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Here’s how long you have to walk each day to lose weight – AOL

Apr 7th, 2023

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Looking for an easy-to-start workout regimen that can show results, without having to go to the gym or spend money on equipment?

Try walking.

The simple movement might not seem like the most efficient exercise available, but experts on the topic say it can help with weight loss, mental health and more. Even a few thousand steps a day can burn hundreds of calories and reduce your risk of disease. it's easy to add some modifications to your walking routine to increase calorie burn and lose weight.

According to Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, walking "certainly can" help with weight loss.

"It is a low-impact aerobic exercise that allows individuals to expend energy and burn calories, so it can certainly help with weight loss," Bryant says.

Some recommend walking as a form of exercise due to its simplicity and accessibility.

"I am a fan of walking as a form of movement especially if you're just getting started," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta, Georgia. "What's most important is finding a type of activity you like and will do."

If you are using walking as a tool to help lose weight, Bryant recommends walking for at least 45 minutes per day most days of the week.

"The basic recommendations in terms of general health and well being is to just to meet a minimum threshold of about 30 minutes of activity on most days of the week," he says. "If you're desiring to lose weight, you really want to work in the 45 to 60 minute range. The thing to understand is that it doesn't have to be all in one walking session, you can break it up through the course of that day."

Bryant recommends breaking up those walks into two or three large chunks.

"Maybe you go for a 30-minute walk in the morning, and then maybe it's another 15- or 30-minute walk following dinner or during your lunch break," he suggests. "The idea is to try to accumulate, you know, for about 45 minutes to an hour of walking, which tends to correlate best with reasonable weight loss or or better weight control."

Related: Take your walk from a leisurely stroll to an intense workout by adding intervals.

Bryant says it's difficult to guess how much weight one may lose while walking due to the amount of factors involved, but says that people can expect to burn about a hundred calories for every thousand steps they take.

"Generally, the amount of weight one can expect to lose (is) usually going to be a function of how frequently you do it in terms of days per week, as well as the duration that you walk and also the intensity at which you walk," he says.

Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietitian based in New York City, explains that "the average 40-year-old woman who's 5 '4'' and 165 pounds might lose five pounds in two months if she went from inactive to walking for an hour five times a week."

But you can't out-walk a bad diet, Cassetty says. "She would have to make some healthy tweaks to her diet, which result in a slight calorie deficit (around 100 calories a day)."

"Maintaining this workout routine and the healthy eating habits can help keep those five pounds off, but the walking alone isn't likely to result in additional weight loss," Cassetty says.

"Generally speaking, the average healthy adult will likely notice a difference in how they feel by incorporating more movement and sprucing up the diet," says Moore. "You may or may not lose weight with diet and exercise changes though. Whether you lose weight can vary with personal genetics and metabolism, age, overall physical activity level, stress levels and even sleep."

Related: Gain definition and strength and reduce your risk of injury with this easy-to-follow plan.

Walking is one of the easiest exercise routines to start just pick a route and get moving! Bryant recommends wearing comfortable footwear, but there's no need to invest in fancy shoes or other gear.

A good speed to start at is walking at a pace of about three miles an hour, or walking one mile in twenty minutes.

If you're looking for a metric to compete with, Bryant recommends trying to work your way up to 10,000 steps, which will help you burn about 1,000 calories. Recent research showed that logging 8,000 steps a few days a week lowered mortality risk, so even if you can't quite hit the 10,000 step benchmark, you'll still be making strides for your health.

Related: Yes, walking counts as exercise. Heres how to get the most out of it.

If you're looking for a full-body workout, it's possible to amp up your walking routine by changing the terrain.

"Walking uphill or inclining your treadmill increases the intensity and challenge of the walk," Bryant says. "You can also introduce some intervals where you change your walking speed. If you're outside, maybe, you know, walk really briskly from a stop sign to a stop sign and walk at a normal pace until you get to your next stop sign. If you're on a treadmill ... walk comfortably for three minutes and then for the next minute or two, walk you know a half a mile an hour faster."

You can also add weights, though Bryant recommends avoiding hand weights and instead investing in a weighted vest, which can make you push yourself harder without putting stress on the joints.

If you're looking for an equipment-free way to burn more calories, you can try doing something as simple as waving your arms. A study by the American Council on Exercise found that moving the arms vigorously expends more calories.

"It may look a bit odd but but vigorously pumping the arm certainly adds to the intensity of the workout," Bryant says.

Related: If you walk as exercise, burn more calories, increase your heart-rate and tone your arms with this upper-body routine.

Of course, there are more benefits to walking than just losing weight. Like any other aerobic exercise, walking will help improve the function of your cardiovascular system, will lead to better blood sugar control, and help lower blood pressure.

"Any benefit you can get from other forms of cardio exercise, like cycling, running, swimming, you can derive all those same benefits while walking," Bryant says.

Walking can also have benefits for mental health. Bryant says that the exercise can help relieve and manage stress and anxiety.

"I would tell people ... to really pay attention and focus on how walking makes them feel, because I think that can serve as a great motivator to kind of keep them in the game in terms of continuing to walk," he says.

Related: Walking workout plans that will reduce stress, tone muscles and help you lose weight.

This article was originally published on

Originally published April 5, 2023, 6:09 PM

Read more from the original source:
Here's how long you have to walk each day to lose weight - AOL

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