The new year has begun, and if you’re like us, you’re ready to kiss 2020 goodbye and start 2021 off right. If this means being healthier for you, one of the best is to be more active. Luckily, it’s a lot simpler than you think: Research shows that simply walking every day can help you reach your goals.
Walking for Weight Loss
Many folks don’t consider walking to be an effective form of exercise if you’re trying to shed some pounds. However, since it’s easier to do than hitting the gym, especially these days, you might be more likely to get your walking shoes on and take to the streets. And, it 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 depends 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 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!
Even better yet, combining walking along with some healthy changes to your diet can get you even closer to your goals. In one 12-week study, subjects who were considered obese were instructed to restrict their calories by 500 to 800 each day. One group added three hours of walking per week at 3.7 mph. The other group didn’t add walking. Both groups did show a significant amount of weight loss, but those who added the walking lost about four additional pounds.
All in all, the amount of weight you lose depends on how many calories you consume and how many you burn. Walking is a great way to boost your calorie burn. Based on the theory that one pound is equivalent to 3,500 calories, in order to lose a pound a week, you’d need to reduce your calorie intake by 500 for seven days. Walking for 30 minutes to an hour per day is a great way to help you achieve the appropriate calorie deficit for weight loss.
All in all, walking is a great way to help you lose weight. Walking for at least 30 minutes per day has shown specifically to boost weight loss. As we saw in the studies, you can gradually increase your activity levels by starting off with a short walk and slowly making your way up to an hour per day. Your body — and your waistline — will definitely thank you!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.