If you’ve decided it is time to start walking for health, fitness, and weight loss, you’ve already taken a great first step. Walking is an effective, natural way to achieve the daily physical activity amount recommended for weight management and good health. Walking helps you burn calories and fat, which is necessary for weight loss.
Before You Get Started
There are a few things to consider when starting a walking program:
- Preparing to walk: Learn what you need to do before you begin a walking program. This may include getting medical advice, investing in basic walking gear like shoes and clothing, and more.
- Walking Technique: Next, you will learn good walking technique, focusing on proper posture, use of arms, and leg motion.
- Walking Schedule: Determine how often to walk, how fast, different types of walking, and how far to build-up to the level of 30-60 minutes per day.
- Staying Motivated: Explore techniques for keeping yourself walking and avoiding common mistakes.
How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss
Aim for a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss. You can walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours).1
Calories and Fat Burned in 30 Minutes
At a brisk walking pace, you would burn 100 to 300 calories in 30 minutes (depending on your weight) or 200 to 600 calories in an hour. By walking for 30 minutes or more at a time, some of those calories will be from stored fat.
Health Benefits of Walking
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
- increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
- reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
- stronger bones and improved balance
- increased muscle strength and endurance
- reduced body fat.