How Much Does Walking Help?

“Exercise” is a word that some people embrace and others loathe.   I am certain you know a number of people that are almost addicted to daily exercise as opposed to others you know that cringe at the thought of running or going to a gym.  Where do you fit into that spectrum?


A fairly low impact exercise is walking.  Whether walking alone, with a friend or your pet, walking can be done by most people, even at advanced ages.   Very few people will react negatively to the thought of walking, even those that despise exercise in other forms.


So, the question:  How much does walking help your weight control efforts?  Well, exercise in any form is better than no exercise at all. However, the more rigorous the exercise, the more calories are being burned and obviously the more intense the exercise, the more this contributes to effective weight control.   Back to walking: The calories burned off during a 30 minutes walk will vary from 90-200 calories based on the weight of the person and the pace of the walk.  A 120 pounds person walking at a casual pace will burn closer to the 90 whereas a 200 pounds person walking more briskly will be closer to the 200 calories.


This all becomes cumulative, meaning that each 30 minutes walk may only result in 120 calories burned, but, if that is done 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, that equates to a loss of over 12 pounds.  Combined with a prudent eating approach, this is a nice contributing component to long-term weight control.


Increasing the pace of the walk,  making this more “interval training” by periodically breaking into a very fast pace/jog, then backing down to the original pace and repeating this sequence, and walking up an incline will all contribute to increasing the effectiveness of the walk as this pertains to burning more calories.


Please always remember that a poor food/drink choice can wipe out the benefits of that walk very quickly.  I can down a 6.5 ounce bottle of Coke in 30 seconds and that contains 100 calories…that would wipe out the benefits of a 30 minute walk.


For those of you that dislike going to gyms, biking or playing racquet sports, walking can be your “go to” exercise.  Go to it!

Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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