If you’re trying to burn fat and you’re looking for different exercises, chances are you’ve been told you should try walking to lose weight.
But is walking the best exercise for weight loss? Hell, is walking even good for weight loss? Maybe. Maybe not.
In this article I’ll compare walking to other traditional cardiovascular exercises such as running, and determine which method of exercise is the best for losing weight. I’ll also explore walking for weight loss as a lifestyle activity, and not solely as an “exercise”.
By the end of this article, the answer to the question “is walking good for weight loss?” will have been well and truly answered. So, let’s begin!
Walking To Lose Weight: Can You Lose Weight By Walking?
When compared to other forms of cardiovascular activity such as running, cycling, or swimming, walking doesn’t stack up very well.
In terms of overall calories burned, walking burns the least, while simultaneously taking the longest amount of time to achieve desirable results.
For example, in order to burn X amount of calories, you would need to walk for 2.5 times longer than you would need to run. If you were trying to lose weight, an hour long walk could be replaced by a 24 minute long run, with very similar results achieved.
Now that we know running and other forms of cardio burn more calories in a shorter period of time than walking does, should we give up on the idea of walking to lose weight altogether? Well, no, we shouldn’t.
If you’re obese, walking might be your best option. If you’re unable to run, to cycle, or to swim, due to fatigue or injuries, walking to lose weight might just be your best bet, because it requires far less energy, and it’s much easier on your joints.
So the verdict is in: If you are heavily overweight or obese, walking is great for weight loss. If you’re slightly overweight (and/or are able to run, cycle, or swim instead), walking is not your best option.
That being said… Walking does play a role OUTSIDE of traditional exercise.
Walking For Weight Loss: Walking As A “Lifestyle”!
Believe it or not, you don’t have to specifically “exercise” in order to get the most out of walking for weight loss. In fact, you can just, well, walk.
You can walk your dog to the park, you can play with your kids, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, and you can even walk to work.
Walking doesn’t have to be at a set time and place for a set duration and be called “exercise”. You can simply be more active and walk around more in your day-to-day life.
It’s easier, mentally, than saying “OK I will walk this far in this amount of time every day at 5PM”. You’re far less likely to skip your walks, and, they’re more fun (because nobody is keeping track!)
If you do your walking like this, and you save your “exercise” time for something a little bit better at burning calories (like running, for instance), you’ll be well on track to lose weight.
And that, my friends, is the power of walking to lose weight.
It’s not very good at burning calories, but hey, you do it every day already, and by adding a little bit more here and there it will all add up.