How to Lose Weight Just by Walking More

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

 Walking is part of being a human being. We have two legs and two feet to walk with. We walk everyday just to get around and we never lose weight. So, walking can be designed to lose weight. Is this a healthy way to lose weight? Do you have to walk at a certain pace and how far do you walk? How often should you walk to lose some noticeable weight? Should you walk slow or fast to lose weight? Is walking good for the cardiovascular and your heart? Is walking a low-impact or high-impact exercise? Walking is good for your health and there have been some fitness machines manufactured based on walking. Let’s start walking.

Walking is Safe

Walking is one of the safest forms of exercising you can engage in. It’s a low-impact  form of fitness and depending on how much you walk you could lose about one pound a week. If sweating in a gym isn’t your passion then walking is for you. You can walk for 30 minutes and get your cardiovascular moving and your heart pumping. You can even lose weight walking without going on a diet. But dieting is advisable in addition to walking then you can be guaranteed to lose more weight. Losing weight walking depends on how much you weigh and  what your walking pace is. If you walk 4 miles per hour you could burn 400 calories. Usually people walk 4 miles per hour but you don’t have to walk 4 miles per hour.

If you commit to walking 3 extra miles a day you could burn 300 calories a day. You can work walking into your daily routine and you don’t have to make extra trips to the gym if the gym just isn’t your preferred way of working out. You can use a pedometer (an instrument for estimating the distance traveled on foot by recording the number of steps taken.)  which will help you burn more calories while you walk. It’s said that if you buy a pedometer your chances for losing weight are greater. This way you can track your daily activities and you will see your progress which will motivate you to lose weight. The pedometer attaches to the hip and it will track every step you take. This way if you need to walk further to lose weight you can keep record of it with a pedometer.

Stepping the Weight off

A good question to ask is how far do you have to walk to lose weight. There has to be a specific distance to walk to lose noticeable weight. To begin to lose weight you have to walk about 2000 steps in the average mile. In this way you will burn 100 calories per mile. The pedometer will track the steps you take like we said before and will track how many calories you burn. If you don’t have time to exercise just add walking to your daily routine to get the extra weight off. You must burn 3500 calories to lose one pound so obviously you have to walk 3500 steps to lose one pound. One pound per week would equate to 500 calorie deficit a day to reach that goal of losing one pound per week. To lose one pound per week you need to add 10,000 steps to your daily routine.

You don’t have to start out walking 10,000 steps a day but remember if you don’t it means you will lose less weight. Start out slowly and work up to the 10,000 steps a day. Here are some ideas to get you there. If you take a bus to and from work get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way to home or work. You own your car and drive it to work then park the car further from work than you normally do. This way you can walk the rest of the way to work and help yourself to lose more weight. Walk to the train station instead of taking your car or the bus.When you go to the doctors and it’s on the 4th or 5th floor take the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking the stairs will also do your cardiovascular system a lot of good. When you leave the doctor’s office take the stairs down instead of taking the elevator. Walk your children to school instead of driving them. These are ways you can work extra walking into your daily routines. Before you know it you will see the weight start to burn off. What it really comes down to is you just need to change some of your daily methods. If you get a more advanced pedometer you can also keep track of how many pounds you have lost. Additionally, to the calories burned and the steps you have walked that day. This will give you a complete picture of what you have accomplished physically on a daily basis.  

Keep the Walking Interesting

Walking the same old route everyday is bound to get boring. If you get too bored with walking you may quit walking all together. So, change your walking routes to keep the walking exciting and fresh. Try walking in different parks or on different tracks at different schools. You can also get a friend or a relative to walk with you on a regular basis. This way even if you walk the same route you will have someone to talk with to keep the walk alive and interesting. If you decide to change the route all the better you will still have each other to talk to.

You may consider gathering wit a group of people to walk with and st a designated time and place to meet during the week. Your group will share in the common goal to lose weight and exercise which will keep the group motivated. You will be sharing a common goal as a group. The group may break up into teams of two and walk in different directions or maybe the group will stick together and walk the same route. You may consider switching the person you walk with each time the group meets. You may consider meeting with a different person each time you go out to walk. You may want to bring your favorite along to listen to while you walk. This will keep you energized and motivated during the walk. Select a playlist ahead of time and synchronize your walking to the beat of the music. Before you know it your walk will be through.  

There may be a walking group in your community that specializes in walking different times and at various places during the week. Check them out and get involved with them they will share the same passion for walking as you do. Don’t let the cold winter season dampen your fervor to walk. Invest in a treadmill and position it in front of the window that way while you walk you can view nature or put the treadmill in front of the television then you can watch all your favorite programs. There are ways to make the walking inviting and invigorating. If you don’t want to invest in a treadmill and your house is large enough then walk a route within your home. Mix the route up so it won’t be so boring.

Walk with Style

Over the years the years you may have developed a bad posture and other habits that could affect your walking style in a negative way. We all know how to walk since we were very young but things can change over the years. There is a definite style of walking you should follow to achieve the maximum benefits out of the walking. The style you want to choose for exercising is to keep your focus 10 feet in front of you. Walk in a long stride, pull the abdomen in towards the spine, and squeeze the glutes. (A muscle in either buutock) This style of walking will be the most beneficial for you.        

It’s recommended that you consult your health professional

How Often to Walk

It’s recommended that you consult your health professional to make sure you are healthy enough to engage in walking. It is advisable to start out walking 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time. Eventually, you want to work up to 30-60 minutes a time and walk almost everyday of the week.

The Golden Mile

Another benefit of walking is it doesn’t cost any money to get out there and start. The only investment maybe buying the proper type of shoes. The beauty of walking is to can do it anytime and just about anywhere. If you do decide to buy shoes specifically for walking then make sure you buy the right pair. Walking shoes will have flexible soles and stiff heel counters to prevent side-to-side motion which could damage your feet. If your walking will be primarily on flat surfaces then you will want shoes that have low heels, cushioned, and are comfortable to wear. It is wise to plan out a route before you walk so you know exactly where you are going to walk. Nothing will burn up your valuable time faster than trying to plan a route as you walk. If you know where you will be walking you will be confident and not catch any surprises along the way. You may want to choose several different routes that vary in grade, length, and elevation.

It is important as we mentioned earlier to have a walking buddy. People who have a social network supporting them in their walking will stay more committed to the walking and they will lose more weight than those who choose walk by themselves. Laugh while you walk this sounds funny but it’s beneficial. Find someone who is amusing and pick them as a walking partner. According to a study published in the “International Journal of Obesity” a good 15 to 20 minute giggle fest will increase basal energy expenditure and resting heart rate by 10 to 20 percent this will add to the weight loss. Another trick is don’t let weather conditions deter your walking no matter what time of year it is in your neck of the woods you can still walk. Dress appropriately for the season you are walking in. In the winter bundle up in warm clothes and wear warm footwear. In the summer wear light clothes and light, breathable footwear. Also, in the summer make sure you walk before the sun hits its highest position in other words before the heat of the day. In winter to the opposite walk before the sun goes down and it is too cold to walk.

Hit the bricks before you wake up. First thing in the morning get out there and walk. This is the prime time to lose weight when you walk. Your body is already in a calorie deficit mode and will burn fat off faster. Sleeping depletes Glycogen levels so your body will burn up existing body fat. You will find that as you walk right after you wake up you will lose body fat quicker. It is also helpful to to walk at a brisk pace because this will help you burn off a bountiful amount of calories. For example, if you are 150lbs. Then walking 3.5 miles an hour will burn off about 300 calories every 60 minutes. If you can walk at a brisk rate for 30 minutes every day you will burn off 1050 calories by the end of the week. Studies have shown that burning these amounts of calories on a weekly basis will protect you from heart disease. You will also notice you look and feel better.

A study conducted in 2015 at Ohio State University, by engineering researchers. They discovered  that if you vary your speeds while walking you can burn up to 20% more calories than if you walk at a constant speed. Walking at a constant speed still has it’s benefits but breaking up your walking speeds is better for you. The next time you walk at a brisk pace try accelerating to a faster pace and then slow down your pace. It also recommended to walk at a fast pace but do it the right way. You can either lengthen your stride or you can walk at a faster stride. The better choice is to walk at a faster stride because if you walk at a longer stride you could increased strain on your feet and legs.

A study published in the “ Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism” found that if people drink more water they can burn off calories faster. Participants in the study drank 17 ounces of water and their metabolism increased by 30 percent. So get out there and do a brisk power walk and drink a lot of water while you are walking. You will burn off the calories at a faster rate and the pounds will come tumbling off. This is a very quick and easy way to lose weight. You will want to make walking a daily habit because then you will get used to walking everyday. It will keep you motivated to make it a part of your daily life. It is important to change the terrain you walk on. It will actually affect the rate at which you will burn calories. Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories than walking on a track. If you walk on the sand you can burn up to 50% more calories granted you keep up the same healthy pace. Walking on various terrains really can make a difference.   

Another way to help you lose weight while walking is to conduct three high intensity walks three day a week but make sure they aren’t on successive days. The other days walk your normal pace. The high intensity walks will help you to burn calories faster and lose weight quicker. You may want to walk up short hills as a way for intensive walking. If you do walk up some short hills make sure you lean slightly forward your leg muscles will be less stressed. Your knees will applaud you if when you are walking down those hills you slow the pace down and bend your legs slightly. Don’t forget when you are walking down hill to take shorter steps.

help you lose weight while walking

The Final Walk  

We have shared with you some very practical ways you can increase your walking to lose more weight. You don’t have to spend any money employing these methods. You just need to commit to these ways and stick with the walking. In no time you will feel better and begin to shed those stubborn pounds. You will feel and look better. Walking is a very low-impact form of exercise but it sure will benefit you greatly. So, grab a friend and get out there and start walking and lose that weight. Have fun doing it though!    

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.