New Year’s Eve is almost here, and if you’re like us, you’re ready to kiss the old year goodbye and start the next one off right. If one of your goals is to get healthier and feel better, one of the best ways to do that is by moving your body more. And it’s not as hard as you might think: Research shows that simply walking for a half hour each day can help you meet your weight loss goals. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it?
The Research on Walking for Weight Loss
Many folks don’t consider walking to be an effective form of exercise if they’re trying to shed some pounds. However, since it’s easier to do than hitting the gym — and more scenic! — you might be more likely to put your walking shoes on and take to the streets. And it turns out, walking actually burns a significant amount of calories, if you do it for long enough. The study-backed amount? At least 30 minutes per day.
Of course, how many calories you burn while walking will also depend on factors like your weight and walking speed. That being said, one study done on women showed that six months of brisk walking daily lead to an average weight loss of 17 pounds. The women were instructed to steadily increase their amount of walking to a maximum of one hour per day. Until they completed at least 30 minutes daily, they showed little weight loss, which demonstrates that the time spent walking had a direct impact on their weight.
A similar study done on women who were considered obese found that those who walked for 50 to 70 minutes at least three days per week lost about six pounds over a 12-week period. Those who walked also lost a significant amount of body fat and belly fat compared with those who didn’t walk. Cleary, combining walking — along with some healthy changes to your diet, which is equally important — can get you even closer to your goals..
The Bottom Line
All in all, the amount of weight you lose depends on how many calories you consume and how many you burn — and walking is simply an easy and enjoyable way to boost your calorie burn (even in cold weather). Walking for 30 minutes to an hour per day is a smart idea if you’re trying to achieve the appropriate calorie deficit for weight loss.
So stay active and healthy, and maybe you’ll even shed some extra pounds. Try gradually increasing your activity levels by starting off with a short walk and slowly making your way up to an hour per day. Your body will definitely thank you!