Today we want to discuss slimming down by walking 2 hours a day. Interested? Well, you might not make the whole 2 hours, but try at least one…and walk quickly.

 

Walking to slim down

Americans call it “Power Walking” which sounds more energetic, but what we’re talking about is regularly going out for a walk for at least 30-40 mins, if you want to stay fit, or for 90-120 mins is your goal is weight loss.

Losing weight by walking is not about going window shopping, stopping every 20 meters and going no faster than 3km per hour. We’re talking about a brisk, continuous walk, without running and without breathing so hard you lose your breath.

 

Calories lost through walking

By walking briskly at around 4 miles per hour, you burn some 266 calories. Which means that per week, you’ll have burnt 1862 calories. Not to be sniffed at!

This calculation serves as proof that if you want to slim down but only have an hour at lunchtime, or there isn’t any sport that takes your fancy, a brisk power walk every day can help you…a lot.

 

The benefits of walking

  • You don’t over-exert yourself, which means anyone can do it.
  • Your leg and stomach muscles will become more toned, without increasing the muscle mass. Walking requires a constant energy expenditure. That’s why, by combining it with a different type of exercise such as football, running or cycling, you will burn much more fat and calories.
  • It improves your mood, because it gets rid of anxiety thanks to the release of endorphins.
  • It improves rest but doesn’t cause excessive fatigue, meaning there is no muscle or joint pain to disrupt your sleep.
  • Your posture will improve, hence you need the correct footwear. Depending on how you walk, you may experience back pain or knee injuries.
  • You can better control your appetite, because you’re avoiding the release of cortisol, which produces anxiety at eating times. There is also no need to ‘recoup energy’ as you do after an intense workout.
  • It reduces the risk of suffering from chronic diseases which are due to a sedentary lifestyle. A simple walk reduces the risk of these by half.
  • It reduces joint inflammation – which high intensity workouts cannot do, with their abrupt movements and abrasion of joints.
  • It improves the pumping action of the heart, without reaching maximum heart rate.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves bowel transit, preventing constipation.
  • It improves peripheral vision, which is important to people who work at a computer all day and usually have the retina focused only a short distance away over a period of hours.
  • It strengthens the immune system, protecting you from infections and common diseases.

 

Walking speed. Walk or run?

Walking can be done at various speeds. A slow pace is around 1.5-2mph. Anything over 2.5mph, you start to sweat and if you ratchet up to around 4mph, you’ll almost be running. The problem is maintaining your pace – if you put your foot down, in 20 minutes you’ll be exhausted and will have to stop.

So it’s better to keep a constant pace of around 4mph, with your head held high, shoulders down, elbows flexed and hips forward. Press down the entire sole of the foot as you walk, and go up and down hills and stairs, to factor in some higher intensity bursts, which will accelerate your metabolism and help you to burn more fat. If running is having a negative impact on your knees or ankles, then this will be your go-to exercise to achieve your ideal weight.

 

Remember to do this together with a healthy diet, as well as staying well hydrated.