Walking has been proven to be the best for of exercise for weight loss, but how long do you need to walk for every day to see results? Fitness expert Sam Wood weighs in.
When gyms were shut due to the coronavirus restrictions, it was great to see so many more people heading out for walks. Walking has been an important part of my daily routine for years and it’s how I clear my head and set myself up for the day. Whilst I don’t specifically walk for weight loss, I ensure to get my steps up to keep on top of my health.
I am often asked about whether or not walking is effective when it comes to “burning fat”. What we often forget is that it’s simply about moving our body to ensure that we burn more calories than we consume. Walking is a great way to do this. However, it takes time.
Unfortunately, you can’t assign a specific time stamp to how many minutes you need to walk per day. Remember, it’s just about getting your body moving! Plus, everyone’s body is different. So, instead of telling you how many exact minutes you need to walk per day to lose weight, here are four simple ways to get more bang for your buck during your walking sessions. Focus on these tips instead, and you’ll be sure to see results.
4 ways to burn more calories while walking
1. Hills and stairs
Adding hills and stairs into your walks increases the intensity, recruits more muscles and spikes that heart rate. Adding an incline activates your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves as they all have to work harder to get you up a hill.
2. Add resistance
This doesn’t mean you have to be the hardcore power walker with the hand weights, but if that’s you, go for it! I have to admit, nothing makes walks more difficult like a little bit of resistance from carrying or pushing a toddler.
3. Running/jogging intervals
A really quick and easy way to ramp up your daily workout and burn more calories is to mix running and jogging intervals into your walk.
You might start with a 5-minute walk followed by a 1-minute jog. Or if jogging isn’t your thing, it might be a 5-minute regular paced walk with 2-minutes of all-out brisk walking. This is a great way to build up your cardiovascular endurance and burn extra energy by elevating your heart rate for a manageable amount of time.
There’s walking and there’s walking. The higher your heart rate gets, the more energy you are going to expend during your walk. If you are cruising around at a snail pace you are not using your workout time effectively.
Whether you add resistance, take a hilly route, add in intervals, throw lunges and squats into the mix, or make it a seriously brisk walk, the higher the intensity, the more fat you will burn.
Sam Wood is a fitness expert and founder of training program 28 by Sam Wood.