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When people think of weight loss, they typically think of stereotypical exercise such as running, cycling, lifting weights, and circuit classes. However, what about walking for weight loss? Despite what you may have heard, there are hundreds, if not thousands of walking for weight loss success stories.
To understand how this is possible, we first need to explain how we both gain and lose weight; this will be discussed below. With this in mind, this article will address the topic of walking to shed a few pounds, a much less strenuous and accessible form of exercise, especially when compared to other options available.
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Understanding Weight Gain and Loss
Weight gain is achieved when your energy input (food and other calories) exceeds your energy output (physical exercise). On the other hand, to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit. This is where your energy output is greater than your input.
A caloric deficit can be achieved numerous ways, for example, eating the same foods, but increasing your exercise intensity, eating fewer calories with no adjustment to your exercise schedule, or a combination of both
Furthermore, many people think you must track your daily calories and meals to lose weight. However, this is not true. While it can be a useful tool, it is not necessary so long as you remain aware of the foods you’re eating and how much exercise you partake in.
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Walking for weight loss
So, this brings us back to our main point: walking for weight loss. Walking is an incredibly accessible form of exercise; all you need is a pair of trainers and an end destination. Those with a busy schedule will benefit from an increase in walking, especially if you don’t have time for any other form of exercise.
Perhaps, instead of drive commuting to and from work, you could walk? You can also implement short walks throughout the day such as taking the stairs instead of using the lift, or walking to meetings instead of getting behind the wheel (if both possible and reasonable, of course).
Moreover, if you do have the benefit of time and are not the biggest fan of the gym or running and cycling, you can still lose weight by walking.
What are the benefits of walking for weight loss?
According to Healthline, walking as little as one hour per day will help you burn calories and subsequently lose weight.
Unlike other forms of exercise, walking is much easier on the joints, is less strenuous, and can be done virtually anywhere and everywhere. Whatever form of exercise you choose, whether this is walking or not, you must remain consistent with your efforts, both in regards to diet and exercise.
Over a period of weeks and months, you will see progress – so long as you remain consistent. It’s better to do shorter walks more often than longer walks once a week or twice a month; consistency is key.
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You don’t just have to walk on the pavements, either…
Who said walking was exclusive to pavements? If you’re lucky enough to live in the countryside, you can mix up your terrain and walk local fells and hills. Not only is the change of scenery a welcomed addition, but the increase in elevation will get your heart rate going, burning even more calories than regular walking.
If you do choose grassy climbs over street lamp-lit pavements, you may need to pack your own head torch and reflective jacket, especially if walking at night. These can be stored neatly in a light backpack if you’re not a fan of carrying them – two must-have pieces of kit when navigating the fells.
Furthermore, if you live in the city or are particularly short on time, you can also walk on the treadmill. Treadmill walking can be a great time to be alone with your thoughts, not having to pay attention to ongoing traffic, pedestrians, and other hazards. It’s also super convenient, too!
Related: A beginner’s guide to fell running.
Losing weight by walking everyday, or even multiple times per week is entirely possible. Walking is an excellent form of exercise as it is easily accessible, requires little to no equipment, and can be done anywhere at anytime.
Learn to appreciate walking and walking will take care of you, allowing you to lose weight (if that’s your goal), improve your mental health, and keep the cogs ticking throughout the no doubt manic world we currently live in.
|Natalie Shirlaw is passionate about healthy living and writes posts about wellbeing. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pin it or share it!|