There are many myths surrounding walking and weight loss, many of which sound too good to be true. But one walking myth that is absolutely true is that walking for 45 minutes per day – without making any other changes to your exercise regime – can boost your weight loss.
Not only that, it will tone your legs, bum and tum and will improve heart health. What’s not to love?
Walking might sound like a bit of a dull exercise – but the truth is, in both diet and exercise, the simplest approaches are sometimes the best. Walking is an excellent exercise for everyone – which is what makes it such a good exercise for weight loss. Walking is gentle on your joints, which means that it’s ideal for all ages and for people that are overweight.
Even if you can only walk for 2-5 minutes when you first start, eventually, if you keep walking, you’ll be able to walk further and further, your joints will be stronger and healthier and you’ll be fitter, stronger and healthier than you were before.
It’s Cheap and It’s Easy
Walking is completely free – you don’t need to pay for a gym membership and at the very most, all you need to invest in is a pair of comfy trainers. You can do it indoors – walk round your house if the weather’s a little miserable – or you can do it outdoors if it’s a bright, sunny day. You can get the whole family involved too – take the baby in their buggy to burn extra calories and tone your arms, and you can even take the dog along. Most of all, it’s easy – after all, we all know how to walk!
Health and Weight Loss Benefits
Many, many studies have shown that walking is a bit of a super exercise. It can help you to lose weight, but it can also improve general health, reduce your risk of certain types of cancers, boost your metabolism and decrease your risk of depression. Studies have also shown that individuals with joint problems such as arthritis could find that walking can almost eradicate pain caused by the arthritis. Another study by the University of Pittsburgh showed that walking for 30-60 minutes per day, eating the same foods and not making any additional changes to their exercise regime helped overweight individuals to shed the pounds. All they did was walk – and this helped them to burn off the calories, which helped them to shed the pounds.
Why 45 Minutes?
At a moderate pace, if you walk for 45 minutes per day, you’ll walk for roughly 3 miles. The exact amount of calories that you’ll burn off will depend on your weight, but roughly, you can burn off 200-250 calories by walking for 3 miles. Do this every day, and you’ll burn off up to 1750 calories per week – and in terms of fat burning, this equals a loss of ¼ of a kilo a week, a kilo a month and twelve kilos a year. Pretty good when all you have to do is get walking! Add healthy eating into the mix by eating between 1200 and 1800 calories per day to create even more of a calorie deficit and you’ll be walking your way to a slimmer you in no time.
Walking for Heart Health
Studies have also shown that walking boosts your cardiovascular system – and in turn, this helps to improve your heart health, potentially reducing your blood pressure and the risk of other related illnesses, such as heart disease. A walk a day can also reduce your risk of osteoporosis – and yet another study has shown that if you walk for 30 minutes just 3 to 4 times per week, it can improve your mood and make you feel more confident.
Get More From Your Walks
Walking at a moderate pace will burn off plenty of calories. But there are plenty of things that you can do to boost the calorie burning power of your walks. Get your arms moving when you walk – it will add movement, which will help to speed you along, but it will also burn off extra calories. To burn up to 20% more calories, and sometimes even more, add hills into your walk. They make you work harder, burning more calories but also toning your bum and thighs. Ankle and wrist weights can also help you to burn off more calories and will tone up your arms and legs – and the good thing about building lean muscle in this way is that this muscle will help you to burn off more calories even when you’re just sitting on the sofa.
You should always be walking at a moderate pace – if not, you’ll burn some calories, but you won’t burn the optimum amount of calories. Walking at a leisurely pace is better than nothing, but to burn the most calories, you should walk at a moderate pace – you’ll feel out of breath and slightly sweaty, and you’ll be able to talk, but you probably won’t want to. This way, you’ll burn the most calories, and you’ll become slim, fit and strong in no time.
If you are ready to lose weight then The Healthy Mummy plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine that are safe if you are breastfeeding.