One of the easiest and most underrated ways to lose weight is by walking. Increasing your daily step goal is a simple way to up your calorie expenditure and is not as overwhelming as starting a whole new fitness routine.
Growing up, my mom would talk about this woman who lost over 100 pounds. My mom loved to walk around Lake Mission Viejo (a common 3 mile walk in southern California). While walking, she would regularly see this woman. One day she noticed the woman had lost a considerable amount of weight.
When she asked her what her secret was, she said she just walked around the lake twice a day: morning & night.
The one thing she changed was walking more, 6 miles more to be precise.
I’m not saying you need to walk 6 miles a day, but to put it into perspective a common step goal is about 10k steps a day. Google tells me, this is about 5 miles.
The average person will burn 350-600 calories walking 10k steps. Calories burned will vary based on your weight, the speed you’re walking, and any incline. But this is the equivalent to roughly 1 pound per week.
While it doesn’t sound drastic, it will add up if you stay consistent.
Not only that, walking has so many other benefits besides weight loss:
Benefits of walking:
- strengthens heart
- lowers blood pressure
- eases joint pain
- boosts immune system
- boosts energy levels
- improves mood
Which terrains are best to walk on:
The easiest to walk on are paved trails, but they aren’t necessarily the best to walk on. Because cement is such a hard surface, it can be tough on your joints.
Ideally look for something softer like grass or a shock absorbing surface like a treadmill or track.
If cement paths cannot be avoided, opt for some well-cushioned shoes. When I was on the track team, the go-to shoe brand was ASICS.
Walking on the treadmill for weight loss
It’s a little more fun to walk outdoors because of the scenery and the fresh air & vitamin D, but walking on the treadmill can be great too.
I actually have been really getting into treadmill walking for 1 big reason. The reason is my phone. I can turn on any show I want and watch while I walk. Time flies without me even realizing it.
There are plenty of rom-com-y shows especially that my family does not want to watch with me, that I get out of my system on the treadmill. It is fantastic!
The only advice I have is to up the incline and up the speed as much as you can. I also love working in intervals of faster paced walking and normal paced walking.
You can lose weight walking because…
you are increasing your calorie deficit. Plain and simple.
A calorie deficit happens when you burn more calories that you consume. You can create a deficit in so many ways, walking is just one of them.
Ten thousand steps a day does not have to be your goal either. It is a popular goal, especially with the rise of fitbits, but it is a high starting goal.
If you are new to walking or are generally pretty sedentary, a good starting goal might be to walk 10 minutes away from your house and then turn around and walk 10 minutes back. It sounds small, but it will add up.
As time goes on you can increase your walking time, or increase your walking speed to up that calorie burn!