Are you a natural couch potato? Do you want to burn off those love handles and muffin tops? And ironically, the very thought of joining a gym makes you sigh in exasperation. Well, they say that there is no short-cut to anything good in life, but if you walk on the right path, you may reach your goal. Walking is a popular form of physical activity that most people can easily engage in. In addition to weight loss, a proper walking workout also aids in reducing high-risk diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, walking is considered risk-free, cost-effective, and helps to get rid of that stubborn belly fat you were trying to get rid of forever. In this article, we will discuss the health benefits of walking, how it helps you burn calories and remain fit.
Walking For Better Health
The health benefits of walking are substantiated by numerous studies and researches across the world. People of all ages and fitness levels benefit from this simple, easy-to-do exercise. In addition to weight loss and maintenance, walking also proves beneficial for our overall health and prevents chronic illnesses. Here are a few advantages that people achieve from walking when they incorporate it into their daily exercise regimen:
- Burning calories and body fat loss are two of the vital benefits of walking workouts.
- Can Reduce the risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. In simpler terms, walking facilitates a strong heart and lungs.
- Help to keep your blood sugar levels in check and aids in diabetes control.
- Walking enhances bone and muscle strength endurance in your legs easing joint and muscular pain.
- Boosts immunity and lessens your risk of potential cold or the flu.
- A brisk walk brightens your mood! Some studies even demonstrate the longevity of life and defence from anxiety and depression.
Walking to lose weight
There are plenty of researches that evidence the correlation between walking and weight loss. While any form of physical activity aid in fat burn and thus result in weight loss, walking is especially adequate to shed off visceral fat that accumulates in your belly. However, the amount of fat burn during a walking workout depends on the intensity of your walk. Nevertheless, it is an obvious fact that the more you walk, the more calories you burn and more weight you lose.
Doctors everywhere widely agree that brisk walking has enormous advantages over walking at a slow or standard pace. Here, brisk means that your speed is high that you can still talk, although singing would be hard to do. This implies that an increase in your heart rate is good but does not get alarmingly high either. Moreover, it is not just the distance covered by walking that gives benefits but also the speed or pace at which you cover that distance. The more intense your walking workout turns out to be, the more benefits you reap. However, beginners are advised against intensive walking routines as they could be prone to potential injuries. Like any other physical activity, beginners should avoid exertion and relatively build stamina and endurance gradually over time. Also, if you are above 40 years and have any chronic illness such as diabetes or heart disease, expert guidance is mandatory before you begin to exercise.
A beginner’s walking plan would ideally imply a 15 minutes walking session per day for five days a week. Slowly challenge your stamina by increasing 5 minutes per walking session every week. Most studies show that a 30-minute brisk walk every day demonstrates good overall health results, but if your ulterior motive is fat burn, then you need to up your game. A 30-minute brisk walk burns around 150 calories; experts recommend brisk walking for 45- 60 minutes every day for faster weight loss and fat burn. Popular fitness apps and pedometers encourage people to take 10,000 steps a day for weight loss, an ideal goal that you can achieve gradually and in a reasonable manner.
Tips To A Productive Walking Workout
Here are a few tips on how to increase the number of calories and fat burn during your walking workout:
- Your walking pace and distance determine your walking workout outcome. For better results, remember this simple rule: the more and faster you walk, the more and quicker you burn fat.
- Swinging your arm and varying your pace makes your walk more productive in terms of calorie burn.
- To maximize the fat-burn, along with increasing pace and distance, you could also walk uphill and vary your terrain or the surface you walk on. For instance, a brisk walk on soft sand or grass burns more calories than a brisk walk on a leveled track. So does walking up a short hill or stairs or inclines.
- Amplify your caloric expenditure by using hand weights or wearing weighted vests while you walk. Never use a weight of more than 10% of your body weight; be cautious of potential injuries as they are discouraged for people with heart diseases and other health risks.
- Walking on a treadmill is just as effective as an outdoor walk. Make sure you begin with a comfortable speed and gradually increase your pace to maintain a steady walk.
- Setting intervals and doing power walking is also effective in burning fat quicker. Try walking for 5 minutes as a warm-up, increase the pace and challenge yourself for 15-20 seconds by sustaining an uncomfortable speed, then switch back to your previous stride. Continue this power walk at regular intervals and increase the number of calories you burn.
- Adding resistance training exercises to your walking workouts would give you amazing results. Some strength exercises you can incorporate at certain intervals could be squats, burpees, pushups, and lunges.
- Use a fitness tracker or walking gadgets like pedometers to motivate you to achieve your level best.
Safety Precautions While Walking
- You cannot disregard the importance of comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear. Those sunburns, blisters, and shin splints are not enjoyable!
- Taking faster strides than longer strides can prevent strain on your legs. Remember, walking is a weight-bearing exercise where you carry your body weight while exercising. Longer strides, especially for over-weight people, can do more harm than good.
- Keep yourself dehydrated. Drinking water before, during, and after your walking workout prevents dehydration by excessive sweating.
- Never starve yourself either. Post-work-out meals are vital in terms of building muscles and filling up glycogen levels.
- Warm-ups and cool-downs are vital in walking as well. Allow your body to adjust to the workout process effectively.
- It is pivotal to walk, preserving your form and posture. Focusing on the abdominal muscles and glutes helps to build strength and stamina.
Walking is an excellent physical activity to burn fat, lose weight, and stay fit. However, a leisurely walk has almost no benefits and, as a result, you will be disappointing yourself if you are on a weight-loss mission. Desk jobs, long hours, and sedentary lifestyles can ascribe to high-risk health issues, and hence we must remain fit and active in this fast-paced world. So, wait no more and incorporate the above-mentioned stimulating walking workouts into your fitness regime. Remember, consistency is the key, just as in the case of other types or form of exercise, especially if you wish to keep the weight off that you have worked so hard to lose.