Walking for Weight Loss

February 25, 2020

Burn Calories & Fat Without Stressing Your Joints

The modern workplace inhibits many of us from achieving the movement we need daily to lead a healthy lifestyle, leaving us “chained” to our desks for upwards of 8 hours a day. Born from this sitting epidemic, fitness trackers now adorn the wrists of many health enthusiasts reminding them to move consistently throughout the day and tracking their efforts.

But can adding more steps into your day truly transform your health? And does walking help you lose weight? Absolutely. In fact, developing a nutrition and fitness regime that includes walking can help you burn calories, lose weight and keep the weight off long-term. Learning how to maximize your weight loss with fitness walking while also protecting your joints is the key.

To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in who can discuss adding walking for weight loss into your health plan, call (832) 532-0050 or contact us online.

Why is Walking for Weight Loss Effective?

Walking is what your body was designed to do. Throughout history, humans have walked to travel, hunt and forage for food; they only stopped walking when they were sick or dying. A sedentary lifestyle with a lack of regular exercise can not only lead to weight gain, but it can cause muscle wasting and create a sluggish metabolism. It can also lead to chronic pain.

Ready for some good news? Depending on how often you walk and how you walk, you can lose anywhere from one to three pounds per week. Walking works out just about every area of your body and is easier on the joints than running or other exercise programs. The number of calories you burn is dependent on your weight and walking pace; however, on average, walking at a 4 miles per hour pace can burn 400 calories each hour.

People who believe they cannot exercise because they are in too much pain, are not strong enough or are too heavy, will often see that muscle strength quickly builds, pain disappears and metabolism and weight loss begin to soar just a month into a regular walking program.

10 Tips to Help You Lose Weight Walking

Often the hardest part of any weight loss program is getting off to the right start. To help you lose weight walking, consider these ten tips:

  1. Choose the Right Shoes: Seek shoes with flexible soles and good arch support which feel comfortable as soon as you put them on. You might want to get your walking shoes a half-size larger and slightly wider than the shoe size you normally wear, leaving extra room for some nice, padded athletic socks. Also, feet will often swell as you walk, especially if you are overweight and just getting started.
  2. See Your Healthcare Provider: Suddenly increasing your activity level can tax your heart, muscles and joints, so be sure to see a healthcare provider for a checkup and get the okay before you begin any exercise program. Your healthcare provider can devise a walking weight loss program that also includes nutritional counseling to help you optimize your weight loss potential.
  3. Commit to Realistic Goals: Engaging in a vigorous walking plan when your life is mainly sedentary opens the door to injury, pain and other medical concerns. While 15,000 steps a day may be your ultimate goal, set shorter term goals to help you work up to that many steps in a day.
  4. Talk While You Walk: The classic advice is that if you can comfortably talk while you walk, you’re at the right pace. If you are too out of breath to talk, you’re overdoing it.
  5. Take it High-Tech: You can find a multitude of walking apps available to track your weight loss or miles walked in a day. These apps can even connect you with other walkers who can offer support, advice and competition, holding you accountable for your daily step commitment.
  6. Motivate with Music: Making walking enjoyable will help you commit to the activity long-term. Crafting a walking playlist on your phone or MP3 player can help you set a pace for walking while keeping you entertained.
  7. Flex Your Muscles: Studies show that the combination of fitness walking with strength training is more effective for weight loss than either alone. Building muscle through strength training can also help prevent injury during exercise.
  8. Turbo Charge Your Walking: As you build strength, try adding in bursts of speed walking or incline walking to boost calories lost. Studies show it can make a big difference. You will lose more weight, lose more belly fat and lose more of that dangerous visceral fat—the kind that wraps around your organs and is linked to degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Intensity also raises levels of fat-burning hormones.
  9. Buddy-Up: Walking with a friend or group of friends can help motivate you to show up. Several studies suggest that people who have a social network, who support and encourage their weight loss goals, lose more weight than those who do not.
  10. Get Creative: Look for opportunities to add more steps in your day like parking further away from work or the grocery store, walking while talking a phone call or skipping the elevator and opting for the stairs.

If you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who are overweight, a walking weight loss program can be a safe and effective way to lose weight, heal degenerative diseases and address pain and other disabling symptoms that come with carrying too much extra weight. Request more information about walking to lose weight today. Call (832) 532-0050 or contact us online.

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