Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise there is.
Sadly, walking is also one of the most ineffective forms of exercise there is.
I know this is probably upsetting news for those of you who have taken up daily walking for weight loss, but it simply does not pump up your metabolic rate enough to whittle away those extra pounds.
That said, you can change the way you walk to make sure you’re burning more fat. In fact, you can even walk off as much as 25 pounds in 30 days; seriously.
Pump Up Your Walking for Weight Loss Routine
There’s a persistent myth in the fitness world that just won’t seem to die: it holds that skinny people have a higher metabolism than heavier people.
This is categorically untrue.
The more you weigh, the more work you have to do to move your body. That means your metabolism is higher than someone who doesn’t weigh as much.
For example, I weigh 70 kilograms. Let’s say I walk 1000 meters, 1 kilometer. That equals 70,000 kilogram meters worth of work.
Let’s say you weigh 80 kilograms. If you walk the same 1000 meters that I did, you did more work over the same distance. Specifically, you did 80,000 kilogram meters.
Here’s one of those fitness tips that will change your life: the magic key to weight loss is pumping up your metabolism so you’re consistently burning that fat off.
As the example above shows, the most effective way to do that is to add some weight to your walk.
It’s this principle that you’re going to wield to burn that fat away.
How to Lose Weight by Walking
1. Get Your Weight Up to Take the Weight Off
Now it would be awkward to do your daily walk with a pair of dumbbells in your hands, so instead, I recommend you buy a weighted vest
Here’s an example:
I probably go for a walk about three times a week. When I do, I strap on a 50-pound weighted vest. By adding an extra 50 pounds (20 kilograms) to my frame, I’m now walking with 90 kilograms.
If I walk the same 1000 meters that I did before, now I’m doing 90,000 kilogram meters worth of work.
If you do the same, you’ll be amazed at how much it will pump up your exercise and accelerate your weight loss.
So many people prefer walking to going in the gym because it doesn’t require fancy equipment or boring routines.
It’s simply a matter of walking.
However, if you strap on a weighted vest, you’re essentially getting the best of both worlds: even though you’re just walking, it’s as if you’re lifting weights at the same time!
You can purchase a weighted vest in your local fitness store or on Amazon. If you’d rather not spend the money, you can even load up an old knapsack with a bunch of textbooks and go walking with that.
2. Walking Up That Hill
To maximize your walking for weight loss workout, you might also want to spend more time walking uphill.
The same principles are at work here, but walking on an incline means you have to account for the vertical distance you’re covering.
You’re working against gravity, so it’s almost like adding more weight to your vest or knapsack.
What you’re looking for are the physical signs of work: you want to be huffing and puffing.
If you walk four times the distance we discussed—4000 meters—with no weight on a flat surface, and you’re not huffing and puffing by the end of it, you haven’t gotten a good workout.
You want to feel some degree of burn.
As a final tip, if you choose to walk on a treadmill, please don’t hold the handrails!
It’s certainly comfortable, but you’re defeating the purpose if you do this. Walking for weight loss requires you to do some work.
I hope this is enlightening to all of you who’ve taken up walking to lose weight. Hopefully, you give these simple modifications a whirl so you can get the results you’re looking for!
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.