(Natural News) Anyone who wants to stay fit and healthy understands the importance of exercising regularly. Being physically active can bring significant improvements to one’s health, including reducing the risk of certain conditions like heart disease and cancer. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to the gym every day to consider yourself “physically active” enough to lose weight. Walking is a perfectly viable form of physical activity that is both low risk and accessible to most people.
Walking for weight loss
How much weight you can lose by walking can vary depending on your performance. Here are some tips to help you increase the amount of fat you burn while walking.
Aim for more steps
Most commercial pedometers, as well as popular fitness trackers, would suggest people to take 10,000 steps each day for their exercise routine. In fact, a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy agrees with this number, saying that 10,000 steps each day could help improve physical and mental states in sedentary, overweight individuals. While this number of steps can definitely help you lose weight if you consistently hit it on a daily basis, some people might appreciate increasing their total number of steps past the 10,000 mark. (Related: These boots were made for walking: Increase your walking time to enjoy multiple long-term health benefits.)
Those who find 10,000 steps too daunting can opt to set more reasonable step goals and work towards achieving them. They can start boosting their step count by changing up some of their daily movement patterns. These include taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator and taking walking breaks at work rather than sitting in the break room.
Pick up the pace
Similar to other aerobic exercises like running and swimming, pace when walking can make a significant difference. People who walk at a brisk pace tend to burn far more calories than those who walk slowly. In fact, a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found that people who increased their pace to almost a run burned more calories than those who didn’t. However, this finding does not mean you should start running to lose weight. Walking at a brisk pace is more than enough to get the job done.
Take three shorter walks a day
While longer walking sessions are beneficial for your health (and weight), taking shorter, more frequent walks can also provide benefits. There are some who might find it easier to keep up with their daily exercise routine by doing shorter walks throughout the day instead of burning it all off in one session once a day. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that walking for about 15 minutes three times a day immediately after meals can help control the blood sugar levels of inactive people over 60 years old.
Wear a weighted vest
Adding extra weight onto your body while working out can help you burn more calories. This is because heavier people use more energy to perform the same task compared to someone who isn’t as heavy. By wearing a weighted vest, you’re encouraging your body to work harder while taking your walk. However, you should always use caution when wearing such items. People with back and neck problems should refrain from using a weighted vest.
Power walking in intervals
Performing power walks in intervals can help you burn many more calories while walking. To do so, you should start walking for about five to 10 minutes to warm up before increasing the pace of your walking. Continue at an uncomfortable but sustainable pace for 10 to 15 seconds before slowing down to your warm up pace. You can repeat this process multiple times throughout the walking session, as long as you can manage it.
Try walking uphill
While it may seem daunting at first, those who wish to increase their calorie burning can try walking uphill regularly. For some people, this means increasing the incline of the treadmill while others would incorporate hills and slopes into their outdoor walking routine. You can also use stairs or inclines to incorporate more uphill walking.
Incorporate resistance training intervals
Resistance training during your walking sessions can not only help you burn more calories, they can also support the growth of new muscles. Exercises under resistance training include pushups, squats, tricep dips and lunges. These short exercise intervals can also help increase your heart rate and keep your walking sessions interesting.
Focus on your form and posture
When out on your daily walk, you should always keep your form and posture in mind. Always look ahead at all times to increase your walking speed and lengthen your stride. In addition, you should tighten your abdominal muscles and glutes to help build strength and prevent injury.
Every step counts when it comes to weight loss. Learn more about the health benefits of walking at Slender.news.