The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to maintain weight and prevent certain diseases.
Therefore, 10,000 steps will enable you to stay in shape. To successfully lose weight by walking, how many steps a day should you take? How long should you walk?
How can you lose weight by walking?
The steps we take on a daily basis (to go to work, run errands, go out) are not enough to help us lose weight. Nevertheless, walking every day is an excellent habit which provides many health benefits.
However, if you want to burn calories, you have to reach the “endurance zone”, which is roughly between 60% and 70% of your Maximum Heart Rate. It may sound like advanced Math, but it’s really very simple. To reach this zone, all you have to do is walk at a brisk speed, between 5 and 8 kph (3 to 5 mph).
If you don’t own a smartwatch or fitness tracker to check your walking speed, don’t worry. You can watch for the following signs:
- You will start breathing more heavily;
- You may start sweating slightly;
- You will feel your body working.
Note: you should still be able to carry on a conversation without getting out of breath. Otherwise, you are going too fast. Slow down and find your proper pace.
How long do you have to walk for weight loss?
To lose weight, you need to walk at this pace for at least 30 to 50 minutes.
Always start by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes at your normal walking pace.
Lose fat, not muscle
The most important thing to remember is to combine regular walking with a healthy, balanced diet.
Extreme dieting is a very bad idea because this ultimately leads to muscle loss. Muscles are essential for weight loss because they burn calories naturally.
The more they develop, the more calories they consume. This is the virtuous circle of fitness walking.
To promote muscle growth, make sure that each meal includes the powerful trio: protein-carbs-fat.
Combine walking with running
Here is another way to help you lose weight: interval running. This involves alternating running with periods of walking. As it is a very effective way of losing weight, I invite you to check out the Running Coach app to set up your first interval running session.
If you are interested in this topic, you can also read: How to run to lose weight