If you are just starting out on your fitness program, then you need to start slowly. And walking is a simple, natural way to achieve daily physical activity.
Plus, walking is perfect for slowly warming up and conditioning muscles that have not been exercised in a while…
And walking is actually fun to do.
Despite what you may think or been led to believe, you can burn a lot of calories and excess body fat by simply walking as well.
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Energy In, Energy Out
When it comes to body weight, remember this… 1 pound = 3500 calories.
For every pound you want to lose, you must burn 3500 calories worth of energy. The only way to do that is to eat correctly and exercise.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise available to you. It uses up oxygen, causing your body to burn stored fat.
For example, you’ll expend about 100 calories just by walking a single mile. That might not seem like a lot at first, but just think about it. Most people walk on average just under 3 miles throughout the course of their normal day.
If you add an enjoyable morning stroll or a brisk evening walk, you could easily end up walking 4 miles every day.
4 miles a day means 400 calories burned every day… Just by walking.
If you walk 4 miles a day 4 times a week, you can burn 1600 calories! That’s almost half a pound of fat gone… In one week just by walking.
Add more steps to your day while making sure to continue to eat correctly, and your body can’t help but burn fat.
Walking also strengthens dormant muscles, which tones and shapes your body. This increased muscle mass boosts your metabolism, which means you burn excess body fat; even after you have finished walking.
And you don’t have to get all of your walking in at once. If you don’t have time for long walks, find pockets of time throughout your day for short jaunts. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
A Quick Question…
Here’s a question we get asked all of the time….
Which burns more calories?
A) Running 1 mile
B) Jogging 1 mile
C) Walking 1 mile
It’s a trick question.
They all burn exactly the same number of calories.
Surprising, isn’t it?
And in that little fact lays some truly great news… If you go for a walk seven days a week, you will actually burn more calories than going for a run five days a week.
(Technically, a runner will get an extra benefit because his metabolism will continue to operate more efficiently after running; but you can still burn excess body fat by walking just as effectively as running….)
One of the most common complaints we hear from people trying to burn fat is…
“I’m not seeing any results.”
That’s not surprising; because walking is such a comfortable, familiar activity.
If your goal is to slim down, you simply need to pick up a faster pace.
To understand why, just do the math…
The faster you walk, the more calories you burn.
For example, a 60-minute walk at 3 MPH burns 240 calories (based on a 150-lb person).
Speed up to 4 MPH, and you can blast those 240 calories off in just 42 minutes. Keep that 4 MPH up for an hour, and you’ll burn nearly 50% more calories–364 calories total.
At that pace, walking 5 days a week, you could lose an extra 10 pounds a year. And those are just the visible benefits.
In addition, by bumping up your walking speed, you also train the heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles to use oxygen more efficiently.
Basic Training for Those Just Getting Started
If you are just starting out on your fitness program, then walking is a perfect way to get started.
Remember the old adage… “You have to walk before you can run….”? This applies for fitness beginners especially.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be hard when starting out to produce results; it just has to be steady.
Walking lets you work your muscles and burn off stored fat. It’s simple, enjoyable, and a good weapon to burn off excess body fat.
Your goal is to be walking comfortably for 30 minutes to an hour…
Which is the level recommended to help prevent heart disease, type II diabetes, and breast and colon cancer.
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