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Walk while holding dumbbells to expend additional calories.
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Calorie restriction combined with a regular walking program is highly effective for weight loss. You can lose as much weight as you'd like using this weight-loss strategy. However, if you plan to keep the weight off long term, slow but steady is a good rule of thumb. If you're overweight or obese, walking is an excellent way to begin a workout program because it's low impact and easy on your joints.
Safe Weight Loss
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests losing 1 to 2 pounds weekly. You can accomplish this goal by creating a 500- to 1,000-calorie deficit using calorie restriction and walking workouts. For example, burn an extra 250 calories walking and eat 250 fewer calories daily to lose 1 pound weekly, or burn 500 extra calories walking and eat 500 fewer calories each day to drop 2 pounds per week. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 155-pound adult expends about 334 calories per hour walking at a pace of 4 mph.
Weight Loss Recommendations
It's best to lose just 10 percent of your initial body weight -- by cutting calories and walking - and maintaining that weight for six months before shedding additional pounds, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This weight-loss strategy is effective for keeping lost weight off long term and helps you adjust to your smaller body and permanent lifestyle changes. For example, if your initial body weight was 210 pounds, maintain a weight of 189 pounds before attempting additional weight loss.
If you hit a weight-loss plateau, you may want to consider some running workouts or altering your walking routine. A study published in 2013 in вЂњMedicine and Science in Sports and ExerciseвЂќ found that although walking is effective for weight loss, running produces a greater energy expenditure and leads to more weight loss than walking over a period of 6.2 years. Another study published in 2011 in the вЂњInternational Journal of General MedicineвЂќ found that walking immediately after a meal was more effective for weight loss than walking one hour after a meal.
Decreasing Body Fat
Although cutting calories and walking regularly helps achieve weight-loss goals, more specific strategies are beneficial to maximize fat loss during weight loss. A study published in 2009 in вЂњMedicine and Science in Sports and ExerciseвЂќ reports that resistance training - such as weightlifting - increases body fat loss. Another study published in 2012 in the вЂњJournal of ObesityвЂќ found that high-intensity interval training also helps shed body fat. Incorporate interval training into your walking workouts by alternating periods of high-intensity, brisk walking or jogging with periods of lower-intensity walking.