First of all, if you decide to walk, whether it’s to get fit, lose weight, or just to improve your health, yay for you! Take a bow, you’ve earned it!
Almost any walk will be beneficial, of course. However, there are more effective walks than others, depending on your goal. Let’s talk about one way to make weight loss walking do more for the same effort.
Now when you read articles on walking, running, and other exercise methods, you will often see advice that if you can’t do everything at once, break it up and take two 20 minute walks instead of one 40 minute walk, for example. walking.
Well. You will experience health, fitness, and weight loss benefits either way. The health and fitness benefits will likely be essentially the same, depending, of course, on many factors other than the time of the hike itself. However, doing the entire walk at once will be far more effective in losing weight than splitting it up for one main reason.
Weight loss as a result of walking depends on two main factors: calories burned and fat burned.
Are they not the same?
Here is a simple explanation. Now this is just a quick overview, and professional dietitians could provide a much more in-depth explanation and expansion … if you wish. I’ll keep it basic.
When you eat food, some of it is used to create a substance called “glycogen” that is stored in your muscles. When you start exercising, this glycogen is used as fuel for activity. However, the body cannot create glycogen fast enough to continue to supply it over a prolonged period of exercise. When this point is reached, the body begins to burn fat to continue providing energy.
So, you are walking briskly for 20 minutes. After all, a good 20 minute walk is a good exercise option no matter how you look at it. However, you are walking to lose weight, and you want your walking to be as effective as possible.
Now, I am going to use some numbers. They are just general averages that I am using to illustrate my point. You may burn more or less, or your neighbor might, so don’t get hooked on the numbers, just the concept.
Brisk walking can burn about 300 calories per hour. Sitting can burn around 60. Again, these are just generalities. A muscular person will burn more calories while sitting and an overweight person will burn more calories while walking.
Okay, walk 20 minutes.
You burn about 100 calories. You do five of these walks in a week and burn 500 calories. That is an average of 71 calories per day. If you burn or eliminate 100 calories a day, you can lose about 10 pounds a year.
Also, most of the energy you expend during a 15-20 minute walk will come from glycogen that is already stored in your muscles and will be replaced as soon as possible by your body.
So, leaving a few other variables aside, your five 20-minute walks a week can help you lose around seven pounds a year.
Having learned this, you decide to double your walk, but you also decide to take two 20-minute walks a day. Well, by the time you take your second walk, your body will have replaced the glycogen, so your body will get energy from there and burn another 100 calories.
By doubling your walk in this way, you burn about 140 calories a day and lose about 14 pounds a year.
In fact, not even that much!
You see, during the 20 minutes you walked, you could have burned 20 calories anyway, so you really only burned an extra 80 calories per walk or 400 calories a week, 59 calories a day, to lose about 5.9 pounds a year. Walk twice a day for 20 minutes and you will lose about 11 pounds in a year.
So why walk?
Well, for one thing, it’s very good for you. Even if you don’t lose a lot of weight, you can improve your overall health, your attitude, your energy level, and become a happier and more productive person. However, if you don’t walk the right way, you probably won’t lose a lot of weight!
Do you remember glycogen?
When you walk for around 40 to 45 minutes, you run out of glycogen somewhere about halfway there.
So where does your body get the energy to keep going?
When you burn fat, it disappears! Fat retains water, so the water also disappears.
If you sweat but don’t burn fat, the fat, essentially a sponge, is refilled with water. If the fat is gone, not only is it gone, but so is the water it contained … and the water is heavy.
So while walking is good for your health on almost any level, for the best weight loss results, try to walk for 40 to 45 minutes at least 5 times a week.