How much walking to lose weight?

The question about walking has always been how much do you need to do every day to lose weight? We now have the answer.

Research has revealed that power walking is the most effective exercise for losing weight and preventing weight gain. Photo credit: Victoria’s Secret

According to a recent British scientific analysis, the easiest form of exercise to help lose weight, help keep it off and also prevent weight gain and obesity: brisk walking.

Researchers analysed data between 1999 and 2012 from the annual English Health Surveys and have concluded that a brisk 30-minute walk 5 times per week was more beneficial to preventing weight gain than comparable time spent at the gym. The research also found that individuals who go for regular walks at a fast pace are more likely to have a lower body weight compared to those participating in other physical activity.

Benefits of power walking:

Walking has been overlooked in recent years, with the latest and greatest fitness workouts taking centre stage for dramatic weight loss results. However, walking has endless physical and psychological benefits, including:

  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased heart and lung function
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Improved management of diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and joint and muscle stiffness
  • Stronger bones and improved balance
  • Reduced signs of depression and anxiety

What to do:

Here is a simple guide to get you walking regularly, depending on your current level of fitness.

  • Beginner: 20mins at moderate pace, 5 times per week
  • Intermediate: 30mins at brisk pace, 5-6 times per week
  • Advanced: 40mins at brisk pace, 5-6 times per week

Strive to increase the duration of your walking by 5 minutes every 2 weeks and the intensity by walking faster. Walkers at an advanced level can increase intensity by adding hills or inclines, as well as walking on uneven surfaces (such as sand or rocky ground) which will also speed up calorie burning.

Stephanie King

Stephanie is a qualified Exercise and Sport Scientist who lives and breathes all things health and fitness. An Eastern Suburbs local, Stephanie spends her weekends being active outdoors, sipping on an espresso and hunting down the best smashed avo toast in Bondi. She has travelled to 5 out of 7 continents, jumped off one skyscraper and out of one plane to date.

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