We've all heard of running for weight loss, even cycling and swimming for weight loss, but what about walking for weight loss?
It may suprise some of you to learn that you do not need to go for strenuous marathon-esque runs or do back-to-back HIIT sessions in order to lose weight. Walking is in fact a great form of physical activity that contributes towards your calorie expenditure and facilitating weight loss.
Of course, it takes a little more than the average 5,444 daily steps that we do here in the UK, but probably not as much as you would think!
So, if you’ve ever wondered “is walking good for weight loss”, the answer is yes! And, we’re here to give you some great tips and walking fitness plans to get you started!
- Is Walking Good for Weight Loss?
- Walking Speed for Weight Loss
- What to Eat to Lose Weight Walking
- 21 Walking Tips for Weight Loss
- Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss
- Walking for Weight Loss Plan
But before we walk you through (see what we did there?) the best tips for optimising your weight loss by walking, perhaps your next step (we'll stop now...) is transforming your fitness passion into a rewarding career?
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Is Walking Good for Weight Loss?
When people look to engage in physical activity to lose weight, walking is very often overlooked. More commonly, people tend to look to gym routines, spin classes, weight lifting or running guides to achieve their weight loss goals.
But, in actuality, there is no need to engage in intense, sweaty workouts when you're just beginning your weight loss journey.
In regards to brisk walking for weight loss, just 30-minutes can burn up to 150 calories.However, it is also important to consider that in order to attain weight loss effects from walking, nutrition plays a significant role. If you’re new to the concept of losing weight, then let’s break down how your body operates so you can get the most out of your time walking.
Firstly, calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will provide an insight as to how many calories you should consume each day. There are various BMR calculators online to help you identify this.
Now, you might be thinking - what is a BMR?
A BMR refers to the total number of calories that your body burns through performing basic functions. These functions include: breathing, your heart pumping blood, your brain functions, temperature regulation just to name a few. For your body to complete these functions efficiently, it needs energy from the food and drink you consume.
In order to lose weight walking, you must ensure that you are burning more calories than you are consuming. By incorporating walks into your daily routine will put you closer to attaining a calorie deficit, which is essential should you want to lose weight.
If you’re not yet convinced and are still wondering “can you lose weight walking?”, a 2002 study examined whether those who engaged in 30-minutes/1-hour of walking for 5-days a week experienced weight loss benefits. After a 12-week intervention, the results outlined that walking for 30-minutes/1-hour saw a significant decline in body fat percentage and a reduction in blood pressure. This was done in accompaniment with a balanced, nutritional diet.
Ultimately, engaging in walking for fitness and weight loss purposes is a great place to begin your journey.
If you’d like to learn more on how to get started with some key benefits and walking tips for weight loss, then keep reading! The next point will outline how engaging in brisk walking for your weight loss journey increases your calorie expenditure.
Walking Speed for Weight Loss
Now that we’ve established that walking for exercise and weight loss is in fact an effective method, you might be curious as to the best means of facilitating optimum weight loss.
The above table outlines approximately how many calories are burnt when engaging in walking at a variety of speeds. This is per 60-minute walk on flat surfaces such as pavement.As established from the table, engaging in power walking for weight loss has more positive effects compared with slow walking, which is to be expected.
The table also demonstrates that you do not need to engage in intense physical activity to reap weight loss benefits. Walking is a great form of exercise that increases your heart rate, pumps greater volumes of blood around the body and keeps your body and muscles engaged and strong, but more about the benefits of walking for weight loss later.
As mentioned within the study, it is imperative that alongside regular walking, a balanced diet is to be adhered to maximise weight loss effects. For those of you who find the nutritional side if weight loss the challenging part, in the next section, we’ll outline what is best to eat when walking for weight loss to make your job easier.
What to Eat to Lose Weight Walking
By now you should know that diet and nutrition play a huge role in any weight loss journey, regardless of the exercise method that you are using. It's important to recognise that should you want to lose weight, burning more calories than you consume is of the utmost importance - aka being in a calorie deficit.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-diet-fits-all when it comes to losing weight. This is because everyone’s calorie allowance will differ depending on their sex, age, height and weight. In reference to BMR calculators, they provide a base approximation for how many calories you should consume a day based upon these factors, while also considering how many more calories you need depending on your exercise regime.
In terms of what you may want to consider eating, here are some tips to get you started:
- 5-a-day: The age-old advice of getting your 5-a-day isn’t a myth. Fueling your body with ample fruit and vegetables is a great, low-calorie way of providing your body with nutrients, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables should be implemented into as many meals as possible to facilitate successful weight loss.
- Don’t skip breakfast: Some think that skipping breakfast will facilitate weight loss when in actuality it is counterproductive.‘Breakfast’ is a term that refers to breaking your fast from sleeping; after having 8+ hours without any food, your body needs energy to begin the day and kick start your metabolism. Fuel yourself with an energy-rich breakfast such as porridge oats with fresh fruit or a high-fibre, low-calorie cereal such as Weetabix or Bran Flakes. Each promotes healthy digestion while not diminishing your calorie allowance.
- Drink plenty of water: While not necessarily food, drinking plenty of water is so important for losing weight. This is for a number of reasons: it boosts your metabolism, can suppress your appetite and increases calorie burning. The average person needs approximately 3-litres of water per day, alongside an extra pint per every 1,000 calories burnt through exercise.
- Reduce your fat intake: It may be an obvious point, but reducing your fat intake will certainly aid weight loss. However, it’s important to recognise that there are ample foods out there that are high in fat that are good for you. Examples of these are nuts, avocado, fish and whole eggs just to name a few. Check out the healthiest nuts to add to your diet today.
Don’t be put off by all labels outlining a high-fat content. What you want to try and reduce are the ‘bad’ fats, found in foods such as cake, biscuits, crisps, fried food, for example. Emphasis on ‘reduce’ means not to totally cut out, as this isn’t sustainable. This is because completely cutting out your favourite snacks, even if they are a bit naughty, will increase the likelihood of you giving up and putting your progress back on. Being balanced doesn’t mean you have to be restrictive.
In summary, if you approached this article wondering “is walking a good exercise for weight loss?”, the answer is yes, absolutely, but only alongside a balanced and nutritional diet.
For a list of the best metabolism boosting foods to further amplify your weight loss journey, check out our thorough guide.
21 Walking Tips for Weight Loss
#1 - Increase The Pace
If you want to know what the best walking speed is for weight loss effects to be optimal, then look no further.
As seen in the table earlier, increasing the speed of your walk increases your calorie expenditure, thus promoting further weight loss. This means increasing the pace from a stroll to a brisk walk is important.
But, don’t feel put-off should you feel that walking at a brisk pace is not attainable just yet. The beauty of walking is that it is a versatile exercise to engage in, and accommodating for all fitness levels. Whether it be you want to do laps in your local park or hike in a mountain range, walking promotes weight loss regardless of where you begin and there is always room for improvement and advancement.
The main point to consider is increasing the pace eventually once your fitness has improved.
To support this, a 2013 study evaluated the calorie expenditure of those engaging in regular walking against running. Conclusions outline that those who walked spent less energy compared with the runners. While adapted to walking, this demonstrates that the faster you walk the more calories you will use, encouraging your body to refer to fat stores for energy.
Ultimately, the main objective of walking for health and weight loss purposes is to increase the pace to encourage maximum weight loss effects.
#2 - Walk on an Incline
As well as power walking for weight loss benefits, did you know that walking on an incline also increases your calorie expenditure, and quite significantly at that?
This is because more muscles groups are being used to carry the body upwards, making the heart work harder to circulate blood to facilitate working muscles, as well as having to work harder to work against gravity which further ups the intensity.
So, once you feel as though your flat-surface walks are getting a little easy, why not consider walking a different route where you can engage in inclines? We advise starting off with smaller hills and gradually increasing the inclines as your body becomes more accustomed to these style routes.
Going straight from walking on flat surfaces to taking on Snowdonia could likely result in an injury as your muscle groups may not be ready to combat such a strenuous activity. So like with anything, give your body time to adapt and yout fitness levels chance to increase.
Compared with the table we saw previously that examined the approximate calories burnt walking on flat surfaces, the table above shows how many more you can burn on inclines for 6-minutes.
Similarly to walking on an incline, running uphill comes with its own set of benefits, you can find out more about them in our thorough guide.
#3 - Maintain Good Posture
There are various walking techniques for weight loss effects to thrive, one being to maintain good posture when walking.
An incorrect walking form can result in muscle soreness and joint pain. So, it is important to ensure that you adopt the correct form to reduce any soreness or more serious injuries from occurring.
To do this, follow these tips:
- Arm positioning: Walk with your arms down either side of you, slightly bent at the elbow with a soft swing to maintain good balance. Those who keep their arms rigid can alter your body's ability to stay balanced, thus increasing the likelihood of injury from falling.
- Avoid arching your back: Keep your spine tall and straight when you’re out walking. Walking with a bent back can increase muscular tension in your shoulders and lower back. Conversely, walking hunched over forward can increase the likelihood of spinal curvatures. Adopt a tall posture with your shoulders in a neutral position.
- Don’t overdo the strides: Some walkers think that elongating their strides increases their speed. However, this can result in injuries to the knee joints as overextended strides can cause the knee to lock. This reduces the shock absorption in the knee, thus risking injury.
Ensuring you carry yourself properly, whether that be during exercise or generally, is vital to your health. Learn about the benefits of good posture here.
In summary, adopting the correct walking techniques for your weight loss journey is super important as feeling muscle or joint pain halfway around a walk is something you certainly want to avoid!
#4 - Interval Walking
Daily walking for weight loss is best achieved through interval walking. This can be done once you become accustomed to regular paced walking and want to add another level of difficulty to your routine.
But, what is interval walking?
Interval walking can be done by changing the intensity of your walk in between high intensity to low intensity. In some respects, it is similar to HIIT training.
Consider implementing this walking plan for weight loss into your routine when confident in doing so:
- Walk at a moderate pace for 5-10-minutes to warm up.
- Increase the pace of your walk to brisk/power walk for 30-seconds.
- Decrease the pace back down to moderate for 30-seconds to allow recovery.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 30-minutes in total or for however long you feel you can.
- Ensure that you cool down from your walk with another 5-10-minutes of moderate-paced walking.
Over time, you can alter the intensity and time frames of the intervals to accommodate for your weight loss and fitness needs.
This form of walking facilitates weight loss more so than maintaining the same pace as your body is working hard to maintain power walking episodes.
If you're ready to progress onto something of a higher intensity, then the benefits of HIIT training may be something you'd be interested in reading more about.
#5 - Aim For 10,000 Steps
If you’ve considered how to start a walking program for weight loss, setting yourself daily goals of 10,000 steps might benefit you.
10,000 steps equate to approximately 5-miles. While this may seem a little daunting to complete every day, you’re likely to find you’ll already walk a mile or two by completing every day errands.
A 2006 study investigated whether there is a relationship between completing 10,000 steps and weight loss, examining 56 overweight adults who were to walk 10,000 steps per day for 36-weeks.
The results showed that an average of 2.4kg (5 lbs) was lost and a fat reduction of 2.7kg (6 lbs). It is noteworthy that these results were attained without any alteration to diet, demonstrating that in accompaniment of a nutritious, balanced diet, greater weight loss results may be attained.
However, with the way of the modern world in which many spend their day at an office desk, it can be difficult to achieve 10,000 steps each day. So, here are some small tips that will be sure to up your step figures:
- Take the stairs wherever possible
- Go for a quick walk on your lunch break
- Park your car near your destination and walk the rest of the way. Alternatively, get off the bus 1 or 2 stops early and walk the rest
- Wander around for the duration it takes for the kettle to boil - even better, do some star jumps or high knees!
- If you work from home, try working upstairs so that you’re doing laps of the stairs for snack/drink breaks
- If only purchasing a few items, walk to the supermarket
Over time, achieving your 10,000 steps will become a habit and so you may even want to increase your daily goal to more steps.
Additionally, if you are someone who's job sees them sat at a desk for 7+ hours a day, you may want to check out our shortlist of the best treadmill desks that allow you to continue your walkign for weight loss plan whilst sending your emails.
Ultimately, walking 10,000 steps per day is a great way to keep you motivated in keeping active, thus increasing your calorie expenditure and attaining your weight loss goals.
#6 - Invest in a Fitness Tracker
When starting out walking to lose weight, why not consider getting a fitness tracker?
Whether it be a smartwatch, fitness watch or a fitness tracking app, there are various ways of recording your walking regime so that you can monitor your progress over time and prices to fit many different budgets.
Most tracking apps monitor your route, provide an estimate of calories burnt, while also monitoring whether your walk includes inclines. Fitness trackers are a great way of seeing how much longer you’re to walk to hit your daily target. Conversely, they may also provide an extra push to get walking should you have skipped a day or two.
Another one of the benefits of fitness trackers is that you can usually connect your progress with others. This means that you and your walking buddies can set one another group challenges for you all to work towards, keeping motivation levels high and smashing your weight loss goals.
With the market of fitness trackers becoming so saturated, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Well don't worry, we have you covered. Here at OriGym, we have done the research for you, and put together the ultimate shortlist of the best heart rate monitors to track your data in the UK.
#7 - Wear a Weighted Vest
Another one of the great walking tips for weight loss is to wear a weighted vest.
A weighted vest is a piece of equipment that you wear that has weights encased within the lining. There are various vests of different weights available, meaning that all strength levels can benefit from this that could enhance your weight loss journey.
But, how do weighted vests promote weight loss?
Adding weight onto your person when walking makes the workout more difficult as more muscles are being used to keep your body strong and supported. This increases your calorie expenditure.
An everyday activity that weighted vest workouts can be likened to is walking with heavy shopping bags - you’re adding more weight to your person thus increasing the number of calories burnt.
So, wearing a weighted vest aims to replicate activities like this by making your regime more challenging.
Something to note when considering investing in weighted equipment is to avoid weighted ankle or wrist straps. Additional weight to wrists or feet may negatively affect your weight distribution when walking and affect your balance. So, it is encouraged to stick to weighted vest equipment to reduce the likelihood of injury.
For help in selecting the best weighted vests to strengthen your upper body, check out our definitive guide on the best products.
#8 - Select The Right Footwear
While this may seem obvious, any good walking fitness plan starts with the correct attire - this includes footwear.
There are various footwear options that are ideal for going on a walk. Here are some examples:
- Trainers: Selecting trainers that support the arches of your feet, provide a light bounce and are breathable are amongst the most important things to think about when selecting your walking shoe. Try to consider getting trainers that have laces rather than choosing a slip-on style so that you can secure your feet into the shoe to prevent rubbing and blisters from forming.
- Walking Boots: Whether it be you’re walking around your local park or going up a mountain, walking boots will help to keep your feet supported. The good thing about walking boots is that most encase the foot and ankle, reducing the likelihood of injury when walking on uneven terrain.
- Supportive Sandals: If you’re going for a walk along the beach or on flat surfaces, then wearing sandals might be a more attractive option for you. However, before setting off on a walk wearing sandals, selecting some that have at least 2 straps over the top of your feet are best. These are more secure and supportive than flip-flop styles.
When doing daily walking for weight loss, it is important to select appropriate footwear so that you can walk further, on inclines, or more difficult terrain. All of these factors contribute to a greater calorie expenditure to enhance weight loss effects; this list of the best cushioned running shoes features a number of great options that would also benefit your walking sessions.
#9 - Get A Walking Partner
Walking for health and weight loss effects may be easier to attain should you have a walking partner.
We are all susceptible to feeling a little lethargic and uninspired to go out for a walk sometimes, but having a walking partner with whom you regularly exercise can maintain your motivation. You’re less likely to cancel your walk should it mean you’re also cancelling on a friend.
Additionally, regular walking with a partner gives them an array of benefits too. If you’re both intending to lose weight, having some healthy competition and support can enhance your weight loss journey.
So, while putting in your headphones and walking alone can be great, having a walking partner keeps your walks versatile and exciting.
An item that you both may find beneficial, especially for those longer hikes and walks to hit the 10,000 step mark, we highly recommend checking out the products on our guide of the best trekking poles.
#10 - Prepare For The Weather
When engaging in regular walking to lose weight, UK weather is something you ought to consider - it is temperamental, to say the least!
Whether it be taking a jumper to accommodate for chilly weather, a waterproof jacket or an umbrella, being prepared for the weather is one of the most important walking for weight loss tips! There’s nothing worse than being halfway around a long walk and you begin to feel raindrops.
Another tip could even be to note the weather forecast at the beginning of your day, as there’s no guarantee it’ll be dry if you have a regular walking time. Checking early in the day means you can adapt your schedule around when it is best to go for your walk.
So, before engaging in frequent walking to lose weight, the UK weather is definitely something to consider before leaving the house; to best prepare yourself, ensure you have added at least a few products in our winter running gear essentials guide to your wardrobe.
#11 - Swing Your Arms With Increased Pace
Power walking for weight loss has an array of benefits - it engages more muscles, works the body harder which increases your calorie burn. But, power walking correctly is important.
This moves us onto another one of the good walking techniques for weight loss - correct arm swinging form. This is especially useful for walking at fast paces as the correct arm swinging form maintains balance and good posture.
To achieve good arm walking form, ensure that your arms are bent slightly at the elbow and pump the swinging motion from your shoulders. Alternate the swing of the arm with the opposite leg. So, when you take a step forward with your left leg, your right arm is swinging forward, and vice versa for the right leg and left arm.
Maintaining a solid rhythm in regards to swinging your arms not only keeps you balanced but it engages your upper body more into brisk walks compared with just walking with your hands in your pockets.
#12 - Vary The Terrain
Now, while increased walking speed for weight loss is important, so is altering the terrain you walk on.
Did you know that walking on gravel, thicker grass and sand burns more calories than walking on pavements?
They are more difficult to walk upon as more muscles are engaged. This increases the total amount of calories burnt.
A 2016 study aimed to examine whether participating in exercise on sand increases calorie expenditure and muscular endurance compared with flat surfaces. The investigation consisted of 30 participants over a 6-week period.
The results concluded that exercising on sand enhances calorie expenditure alongside increasing muscular endurance, specifically in the calf muscles.
So, if you’ve got anywhere in your local area with a beach, moorlands or gravel grounds, consider taking yourself off to these locations so that you can reap the benefits of walking on different floor surfaces.
#13 - Drink Green Tea Before and After A Walk
If you approached this article with the question “is walking good for weight loss”, it’s likely that you now know the answer is yes, absolutely.
However, did you know that consuming green tea can enhance these effects even more?
First and foremost, green tea has great weight loss benefits. It is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. But, how does it promote weight loss though?
Green tea contains caffeine, a stimulant that increases your energy and performance. A hot cup of green tea before a walk can help to keep you energised and wanting to walk for longer periods.
Additionally, green tea is packed with antioxidants called catechins which facilitate the metabolism’s functions. A cup of green tea, therefore, boosts your catechin count and keeps your metabolism working efficiently.
In regards to weight loss, green tea extract is a fat burning agent that can be found in many weight loss supplements. When consumed alongside a balanced diet and regular walking regime, you could seriously benefit from its fat-burning qualities.
A 2008 study investigated the health-promoting qualities of green tea that include fat oxidation. This is a process whereby the body breaks down fatty acids.
It concluded that:
Average fat oxidation rates were 17% high after ingestion of GTE [Green Tea Extract]. (Venables, Hulston, Cox, Jeukendrup, 2008).
So, when engaging in regular walking for exercise and weight loss purposes, why not consider implementing a mug or two of green tea into your day to optimise from these effects? Green tea benefits extend far beyond what we have mentioned here, you can learn more about how this beverage can benefit our health in OriGym's comprehensive report.
#14 - Ditch The Energy Drinks
Following on from the talk of green tea, something that you may wish to consider is reducing your energy drink consumption.
Energy drinks are typically packed full of sugar, additives and are high in calories which contribute towards your daily calorie allowance.
Here are some examples of the most popular energy drinks and their calorie and sugar content:
- Lucozade Original, 500ml: 93 calories, 11.3g sugar
- Red Bull, 250ml: 112 calories, 27g sugar
- Monster Energy, 500ml can: 237 calories, 55g
While it is easy to refer to these drinks, thinking that they’ll boost your energy levels before or after a walk, you’ll likely find that you will experience a sugar spike for a short amount of time before dropping and feeling lethargic.
As mentioned previously, green tea contains caffeine without an excessive sugar content that won’t diminish your daily calorie allowance.
Ultimately, maintaining a calorie deficit is incredibly important when losing weight. While these energy drinks will provide a short-lived energy boost, their high-calorie content risks keeping below your daily calorie allowance.
However, if you are someone who does appreciate the occasional energy drink boost, then we highly recommend you swap out your usual Red Bull with an option from this lift of the best natural energy drinks insteads. This way you can still reap the energy benefits, without the negatives that come with most popular electrolyte drinks.
#15 - Don’t Be Tempted To Eat More Because You’ve Walked
Now, when you engage in regular exercise, there can often be a temptation to eat more since you’ve burnt calories through walking.
However, it’s important to remember your purpose for walking is for weight loss, so being in a calorie deficit is super important.
It is only natural to begin to feel hungrier when you participate in regular exercise as the food and drink consumed has been converted into energy to facilitate your workout. So, in order to keep under your daily calorie allowance while getting a full, energising workout, adapting your eating habits is important.
Beans, lentils, oats, sweet potatoes, wholemeal rice and pasta are all examples of slow-releasing carbohydrates. They can be low in calories, meaning that you’ll be kept feeling satisfied for longer while having great nutrients within your diet. The fuller that you feel off healthy foods, the less likely you’ll experience cravings for unhealthy snacks. You can find a full list of healthy high fat foods to add to your diet here.
Conversely, it is also important to consider that we’re all human, and a desire for unhealthy foods will come. Learning to strike the right balance between having treats and being healthy is something that will come with time and practice. Do not totally restrict yourself of your favourite snacks, as this is unsustainable.
A calorie deficit is important, so if it means that you walk for an extra 20-minutes so you can enjoy a slice of guilt-free cake, then do it! Balance is key to weight loss success.
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#16 - Download Good Audible Content
If you struggle to give yourself the extra push to get out of the house and get walking, then having a freshly made playlist to listen to or a new chapter of a great audiobook will encourage you to get moving.
Music apps such as Spotify, Apple/Amazon Music have an array of podcasts, regular album releases and the option for you to create your own playlists, making your walks more entertaining.
These apps provide some versatility to your walk as you can change up what you listen to each day.
So, whether it be that you enjoy learning new things through podcasts or getting into the mindset of an interesting character that appeals to you more, downloading an array of good quality content for your walk keeps them versatile and fresh each day.
#17 - Invest In Bluetooth Headphones
With the previous point in mind, engaging in daily walking for weight loss has never been easier with the addition of Bluetooth headphones.
If you are someone who doesn't yet own a pair of headphones or have ones with a wire connecting to your phone, then investing in a good quality pair of Bluetooth headphones may benefit you a lot.
Users of headphones with a wired connection will know the struggle of having to detangle your headphones, or the wire gets in the way when you’re moving. For a hassle-free experience when you’re going out for your walk, Bluetooth headphones are the way forward.
Additionally, many are manufactured with sweat-proofing qualities to accommodate for all weather types and the sweatiest of interval walks.
So, if listening to a good audiobook or constructing your own music playlists sounds appealing to you, pairing this alongside some bluetooth headphones will keep you motivated to get your walking shoes on! Check out out top picks for the best bluetooth running headphones of 2021.
#18 - Keeping Motivated
Maintaining high levels of motivation can be challenging from time to time.
So, here are some simple tips on how to give yourself an extra push:
- Keep your walking shoes by the front door: By keeping the shoes that you wear when walking by the door, you have to pass them each time you leave to do something else. Their position functions as a reminder that the shoes haven’t been used that day, thus prompting you to get your 10,000 steps completed!
- Construct a weekly tick box: Why not construct a weekly tick box where you tick your completed walks? This will serve as an extra push to go on your walk. You may feel guilty if you’ve skipped a day or two and see that a box is left blank. Conversely, if you’ve ticked all the boxes off, you'll feel a great sense of achievement - and rightfully so! Hitting small goals is the best way to keep going to achieve bigger goals.
- Little rewards: If you like the idea of the previous point, then implementing your own reward scheme might be favourable! Whether it be you treat yourself to a new top, a new book or a couple of fruity G&T’s, rewarding yourself for the dedication you’ve put in for that week will push you to keep going. It will also make these treats feel all the more deserved rather than just giving them yourself. You’ll feel as though you’ve earnt them.
For an extra boost, check out our favourite personal training motivational quotes.
Next up, we’ll outline another way to establish the best walking plan for your weight loss goals - increasing your water intake when drinking alcohol.
#19 - Limit Your Alcohol
When establishing your walking fitness plan, this tip may benefit you a lot.
While snacking on biscuits or crisps are some people’s weaknesses when it comes to losing weight, for others, it’s drinking alcohol.
As mentioned previously, ensuring that you are in a calorie deficit is imperative for optimum weight loss effects. Unfortunately, many classic alcoholic drinks are calorically dense, meaning they can quickly eat away at your daily calorie allowance.
The average calorie content per 4% pint of beer is around 180 calories.
Equally, per standard 175ml glass of 12% wine averages at 130 calories.
So, to help to reduce the number of calories consumed through alcohol, try and consider having a glass of water in between each drink.
This firstly dilutes the number of alcoholic calories consumed helping you maintain a deficit.
By doing this, you are not missing out on time spent with friends, family and colleagues by going to the pub, while not rapidly diminishing your total calorie allowance.
In summary, establishing a walking for weight loss plan that considers how many empty calories you’re consuming through alcohol is important should you want to reap the optimum effects of walking for weight loss.
#20 - Knowing When and What to Eat
Engaging in daily walking for weight loss means that fueling your body with the right foods at the right time is imperative, especially if you’re going for brisk/power walks.
If you’ve ever got a stitch when exercising, it’s most likely down to you not allowing your body enough time to digest the food before working out. This process is called blood shunting.
You may be thinking, what is this and how do I prevent it?
When you consume any food or drink, blood diverts to your digestive system to facilitate digestion. Similarly, when you engage in physical activity, your blood diverts to the working muscles. So, when you engage in exercise too quickly after eating, your blood is being directed away from your digestive system, causing stitches and nausea symptoms.
But when is the optimum time to work out after eating?
With walking, this is dependent upon the intensity of your walk. If you are going for a light walk without any intervals or steep inclines, then waiting for 30-minutes after a meal is enough time to wait.
However, if you are going hiking, high-intensity interval walking or power walking, consider waiting for 90-minutes before going for your walk.
There is nothing worse than having to cut a workout short because you haven’t allowed adequate time for your food to digest before working out.
#21 - Incorporate Resistance Training For Optimum Weight Loss
After you’ve lost weight, you may begin to notice that it becomes more difficult to keep losing weight at the same rate. The lighter that you become, the more difficult it is to lose weight.
Incorporating resistance training into your fitness regime will facilitate regular weight loss.
To do this, upon returning from your walk, consider doing a few sets of squats, push-ups, burpees, lunges or tricep dips to increase your calorie expenditure. While burning calories, you’re also improving your muscular strength and endurance.
These exercises are all bodyweight exercises, which means no equipment is required in their completion. This makes it all the more attainable to lose stubborn weight.
One of the great benefits of resistance training is that our body burns calories during and after the workout is completed. This process is known as excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption.
What this means is that the more demanding a workout is, the more oxygen the body consumes. During the transition from your resistance training workout to a resting state, the body consumes a greater amount of calories and is burnt as the body transitions into rest.
Additionally, the more muscles that are at work during a workout increases your calorie burn. Fusing your daily walks with resistance training will promote further weight loss effects and keep you in your calorie deficit.
So, that’s all 21 tips on walking to lose weight: from UK weather affecting your attire to giving your body enough time after eating to begin your walk, there’s many tips and tricks you can consider before beginning to lose weight.
Next up - did you know that there are some great benefits of walking daily for your weight loss journey and your overall health? Read on to learn more.
Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss
If you’re someone who approached this article with the question - “can you lose weight walking?”, you should be confident in knowing that the answer is, yes!
There are some great benefits of walking daily for weight loss effects that you ought to know about! Knowing these benefits will serve as an extra push to reap the weight loss benefits, alongside plus many more.
#1 - Combats Obesity
First up on the list of benefits of walking for weight loss is that it helps to combat obesity.
An individual who is obese has a very high body fat percentage and a BMI of 30+.
It is estimated that 28% of the UK population are considered to be obese (1 in 4 people), with a further 36.2% considered to be overweight.
Obesity is caused by individuals consuming more calories than they are burning. Excess food is then stored as fat, thus contributing to weight gain. Obesity can potentially cause some life-threatening conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and strokes.
By engaging in regular walking benefits those with obesity as it helps facilitate weight loss and reduces the risk of them developing life-threatening conditions. This is not only beneficial for the individual, it puts less strain upon the NHS in treating patients with weight-related illnesses.
Walking is a light, cost-effective form of exercise that can certainly facilitate weight loss. Just 30-minutes of brisk walking can burn approximately 150 calories, which may help to contribute to your calorie deficit.
If you're particularly interested in learning other ways to help combat obesity and then passing that information on to help others, then why not enquire about OriGym's Level 4 Obesity & Weight Management Course? Here you will learn how to deliver tailored, safe and effective exercise programming targeted at assisting obese clients with long-term weight loss and management, building a tangible, long-term improvement in their quality of life.
#2 - Improves Your Cardiovascular Fitness
Cardiovascular fitness is a health-related component of physical fitness. This refers to your lungs ability to uptake oxygen and deliver it to vital organs and working muscles. Improved cardiovascular fitness means that this process occurs more easily and efficiently over time.
But, you might be thinking - how does walking help improve this?
Those who engage in regular exercise have bigger hearts compared with those who do not. Many forget that the heart is a muscle and so can grow through regular exercise.
A stronger heart, therefore, means that the heart can pump greater volumes of blood around the body to your working muscles, vital organs and brain. Who wouldn’t want this for their body?
You may have experienced a tight chest and/or found it difficult to breathe sometimes when engaging in physical activity. This is down to you working your body harder than your heart and lungs can keep up with. However, over time, the larger your heart will grow and the more efficient the lungs will be able to uptake oxygen.
Breathing rhythmically and easily throughout a workout makes it all the more enjoyable, so keep pushing yourself by going for long walks, doing interval training and power walks to benefit from an improved cardiovascular fitness!
#3 - Improved Mental Health
Another one of the great benefits of walking daily for weight loss is that you’ll also experience improved mental well-being and boosted mood.
As you complete a walking workout, the “high” that you feel is your endorphins circulating your body and promoting a good mood. The more regularly you provide this for your body, the more associations it has with easing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Additionally, if your primary purpose for engaging in walking is for health and weight loss benefits, once you recognise these effects, your boost will be boosted for your hard work is paying off.
Walking is a cost-effective form of physical exercise - there’s no need to invest in an expensive gym membership to lose weight walking. This eliminates any chance of experiencing gym-anxiety, which is something many experience in gym environments.
So, if you clicked on this article with the question “can you lose weight walking”, the answer is “yes!” - but having improved mental wellbeing is an amazing by-product of regular walking too!
If you fancy stepping it up a notch, then the mental health benefits of running are highly lauded by fitness enthusiasts.
#4 - Helps Regulate Sleep
Regular exercise can firstly help you to drop off to sleep faster, while also improving the quality of your sleep.
Walking is an amazing way to use up the remaining energy from your day. It encourages you to feel more tired both mentally and physically, aiding you in drifting off quickly and deeply.
Something to note, however, exercise releases endorphins around the body which gives you a “high” and boosted mood. While this is a great benefit of walking, it can also temporarily keep you awake should you engage in exercise too close to your bedtime.
In order to prevent this, ensure that you have at least 2-hours of relaxation time before drifting off. This way, you’ll drift off quickly and deeply.
Next up, we’ll outline how daily walking for weight loss also helps boost your immune system.
#5 - Boosts Your Immune System
Your immune system is your body's defence response that fights foreign bacteria that jeopardise your health and wellbeing.
Through regular walking and an increased heart mass, more blood will circulate the body. This inadvertently distributes white blood cells around the body at a faster rate. White blood cells are responsible for fighting infection.
A 2011 study aimed to examine the relationship between adults during flu season with their engagement in regular physical activity, to see whether this affected their immune system.
The results concluded that out of 1,000 participants, those who engaged in 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise each day had 43 fewer sick days compared with those who did less exercise.
The study also concluded that even when experiencing flu symptoms, participants reported their symptoms were less bad compared with previous flu seasons.
Furthermore, while you may be solely aiming to reap the benefits of walking for weight loss purposes, knowing that an improved immune system is also a by-product of regular walking is an added bonus!
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#6 - Glowing Skin
Regular walking is a form of physical exercise that has improved skin benefits.
Now, you may wonder, how does this happen?
When you engage in exercise your heart rate increases and blood reaches your skin cells.
Blood cells discard waste that builds up in your skin cells. Replenishing them reduces the chances of a break out from occurring.
However, those who wear make-up must remove it before engaging in exercise as an increase in body temperature encourages the acne-causing bacteria to thrive and multiply.
Make sure that your skin is clear when going for a walking workout to benefit from clearer looking skin!
So, there we have some additional benefits of walking daily for weight loss. While your primary purpose for engaging in regular walking may be for losing weight, knowing that there are an array of fantastic by-products that you could also take advantage of is an added bonus!
Walking for Weight Loss Plan
Since you’ve got this far into the article, you’re likely to wonder what the best walking plans are for weight loss effects to thrive. Sometimes having some structure when you’re new to an exercise is comforting.
Here is an example of a 30-day walking fitness plan to kick start your weight loss journey:
DAY 1-5: Start by going on 2 smaller walks a day at a slow, easy pace. Ensure that these walks are approximately 15-minutes long each
DAY 6-10: Go for one walk per day for 30-minutes at a moderate pace
DAY 11-15: Go for one walk per day for 45-minutes at a moderate pace
DAY 16-20: Begin introducing interval walking for 45-minute sessions
- For the first 5 minutes, walk at a moderate pace to warm up.
- Walk at a fast, brisk pace for 5-minutes.
- Walk at a moderate pace for a further 5-minutes to cool down and recover.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 a further 2 times.
- Walk at a moderate pace for 10-minutes to cool down.
DAY 21-25: Go for one walk per day for 1-hour
DAY 26-30: Interval walking for 1-hour
- For the first 5 minutes, walk at a moderate pace to warm up.
- Walk at a fast, brisk pace for 10-minutes.
- Walk at a moderate pace for a further 5-minutes to cool down and recover.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 a further 2 times.
- Walk at a moderate pace for 10-minutes to cool down.
How Much Do I Need To Walk A Day To Lose Weight?
When walking for exercise and weight loss, you need to engage in walking frequently to lose weight.
Here are some tips on how long you should walk for to lose weight:
- Calorie deficit: In order to lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit. This means you must burn more calories than you consume. When you’re out for a walk, download a fitness/walking tracker app that provides estimates as to how many calories you have burnt through exercise, and incorporate that into your daily calorie allowance. To do this, use a BMR calculator.
- 10,000 step goal: Try and walk 10,000 steps per day. The average person burns approximately 400-500 extra calories per day when they walk 10,000 steps. This contributes to your calorie burn, thus facilitating weight loss.
- Interval walking: To increase your calorie expenditure, do interval walking. You can follow the same route(s) as you would when completing your 10,000 step walk by doing so in intensity intervals. You will burn more calories this way.
Can Walking Reduce Belly Fat?
One of the most sought after goals when losing weight is to lose belly fat. However, many find that belly fat is one of the more stubborn fat stores to reduce.
To increase your calorie expenditure, consider engaging in regular walking and resistance training. This must be done in accompaniment of a balanced, nutritional diet. Your body will then refer to your fat stores for energy, making you lose weight.
If you approached this article with the question “is walking a good exercise for weight loss?”, then you’ll be happy to know that the answer is yes - and this includes belly fat too!
Can I Lose Weight By Walking For 30-Minutes Everyday?
The average person burns approximately 150 calories per 30-minutes of brisk walking. Increasing your walking duration means you will burn more calories.
If you only want to walk for 30-minutes, there are ways of increasing your calorie expenditure to greater than 150.
This can be done through interval walking by changing the intensity throughout your walk such as 30-seconds at a fast, brisk walk to 30-seconds of recovery. By doing this, you’re also increasing your step count compared with maintaining one pace throughout the whole walk.
Additionally, why not consider walking at a brisk pace for 20-minutes and then doing 10-minutes of resistance training to up your calorie expenditure?
It is also important to provide your body with a balanced, nutritional diet alongside engaging in regular walking, as this is the key to being in a calorie deficit.
Before You Go!
So, there we have it! 21 walking for fitness and weight loss tips for you to begin implementing into your fitness regime.
There is an overwhelming amount of information online entailing ways to lose weight, especially how walking facilitates weight loss. It may feel daunting knowing where to begin hence the creation of this article!
Hopefully you are now more clued up on how to start a walking program for your weight loss journey.
One more thing, if you are destined for a career in fitness, you can check out our REPS endorsed personal training courses here or, if you’re already a fitness enthusiast and want to go further; find our CPD courses here.
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Written by Professional S & C Coaches
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- Schneider PL, Bassett DR, Thompson DL, Pronk NP, Bielak KM. Effects of a 10,000 Steps per Day Goal in Overweight Adults. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2006;21(2):85-89. doi:10.4278/0890-1171-21.2.85.
- , et alUpper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults
- Vishal Kumar. Impact of sand running for developing endurance among athletes. Int J Phys Educ Sports Health 2016;3(3):507-509.
- Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/87.3.778. PMID: 18326618.
- Bond Brill J, Perry AC, Parker L, Robinson A, Burnett K. Dose-response effect of walking exercise on weight loss. How much is enough? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Nov;26(11):1484-93. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802133. PMID: 12439651.