A dedicated walking program coupled with proper nutrition can be an excellent way to lose weight, regardless of age or fitness level. You’ll need to make sure you’re walking far enough, at the right intensity and paying attention to your diet in order to do it right and reach your goals.
Here is a list of the things you need and tips on how to get it started:
Weight Loss Depends on Your Walking Duration
Individuals should aim to participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day or 150 minutes per week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). if you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll probably want to do a little more, although the recommendation from ACSM can help you get on track in terms of cardiovascular fitness and combating other health conditions.
The ACSM recommends bumping this number up to 200–300 minutes per week (3.3–5 hours) for individuals who are obese and trying to lose weight, or anyone looking to keep the weight off. It seems that walking 150 minutes 4-5 times a week, you could gain the weight loss you want.
The Intensity of Your Walking Also Counts
Make sure your heart rate reaches a moderate-intensity level during your walk. Moderate-intensity exercise is defined as an activity that raises the heart rate to 50–70% of your maximum heart rate according to the CDC (Central for Disease Control and Prevention).
Exercising at a vigorous activity level (70–85% of your maximum heart rate) requires the duration of your walk to be cut in half to achieve the same benefits if you decide to up the intensity.
The most accurate way to measure intensity level is to use a heart rate monitor, but you can also keep track of perceived exertion. On a scale of 0–10 (0 is sitting, 10 is the highest exertion possible), moderate-intensity is a 5–6, and vigorous activity begins at 7.
Keep a Meal Diary
When you’re trying to lose weight it’s important to calculate and record your daily steps, mileage, time and exercise intensity. But nutrition is maybe the most important part. Logging your food intake with a fitness app as well as your workouts can help you get a more accurate picture of the quantity and types of foods you’re consuming. That way you can make informed decisions regarding smarter portion sizes and where you can cut excess calories to find a healthy deficit that allows you to lose weight and keep it off.
Start by doing more than you normally do each day, until you can do an hour or more 4–5 times per week. You’ll set yourself up for effective weight loss if you keep to a brisk pace and pay attention to your nutrition.