Walking for Fat Loss

Woman walking for fat loss on path.
Photo by bristekjegor @ Freepik.com

My friends, you don’t have to go crazy with exercise in order to lose weight – in fact one of the healthiest things you can do is to start walking for fat loss. Never allow yourself to get caught up in the thinking that the best cardio for you to do for fat loss is HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training. If you are overweight, and new to exercise, all you need is your doctors approval and a good pair of walking shoes to start enjoying the benefits of daily walks.

When you begin walking for daily exercise, you are not going to require any special equipment, gadgets, or skills. Although fitness trackers are nice to have, you will not need to track your heart rate, time your intervals, or log your miles. In other words, you do not need to get caught up in the minutiae of the benefits of exercise. You just need to move your body enough to get your heart rate up enough to make talking a little bit difficult, but nowhere near impossible. You are also not going to require any type of coaching, nor special instruction since you have been walking since you were a toddler. There is absolutely nothing to hold you back from walking for fat loss my friends.

Being as walking is so simple to do, many people ignorantly believe that it is not enough for fat loss. If you ever encounter anyone who tells you that walking is too easy, they obviously do not know what they are talking about.

Walking does qualify as a bonafide cardio workout!

If you run a ten minute mile, you will burn about 190 calories. Walking a nineteen minute mile will burn approximately 111 calories.  However, if the runner is running at a high heart rate, their fat burning ability is not quite as high as that from walking at a brisk pace. Your best heart rate for burning fat is at about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. It is easy when running for your heart rate to be beyond 70 percent which serves to burn fat less efficiently.


Generally speaking, when you’re working out, you’re within one of five HR zones:


50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is your warm-up, cool-down, and recovery zone.


60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. This is an average effort that’s easy to maintain while holding a conversation. (Think a long, slow distance run.)


70 to 80 percent of your max heart rate. (Slightly easier than a tempo run, for example.)


80 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. This is a hard effort, but it’s sustainable. (Now you’re at tempo pace!)


90 to 100 percent of your heart rate. This is as hard as you can go.

Zones 1 and 2 are your main fat-burning zones. When you’re working out within these zones, most of the calories you’re burning are coming from fat. The higher your zone, the less fat and more sugars you’re burning. Walking may not burn as many calories as running, but the calories burned come mainly from your fat stores. We burn both fat and carbohydrates when we exercise. But as you increase your intensity, so does the reliance on muscle glycogen for energy over fat stores. Low intensity exercise such as walking dips mainly into your fat stores, whereas higher intensity exercise pulls more heavily from your glycogen stores.

For people new to exercise,  sticking to Zones 1 and 2 can be enjoyable and the best way to enjoy a long, chatty run with friends.

Walking places very little stress on the body, therefore it is an easy way to begin exercise with your fat loss journey. Additionally, walking is excellent for reducing the effects of stress and cortisol on your body. For people new to exercise, walking is not likely to result in over training – thus you can do it every day which you will not be able to do with running.

If you engage in moderate-intensity workouts, such as a brisk walk, then 30 minutes every day can help you reap a variety of benefits. You could also break this up into two 15-minute walks, or three 10-minute walks each day. As you can see, it does not take a lot of time to realize the benefits of walking for fat loss.

Get yourself a good pair of shoes and start walking today!

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