There is an underestimated form of exercise that many people skip because of preconceived notions. From the title of this article, it’s pretty obvious what that exercise is… Walking.
Walking may sound too basic or too easy, but when done right, it is a great addition to a weight loss program.
Some of the health benefits include…
- Fat Burning
- Better Posture
- Improved Blood Flow
- And many others that I will discuss in detail below
So let’s explore exactly how walking can be used to lose weight. Warning, there is an elephant in the room.
Most people are skeptical about walking for weight loss but are hopeful for success. This almost always leads to the question… Can I lose weight just from walking?
Now before you exit out of this article, let’s talk about why. There is an equation one needs to be familiar with if using walking to lose weight. That equation is:
Walking + Proper Low Carb Dieting = Weight Loss
And let us share a secret about it… There is no exercise for the first 8 days except for walking. Not a single squat, pushup, or dumbbell used.
If that blows your mind, it shouldn’t.
This almost always leads to another question…
Why does this work so well for weight loss?
I’ll explain both the regular version and the scientific version.
The regular version of why this works is because walking burns fat stores without making the body too tired. It’s much less intense than running, yet it still helps burn fat.
The scientific reason this works is because walking does not dip into glycogen levels, which is provided by carbohydrate intake. The body is then forced to burn primarily fat.
So not only is the body shedding weight fast, the majority of the weight lost will be fat.
And walking isn’t ONLY good for weight loss…
- It’s an easy habit to create.
Stick to a daily walk for 30 days, and watch how your mindset changes. It’s awesome!
2.It’s good for your brain.
Walking has extensive brain benefits, including improving memory sensors, cognitive control, and even academic performance.
3.It helps with craving control.
Walking instills a sense of mediation, which has been shown to decrease sugar cravings and appetite.
3.It helps with posture.
A big benefit almost every walker notices is improved posture.
By extending the hip flexors from standing the back will straighten, and posture will improve naturally. It will just happen as a result of the walks without feeling “forced.”
4.It mostly burns body fat.
Walking in particular as a workout burns primarily fat for fuel, which is pretty great for anyone looking to lose weight on their body.
6.It reduces stress.
Going for a walk, particularly in nature, has been shown to greatly reduce cortisol levels in the body. It’s a great way to decompress if feeling lots of life’s pressures.
7.It improves immune function.
A mere 30-minute walk improves T-cells and other markers of immune function.
A study done on postmenopausal women even showed that walking reduced the normal reduction of immunity caused by menopause.
8.It helps the elderly prevent falls.
Going on regular walks has been shown to reduce the number of falls in the elderly, so go take grandma for a walk! She’d love it! ☺
9.It’s in our blood.
Our ancestors consisted of long lines of hunters and nomads exploring the world around them. It’s a part of who we are, whether you realize it or not.
10.It’s in our genes.
Walking has also been shown to positively affect the genes that are responsible for fat and carbohydrate metabolism, reduced inflammation, and lowered oxidative stress gene expression.
It is as much genetically a part of us as it is physical.
11.It can help you live longer.
A massive walking study of 7,000 men and 31,000 female recreation walkers showed that those who walked the most often had the lowest mortality rates. So walk more for a long life…
If you’re interested in one or more of these health benefits, the next question is…
What is the best time to go for a walk?
It’s not too complicated. There are three times that make for the best walks, in order from best to worst.
- First thing in the morning – The best time to go for a walk is first thing in the morning because the stomach will be empty of glycogen and provide better fat burning. It is also the time when people will have the most willpower and make the best decisions.
- Right before lunch – Going before lunch is much better than after lunch. This is because walking is a reminder of the health goals we make and helps people make better eating decisions during lunch.
- Immediately after getting home from work – Skip the Netflix and go for a walk instead.
The only reason this is #3 on the time choices is because people are usually worn down from the long work day, and it’s tougher to make healthy decisions.
That being said, a walk in INFINITY times better than crashing on the couch, watching TV, and eating a big dinner.
Walking to Lose Weight, 6 Steps to Success
1.It’s not a marathon or sprint.
The difference in calorie burn between a fast-paced walk with dumbbells in hand vs. a relaxed walk at a calm pace is marginal if the time walking is the same. Focus that energy on dieting properly, and leave the headband and pink dumbbells at home.
Be casual, relax, and enjoy the surroundings.
2.Find a walking buddy.
Degmar (co-founder of changeINminutes and wife) and I go for walks almost every day. It’s a great time to connect with someone and talk about life.
We find that some of our best inspiration comes from those walks.
Your walking buddy also doesn’t have to be human… I’m sure your dog would be more than happy to accompany you on a walk!
3.Listen to an audiobook.
4.Make an awesome walking playlist.
Don’t like audiobooks? Make a walking playlist! These songs should be soothing and relaxing, not intense. A good band to try is Explosions in the Sky. They are only instrumental and will give the mind great focus.
5.Drink iced green tea before or during the walk.
Depending on when you walk, green tea is usually a great choice. It has been proven to boost metabolism and will add to your water intake for the day. Make it, add some ice, and sip it on the walk. Pair it with a great weight loss diet.
As stated before, just walking on its own will not provide the weight loss benefits 95% of people are looking for.
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