which will help you achieve those weight loss goals you have. It is just the beginning.

Building a walking routine into your life

What you need to remember is that if you do 10 minutes of activity a day that will not be enough for fat loss, but for the moment think about the end result and journey you have started on. Start with smaller amounts of activity throughout the day and the important thing is to increase as your fitness improves.

Keep going and try to keep to the same time each day, what you are building here is a routine, try to get someone to go with you if you need that extra support. Keep a track of your walking either with fitness activity trackers or a diary.

It is important to note that some people burn calories fast and some slowly it depends on the personal metabolism and what you have put it through over the years. This is no magic trick, or ultimate fat loss solution, this can help you to get more physical activity in order to reach your weight/fat loss goals.

Walking fast obviously burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly, all I am saying is that keep within your limits don’t go too hard too fast your body is just not ready for this yet.

Some things to remember when starting out

  • Make sure you warm up and cool down after walking.- start slowly, stretch wear comfortable clothes.
  • Footwear – It’s obvious but you would be surprised how many people overlook this make sure you have the right type of footwear, as I know from experience you will get shin pain, pain in the soles of your foot be sure to have the right shoes. Try walking on the grass to absorb the impact.
  • Make it interesting – Walk with someone, take the dog for a walk, join a walking society where you will be with like-minded people and they will support and help you.

Final Thoughts…

As with all the activity you have to be the one to want to change your own ways and lifestyle nobody will do it for you. Walking does have its benefits and minimal risk of injury. It’s simple to do put on a pair of sneakers and walk to the shops or walk to work, catch a bus, try to walk everywhere rather than take the car.

Try to take things slowly and keep a record of what you are doing, this will help you when you are feeling like it is not helping. That is when you will realize that you have started to improve and get better. Like with all forms of activity physical or mental you do have these moments, it is best to overcome them by looking back to where you started from and how far you have come. Remember it is not a race take your own time and in time it will help you achieve those fat loss goals. Everybody starts somewhere.

I hope I have given you as much information as possible here. Try it, it does not cost anything, What are you waiting for?

 

 

9 thoughts on “Is Walking Really Enough for Fat Loss?

  1. Nathan

    I’ve really noticed the lack of walking since a change in my routine.

    I used to walk 25 minutes to get to work (and then 25 minutes home again). But then I moved house and the location of my office and had to start driving in.

    I quickly started putting on weight and didn’t know why. I was still doing all the other exercise that I did before, but after a while I realized it was the walking I was doing before that was making the difference.

    Getting in walking that is just part of your daily routine to get from A to B is so valuable, IMO. And I miss it!

    1. Khayyam

      Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

      Khayyam

  2. Matron Okoye B.N

    Hello Khayyam,

    That’s really a great and well analyzed article You’ve created, All that you mentioned on this article is 100% true. Though am not that much fat but I have experienced that: Anytime I feel like taking a walk, I feel stressed and Will feel weak, I have learnt that Stress does affect one’s body weight.

    1. Khayyam

      Hi Matron,

      Thank you for your comments, hopefully I have given you an incentive to keep walking. Stress is one factor that will make you gain fat very quickly, the hormone cortisol is the main factor here. That is why when you go walking you will tend to feel a lot better, because the increase in other hormones will dampen the cortisol effect. I will be doing a post on cortisol soon.

      Regards

      Khayyam

  3. Kasey

    Hi Khayyam,

    Thanks for the article! I am not sure how much weight one loses walking. But I do know that it is really good for your overall health. And another big plus is that I think easy walking also leads to further exercise.

    Even just a 10 minute walk is enough cardio to make your body feel better and get you wanting to do more.

    The problem is getting over that initial laziness. Personally, I’ve needed to get out and walk for 30 minutes for a long time. I’ve been too busy and too lazy to do it.

    1. Khayyam

      Hi Kasey,

      Thank you for your comments, walking is a great way to lose fat. That being said and discussed in the post you need time to see that, once your body starts responding to the activity it will become more efficient and start to metabolise a lot faster. 

      I had this same conversation with a personal trainer prior to writing the article and for people who have issues running or doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) there is an alternative which is LIIT (Low Intensity Interval   Training). In LIIT all you need to do is concentrate on the time and build up the intensity with greater rest in between.

      I have a bad knee so I use this a lot and I have found that it helps me hit the same amount of calories burned as if when someone is running, saying that I go max incline on the treadmill with a speed of 6.5 to 7.0 for 20 mins.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Khayyam

  4. Jerry

    Thanks for reminding me and confirming that walking is good for fat loss. I fully agree with you that people in general like to take shortcuts. If only everybody could follow the simple advise you are giving and make it a sort of routine, a lot of people would benefit. And as you say, the beauty of this one, contrary to most others, is that you have a very low risk or virtually none at getting injured. If you e.g. would happen to live in the country side, what possibilities you would have at going into nature! There is no excuse not to do this.

    1. Khayyam

      Hi Jerry,

      Thank you for your comments, I agree if you live in the countryside you have no excuse. It would be great to just walk for hours looking at the beautiful landscape, but even in the cities there are places where you can go. Just make the change, take the first step to achieve your goals.

      Regards,

      Khayyam

  5. To anyone who has read this post and is now taking the time to read the comments:

    It’s incredible what you can accomplish from just walking!!

    In March, I weighed 77 kgs. and if that doesn’t sound so much to you, consider my height: a whopping 1.67 m! All of the extra weight was centered in the belly.

    After a significant change in my life, I gained 10 kgs. within a 3 month period. I had gotten to the point of being in this situation which drastically lowered my self-esteem for two and a half years and I was fed up! But when I thought of exercise, I quickly brushed it off with the amount of time I worked and the time I needed to commute, a total of 10 – 10.5 hours a day.

    One day I thought to myself: what would happen if returning from work I canceled the first leg of my trip, a short train ride covering 5.3 kms. and walked that distance? The rest of the trip I would continue by metro, as always.

    On the 13th of March, I decided to give it a try. I must admit, it was a little bit hectic but not enough to make me stop. So I repeated it the next day and easily got to the point of doing this 3 – 5 days a week. Usually, a co-worker would accompany me up to where he lived and I’d continue the rest alone. I would walk at the fastest pace possible for me. I became calory conscious through an app I downloaded that would add up all my calory intake and subtract the burned energy. This taught me the amount of calories that various foods had and I began to watch what I ate. After all, everything extra translated to more walking! Having done this for about one and a half months, I had lost the first couple of kilos, maybe a little more, to be honest.

    My wife noticed and decided to accompany me. She would complain in the beginning and as she didn’t have the app that I had downloaded when I started, I lowered my pace but “cheated” and started to walk longer distances, a little at a time so my wife wouldn’t complain too much. Within a couple of weeks she had adjusted and had taken a like to walking. So we started to consciously walk longer distances.

    Completing 3 months of this, I was 8 kilos lighter! I had abandoned the calory app as I just didn’t need it anymore,, being sufficiently conscious of what I ate. Ah, I forgot to mention. I’m 56 years old and my wife 52. Now, I have been walking for about 5 months. We don’t do it consciously anymore but it is a part of our life. We go out and we walk instead of taking a bus or getting in a car. I have lost 10 kilos, feel great and am not ashamed to go to the beach anymore where as a matter of fact, I try to be almost every day.

    So, have no doubts about it and cut the cheap excuses. You’re only cheating and depriving yourself of a better and enjoyable life. By the way, you don’t know your neighborhood until you start walking it. You will not believe the things you never noticed driving by in your car. Put your walking shoes on and start walking. You’re going to love it!

    1. Hi Ioannis,

      What a great story, I can understand the starting point is always hard and the focus usually shifts when we start something our bodies do not like and we try to find the shortcut, but I am glad you kept going. Walking is probably the most underrated exercise to do, Is it because we do not look for something we already know? Possibly… I will leave you with that thought.

      Regards

      Khayyam

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