Does walking help you lose weight?
If you’re trying to lose weight, take a look at your diet first. Now, I don’t mean to “diet” in the traditional sense, I mean to eat your fill of healthy, nourishing foods.
Now beyond the foods you eat, exercise can speed up weight loss, and I would go as far as to say it is critical for overall health and longevity. But how about walking, does it count as exercise, and most importantly, will it help you lose weight?
Some athletes scoff at the idea of walking for weight loss, but the absolute truth is that there is an overwhelming amount of clinical research in support of it.
The clear answer is yes; walking will help you lose weight…if you do it. Just as the saying goes “the best supplement to take is the one you actually take”, walking will only help you lose weight if you actually walk regularly.
How much should I walk to lose weight?
A study from 2002 shows participants walking 30 minutes per day had equal (significant) benefits as those participants that walked for 60 minutes per day. Both groups saw drastic reductions in BMI, percentage body fat, diastolic blood pressure, and other indicators of health.
This information suggests that walking for 30 minutes per day seems to be most effective for losing weight.
In fact, a randomized trial from 2019 indicates that two shorter bouts of walking per day could be more effective for weight loss in comparison to one long walk.
And to top it off with another more robust piece of data, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. This equates to 30 minutes per day, Monday through Friday, of walking at a brisk pace.
If you’re wondering how to gauge what “moderate-intensity” means, think of it this way; you need to be breathing a bit. If you can hold your breath or have a steady conversation, you’re probably not walking fast enough.
So, to answer the question of “how much should I walk to lose weight”, we suggest 30 minutes per day.
What if I can’t walk 30 minutes per day?
Don’t overthink it, just get out there and do what you can. While 30 minutes of walking per day is optimal for weight loss, 10 minutes is still better than zero. Unless you’re out there to improve your marathon time, just do what you can and focus on mastering consistency.
How many miles can you walk in 30 minutes?
That depends, how fast are you?
Just kidding! In all seriousness, assuming you are on a relatively flat surface, you can expect to cover about 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) in 30 minutes of walking. Of course, if you’re going uphill (or downhill), you might be moving at a different pace.