Walking has become a huge trend, especially since the world-wide pandemic began (Covid19). As we have all had to lock down and only allowed out for exercise and essential shop, a lot of people started buying running shoes online and were taking to the roads to exercise.
Sales for trainers increased by 30%, Halfords reported a 500% increase in the sales of home exercise bikes, which is huge!
How much are we actually losing by just walking down the street?
Let’s find out…
How much to walk for weight loss
Walking not only helps lose weight but it has the ability to calm stress and depression. It’s an activity that everybody can enjoy. The calories burnt during walking can vary and depend upon body weight and walking speed. Take a look at the calculator below and type “walk” into the box and choose your walking speed to work out what you can lose.
You should be aiming for around 1 hour per day to begin with, you don’t need to lengthen your walks, you could just increase your speed. An increase in speed will put more strain on your leg muscles and will force them to work harder. Personally, if I had to walk the same routes everyday I would get bored.
5 ways to increase intensity when walking
- Add hills or steps
Adding hills or steps can increase intensity and help keep you challenged. We have all seen the film Rocky, where he runs up the stairs in his workout. It’s so effective, many gyms have specialist equipment which resembles a set of stairs that the user can climb up.
- Walk faster
Speed walking is practiced a lot by runners, it’s more controlled than running itself. It doubles in intensity compared with walking, though this does not necessarily mean it would double in calorie burn.
- Add intervals (speed up / slow down method)
You can use intervals to mix-up the workout. Let’s say for example you do a 10 minute walk, 10 minute speed walk then 10 minutes walking uphill, then repeat for your 1 hours walk.
- Add distance to your walk and walk further
Putting distance onto your walks is definitely going to increase the intensity of you walk, it’s recommended to try intervals instead of increasing the distances first.
Can walking lose belly fat?
Losing weight from the stomach is the last place your body loses it’s fat from, it is the biggest fat store the body has. You could say the stomach is the kitchen pantry, all of the food that comes into the kitchen is stored in the pantry. Emptying a pantry takes a lot of effort, let’s face it, it’s never empty!
Doing exercises that focus on the stomach area does not mean you will lose weight in that area, it’s all down to calorie burn. You must burn more calories than you are consuming, I know this is heard such a lot and is a bit cliché but it’s true.
The real belly fat loss truth:
Walking will indeed help you lose belly fat, as I said, all you have to do is burn more calories than you are taking in, it’s as simple as that!
So you want to try walking it off? Take a look at my 8 tips below to help you on your way…
8 Tips to help you with walking
Choose the right shoes for the job
We already own at least one pair, but are they up to the job? Walking and running puts a strain on your feet so we need shoes that have flexible souls to protect the bottoms of your feet and stiff heels to prevent side-to-side motion which can damage your ankles. You may want to find a pair that is lightweight and cushioned.
Select the perfect playlist
Walking and running without an music is like having an omelette with no eggs! It would be boring and the chances are you would end the walk far more quicker than if you had music. Having the perfect soundtrack will help motivate you into working hard, you can get into the rhythm much easier. Songs with 170 – 190bpm work the best, it’s been proven to enhance workout performance.
Don’t like music? Try an audiobook
There is an audiobook created for the soul purpose of walking! The walking book club is a virtual community designed to make exercise a fun activity. There is only 1 rule and that rule is, you must keep moving. It’s not just about walking, members who listen to the book also, run, cycle and even use it to do the mundane house chores. Everybody then meets online to discuss the book, what they liked and what they have learnt. The members inspire one another to keep moving, the movement is pretty large and growing daily.
How about a Podcast?
Podcasts have grown in popularity over the past 10 years and you can pretty much find a podcast on any subject in the world. There are plenty of different niches to choose from such as my personal favourite, comedy. It may seem a little odd wanting to walk around the streets listening to comedy podcasts and laughing to yourself but you would be surprised and fast that 60 minutes go when you are listening to something you love!
Know your route
Knowing your route wont throw up any surprises and you will know exactly where you are going. A lot of people like to Google new walking routes to try and will go out blind and walk them, this can be a little dangerous. At lest if the route is planned you can control your gradients and intervals more.
Find a walking buddy
As I was saying earlier, walking and running have become so popular since the worldwide pandemic, everybody is giving it a go. There are even Facebook running groups that have popped up locally in some areas looking for buddies to run with. Not only is this a lot safer from dog attacks and other crime, you will both get the job done a lot quicker, that 60 minutes will fly by!
Try the fitness tracker
Tracking your fitness with a tracker is another way you can keep tabs on your workouts, they are not just used for walking, you can use them for anything. A lot of factory workers use them to see how many calories they are burning and how man steps they are doing per day, it’s shocking the fact some of them are doing p to 20,000 steps! Tracking progress can also help keep you on track and steer you in the right direction if you are beginning to drift.
Bring a dog with you
Don’t go out and buy a dog specifically for walking as that just wouldn’t be logical. You could borrow one, there are plenty of people that would be grateful of you walking their dog for one hour per day, I know I would be. There are applications for such thing, check out BorrowMyDoggy. You could literally borrow a strangers dog and walk them for as long as you please!