Walking is one of the best exercises to live longer and better. Harvard experts say, in fact, that walking lengthens life. For example, 15 minutes of walking a day can add two more years to your existence. And if you’re in the habit of walk 30 minutes five times a week, the prize is greater: up to three and a half years more! There are many more benefits of walking: it improves cardiovascular health, the musculoskeletal system, mental health… And walking also loses weight, one of the purposes of many when a new year begins.
– Read more: 31-day plan to lose weight walking
Why can I lose weight walking?
There are several studies that explain the effects of walking on our health and, specifically, as an exercise to lose weight. Let’s see some:
Counteracts the effects of genes that promote weight gain. According to researchers at Harvard University, there are some genes that predispose us to gain weight. Specifically, in his study the scientists identified up to 32. However, the same authors of the paper observed that people who walk for almost an hour a day at a brisk pace reduce the effect of these genes by half, that is, they manage to control their predisposition to weight gain.
Walking for 15 minutes reduces the desire to eat sweets. It is well known that cravings, especially if we lean towards sweets, add more calories to the diet and contribute to weight gain. Well, if we walk we can avoid it. This is the conclusion reached by many studies conducted by the University of Exeter, in the United Kingdom. These investigations were carried out in the work context and the authors observed that those employees who can walk 15 minutes during their workday at the most stressful moments have a lower inclination to eat something sweet to calm their anxiety.
speeds up metabolism. A walk at a good pace burns fat and begins to build muscle after 20 minutes, which favors the acceleration of metabolism. This is because the muscle implies a greater caloric expenditure, so the greater the muscle mass, without the need to hypertrophy, the faster you lose weight.
How much do I have to walk to lose weight?
Everything will depend on each person, their physical condition, the intensity of the walk and how long they walk. But, in general, it can be established that in 30 minutes of brisk walking can burn 150 calories. This number can be increased by increasing the time and picking up the pace. Likewise, varying the terrain also helps to burn more.
Taking the indications of Harvard University as a reference, it is advisable to walk between 6,000 and 10,000 steps a day. Although, the more you walk, the more energy expenditure there will be. In addition, you can lose more weight by following these tips:
Tips to lose more weight walking
Walking is already a good exercise to improve your health and maintain a good body weight. But you can add some tricks so that the walking caloric expenditure is greater.
walk after dinner. Harvard, in its studies, has determined that brisk walking for 30 minutes after dinner you lose twice as much weight. It also recommends that dinner be light and no later than 8:00 p.m. It also indicates that if we walk after this meal of the day, more abdominal fat is lost.
Includes resistance exercises. When you go for a walk during the day, intersperse strength exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, gluteal bridge… These exercises increase muscle mass and you will increase caloric expenditure, since the muscle needs more energy.
add weight. You can use ankle braces or a weighted vest. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Iowa observed that those people who walk on a flat surface wearing a weighted vest with 15% of their weight burned 12% more calories.
walk uphill. It is another of the tricks to lose weight walking. If, in addition, you use weights or vests that represent 10% of your weight on a slope with an inclination of 5-10%, the caloric expenditure is 13% more, according to the study from the University of Iowa.
– Read more: To lose weight, is it better to run or walk fast?