You should never undervalue the benefits of going out for a stroll on a regular basis. Getting out for a 30-60-minute walk three or four times a week can be a starter to better overall health and a big help for you to reach your weight loss goals.
Walking might not seem like an effective way to lose weight, but a brisk stroll can burn over 300 calories in 30 minutes. Fast paced walking and following a healthy diet can be a fantastic weight loss plan. The calories burned walking are just one of the perks you receive. Research shows people that stay on their feet have healthier hearts.
Studies have shown that active walkers have a significantly longer life expectancy than non-walkers. One study from a Honolulu Heart Study found that men over the age of 60 that walked two miles a day cut their risk of death almost in half during the 12-year study.
The heart rate is one of the most accurate ways to gauge your calories burned walking or jogging. In the formula I have listed below, a person that is able to walk a very brisk 12-minute mile could actually end up burning more calories than a jogger at the same pace.
Calories Burned Running per Mile = Your Weight in Pounds x .75
Calories Burned Walking per Mile = Your Weight in Pounds x .53
The walking formula applies to speeds of 3 to 4 mph. At 5 mph and faster, walking actually burns more calories than jogging. However 5 mph is pretty quick, that would be equivalent to speed walking a 12-minute mile.
(formula adapted from: Energy Expenditure of Walking and Running” Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise and written by:
Hall C., Figuero A., Fernhall B. and Kanaley J.A.)
To turn it up a notch and add a little intensity, walking with a couple of light hand weights like 1-2-pound dumbbells can burn a more extra calories and add tone to your arms and shoulders.
This can be a great way to slowly help you to increase your level of fitness. If you want to try this, make sure you swing your arms naturally as you walk and keep the dumbbells close to your body.
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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.