Hey Angels and Alphas,
Have you ever heard the saying that you should aim to walk 10,000 steps every day if you want to lose weight and be healthy?
And while 10,000 might seem like a lot of some and a little for others, it’s definitely a great goal to aim for, scientifically speaking. It’s still a completely arbitrary number that will have a different impact on everyone, but it’s a great goal to chase especially if you’ve been spending most of your days in a sedentary, not-much-movement mode.
BUT WHY 10,000 STEPS A DAY FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
There’s actually a science to it.
Starting at 4,000 steps onward, every 1,000 steps you add to your daily step count (up to 12,000) brings you massive health benefits. We’re talking “reduced risk of premature death from heart disease, stroke, and all other causes” massive. From all causes!
This was concluded by research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Other similar research found something similar – “taking more steps per day lowers your risk of dying of any cause, regardless of your age, gender, and race.” This study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that:
- People who walked 8,000 steps per day reduced their risk of death from all causes by 51% when compared to people who only walked 4,000 steps.
- People who walked 12,000 steps per day reduced their risk of death from all causes by 65% when compared to people who only walked 4,000 steps.
Just imagine how powerful the link is between walking and your health and wellbeing. Walking remains the single most accessible form of exercise for weight loss, so it’s no wonder it has such a direct link to conditions with risk factors of obesity.
AND LET’S TALK ABOUT EXERCISE RESISTANCE…
Walking too few steps a day is linked to something called exercise resistance, wherein your body stops burning fat efficiently enough.
Research has shown that people who take less than 5,000 steps a day experience exercise resistance, whereas those who took 8,500 did not – suggesting that walking around 8,500 steps a day is protective for your health and fitness. They concluded that exercise resistance could be a negative influence on long-term heart health, therefore a danger for those living sedentary lifestyles.
But wait, before you start taking hour-long strolls every single day, remember that even though you can set a goal number of steps or distance, what constitutes “walking for weight loss” is different based on who you ask.
However, walking is perhaps the best way to get yourself back into an active shape after not being active for a long time. That’s why you should aim high – at least 10,000 steps every day while trying to slowly transition into medium-intensity cardio.
WHAT ABOUT “WALKING INTENSITY” FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
Research keeps pointing to the fact that people who have greater numbers of steps also tend to walk with higher intensity. But this doesn’t mean you have to be a speed walker to improve your health. You just have to log them!
Luckily, your phone does that for you already.
And even more luckily, researchers found that what’s important is the total number of steps one takes, not the intensity. But obviously, if you’re going to be walking for weight loss, you’re going to want to keep your walking at a pace in which you can still hold a conversation, similar to that of being 2 and a half minutes late to an appointment.
But if you are going to be walking for weight loss, what you should know is that including short, high-intensity intervals is the single best way to skyrocket your walking calorie burn.
HOW DO I LOSE WEIGHT WITH WALKING WORKOUTS?
A lot of people decide to start a walking/running habit and think that they have to run a marathon every day if they want to drop pounds. But every single time they resort to extreme measures, they burn themselves out or even injure themselves in the process.
Instead, you’re going to do this smart. Lower-intensity exercise such as walking for 30 minutes a day can help you drop weight like you never thought possible. Top it off with a small calorie deficit, and you’ll see impressive results rather quickly.
- For a brisk, 30-minute walk, you can burn about 150 calories.
- Over the course of a week, that’s 1,050 calories.
- And since you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound, it will take you about 3 weeks to lose 1 pound.
- Over the course of 1 year, that’s around 15 pounds!
Whether you’re a beginner or you’re a seasoned vet, walking with incorporated high-speed intervals is a scary-good way to burn calories and shed fat.
ADD THESE TWO HABITS TO MULTIPLY YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS
If you’re into the idea of losing weight by walking for half an hour a day, you’re going to love this… simply incorporate a few of these daily habits and you’ll double the already-impressive weight-loss results you’re going to get:
✓ Make your walks challenging. Sure, you’ll burn plenty of calories from your 30-minute walk. But any additional speed increases, walking up stairs, or intervals you add to those 30 minutes will help you burn more and more calories. Keep your body engaged and active through adding intervals and you’ll burn calories much, much faster.
✓ Slim down your diet. It’s still true that nutrition accounts for a big portion of your results. If you can achieve a calorie deficit all while doing your daily walks, you’ll drive weight loss. You don’t need to cut off half your diet overnight. Simply try new healthier options, limit sugars, add more greens to your plate, and skip the equivalent of one snack a day. Don’t underestimate the power of small, consistent changes and you will get to your desired destination – there’s no way around it!