Walking is a simple exercise that offers many benefits. One is helping people shed some pounds and it may only take an hour per day to see changes.
That is because walking regularly helps burn more calories. Combined with a good diet, this exercise could help in weight loss, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic that forced gyms and fields to close and limited physical activities.
But the effects of walking on weight loss depend on some factors, such as your weight and walking speed. Other factors that influence calorie loss include terrain, temperatures, age and your sex.
An individual’s average walking pace is 3 mph (4.8 kph) but faster steps with more weight could lead to higher calorie loss, according to Healthline.
One study showed that daily walking could help moderate-weight women lose an average of 17 pounds (7.7 kg) in six months. That is at least 10 percent of their initial body weight.
Speed played an important role in their weight loss journey. Those who walked at least 30 minutes daily lost more weight than the women who did the same exercise for an hour every day.
Another study found that women with obesity could also enjoy the benefits of walking. Those who walked 3 days per week for 50 to 70 minutes lost nearly 6 pounds (2.7 kg) after 12 weeks.
They also combined the exercise with a diet that helped reduce their calorie intake. The 12-week study found that restricting calories by 500 to 800 per day and walking 3 hours per week at 3.7 mph (6 kph) helped people lose about 4 pounds (1.8 kg) more than those who didn’t walk.
Estimates showed that for most people who want to lose weight, a deficit of 500 calories per day may lead to 0.5 to 2 pounds (0.2–0.9 kg) of weight loss per week.
More Positive Effects Of Walking
Aside from weight loss, walking for 30 minutes to 60 minutes each day could also help protect the body from certain diseases. The exercise has been linked to lower bad cholesterol, higher good cholesterol and reduced blood pressure.
These effects may lower an individual’s risk of developing a heart disease and type 2 diabetes and help improve quality of life.