Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walking And Weight Loss

Walking And Weight Loss: The Facts

The facts about walking and weight loss are interesting. It seems obvious that running would burn more calories than walking, right? And therefore fast walking would burn more calories than slow walking. Of course, if you look at that in terms of time, it is true. Running for 10 minutes burns more calories than walking for 10 minutes.

But if you think in terms of distance, there is not so much difference. Walking for one mile and running for one mile will burn approximately the same number of calories. There is just a little more involved in running because the person is usually pushing upward as well as forward. But the difference in calories burned is not huge.

This means that if you are starting out with a fitness program with walking and weight loss, there is no need to stress about how fast you are going. Concentrate instead on the distance. Use a pedometer to measure how far you can walk in a half hour at a comfortable pace right now, even if that is a very slow pace. Then as you become more fit you will see that you can walk further in the same amount of time.

Eventually you may decide to move on to running, simply because it means that you can burn more calories in a shorter time. A good way to begin is to introduce short bursts of running into your daily walk. For example you might start with 1 minute of running followed by 7 minutes of walking. Gradually you can increase the running time and reduce the walking time until you are simply running.

Many people use a heart rate monitor watch while running. This can also be useful if you are interested in walking and weight loss or if you are following a combined walking and running program. You can keep track of your heart rate and in many cases set an ideal heart rate zone. The watch will beep if you go dangerously high or lazily low. Many watches can also be set to beep to tell you when you need to switch from one form of exercise to another.

Of course, if you choose walking for weight loss it is important to do it often. At least three times a week is recommended for any fitness training, and more often is better. To keep you motivated, it helps if you enjoy your chosen exercise. Walking in pleasant surroundings out of doors is often more fun than using a treadmill, and can help you to keep to your planned program.

Walking can be excellent exercise for anybody who has the use of their legs. Even if you are extremely unfit, you can probably stand and move slowly around the house for a half hour. Of course, check with your doctor first, but using a pedometer you will almost certainly find that if you spend a half hour walking every day, your distance will increase. That means that you will burn more calories. In this way, you can start to be successful with walking and weight loss.