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How to Lose Weight by Walking? Benefits and How to Start

Regular exercise is essential to for overall health and well-being. (Image via Pexels / Nataliya Vaitkevich)
Regular exercise is essential to for overall health and well-being. (Image via Pexels/Nataliya Vaitkevich)

Walking is one of the most accessible types of exercise, as it requires no special equipment and can be done anywhere and any time.

Whether it's an outdoor or indoor setting, it's very easy to get up and start walking. Many people are forgetful about exercising, but you won't need to worry about that when it comes to walking, as you won't have to make time for your workouts.

Walking not only contributes to weight loss but also impacts other aspects of health. There are several ways in which walking can assist with weight loss, from burning fat to reducing the risk of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.


Weight Loss and Other Healthy Benefits of Walking

Here's a look at a few benefits of walking:

1) Burns Calories

You can burn more calories with active physical activity such as exercise. (Image via Pexels/Rodnae Productions)
You can burn more calories with active physical activity such as exercise. (Image via Pexels/Rodnae Productions)

Your body needs energy (in the form of calories) for all the complex chemical reactions that allow you to move, breathe, think, and function.

However, your daily calorie needs depend on a lot of factors — age, height, weight, sex, genes and activity level. The more active you are — whether it’s walking or running — the more calories you will burn.


2) Preserves Lean Muscles

Regular exercise can help in preserving lean muscles. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Regular exercise can help in preserving lean muscles. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

While you're trying to lose weight, you may lose some muscle in addition to body fat. That can make it difficult to maintain your results over time.

However, an exercise such as walking can prevent that by helping you preserve as much muscle as possible as you lose weight. Exercise also helps reduce age-related muscle loss, keeping your strength and functioning strong as you get older.


3) Reduces Belly Fat

Exercise can help in reducing excess belly fat. (Image via Pexels/Sarah Chai)
Exercise can help in reducing excess belly fat. (Image via Pexels/Sarah Chai)

Excess fat in the abdominal area can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Men with a waist circumference of more than 40 inches and women with more than 35 inches have 'abdominal obesity', which is considered a health risk.

One of the most effective ways to reduce abdominal fat is to regularly take part in aerobic exercises, such as walking. You can reduce your belly fat by adding walking to your daily routine.


4) Improves Mood

Uplifts and improves your mood. (Image via Pexels/Sarah Chai)
Uplifts and improves your mood. (Image via Pexels/Sarah Chai)

Physical activity such as walking can make you feel better in many ways. It can increase the body's sensitivity to hormones that help relieve depression and anxiety.

Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, which are responsible for feelings of happiness. When you feel happier, it might be easier to set aside time for exercise.


5) Helps Maintain Weight

Walking helps balance and keep your weight healthy. (Image via Pexels/Rfstudio)
Walking helps balance and keep your weight healthy. (Image via Pexels/Rfstudio)

If you have lost weight, you might worry about gaining it back. However, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight by burning calories and building muscle.

Walking increases energy expenditure throughout the day, and it also builds muscle mass so that you burn more calories even while resting. Regular exercise can make you feel happier, which helps keep you motivated in the long term.


How to Incorporate Walking into Your Daily Routine?

To stay healthy, it's recommended that you do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. That can be broken up into sessions of ten minutes or more at a time. So if you have the time and inclination, walking for 2.5 hours a week can give you all the benefits of the exercise.

Here are some ways how you can make your walking routine more fun:

1) Include Power Walking

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Walking in intervals can make a person's workout more effective. To try this technique, start out walking for about 5-10 minutes to warm up.

Increase your pace, and continue at an uncomfortable but sustainable pace for 10-15 seconds before returning to a normal walking pace. Repeat that throughout the walk or as long as you can.


2) Maintain Proper Form and Texture

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When walking, keep your head up, and gaze straight ahead. That will help you move faster and lengthen your stride. Tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks.

Try that throughout the walk or during short intervals. That will help you build strength and reduce the risk of injury so that you can continue your walking programme.


3) Incorporate Resistance Training Workouts

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People who want to increase their calorie burn and build muscle can try adding short intervals of resistance training to their walking routine. Some exercises to try are squats and lunges for leg muscles, push-ups and tricep dips for arms, and burpees for cardio and core strength.


Bottom Line

Walking has numerous health benefits and is a convenient way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If you’re serious about achieving or maintaining weight loss, incorporating a regular walking routine can help you get plenty of sleep every night.

There are also many other ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine; walking is just one example. However, it’s important not to push yourself or make yourself uncomfortable while working towards weight loss.

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Edited by Bhargav
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