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Does Walking Burn Fat?

    man walking on gray concrete road

    You might have heard walking burns more fat than running, since when you are exercising at lower intensities, the fat is used as fuel. It is true, walking is an amazing way for a fitness beginner to get started with exercising and burning fat immediately. Walking may not be the most intense exercise, but it is a powerful way to build good conditioning and fat loss. A walking workout also does a lot of other awesome things for you, as well as getting your body moving.

    While walking is not the most complicated of exercises, walking is a powerful way to lose weight and build good form. It is an excellent way to lose weight and keep it off, as it is not a fad diet or unsustainable exercise program. While walking is extremely beneficial to your body, and absolutely beneficial as an accessory activity if you are trying to drop weight or body fat, it does not cover all bases. Walking does not help you burn calories as fast as running, but it is perfect for folks who do not want to run, or have difficulty running more than a few minutes at a time.

    While running helps you burn calories faster than walking, adopting an interval training approach where you alternate between running and walking is a perfect way to prolong the duration of a workout. Whether you are walking or running, you can optimize fat burning by working on interval workouts; that is, going hard for a few minutes, taking it easy for a break, and then repeating.

    To help burn more calories and boost the growth of new muscles, one might want to try adding in resistance training while walking. While any increase in activity level will have benefits, there are a few things that a person can do to improve how much fat he or she burns during his or her walk.

    The key to walking for weight loss is increasing how much calories you burn versus how much calories you consume each day. To burn the most calories possible and maximize weight loss, you are going to want to walk at the right heart rate zone. The key, however, is staying consistent and walking in the correct heart rate zone in order to maximize calories burned and fat lost.

    While you will want to perform most of your training within the correct heart rate zone, increasing the intensity 1 or 2 times a week if weight loss is your main goal may provide you with a little added stimulus. Since intensity is low-moderate, you will want to ensure that your workouts are lengthy enough (work up from 45 minutes to an hour) to get the body burning fat rather than storing carbohydrates.

    To simplify things slightly, the harder your exercise, the higher the percentage of carbohydrates that your body will choose to use as fuel (although it is still very likely that some fat will be burned). The advantage is that your body uses stored fat for fuel, as opposed to a higher-intensity exercise that relies on carbohydrates. The longer you walk, the more you will burn stored fat (rather than the sugars that the body uses to power short bursts of exercise). Walking might burn more fat as fuel, but running burns more overall calories, which will help with greater weight loss.

    Combine walking habits with weight training exercises, and you can increase muscle mass, which burns calories more quickly than fat, even when you are at rest. By including HIIT alongside your weighted exercises, you can turn your regular walking routine into a workout that helps you build muscle, all the while burning fat. You can implement an effective routine that builds and tones muscles while burning fat simply using your own bodyweight. You can turn a walking workout into one that tones muscles and burns fat by making some simple adjustments.

    Adding a few compound resistance exercises into your walking routine is another good way to speed up fat loss. When done regularly and over an appropriate duration, walking effectively burns calories and helps you shed fat from all areas of your body, including your abdomen. While you cannot cut out fat specifically, walking helps you cut total body fat (including abdominal fat), which, while it is one of the more dangerous types of fat, is also one of the easiest types to lose.

    While any type of exercise burns calories, walking and other aerobic exercises are particularly effective at burning the fat in your internal bellies, called visceral fat. While walking is beneficial for overall health, waistline fat requires more of a metabolic stimulus for fat burning, and even then, it is fat stored over years. Heavy individuals burn more calories, as their bodies need more energy to do the same tasks compared to those that are not so heavy; wearing a weighted vest when walking motivates an individuals body to perform harder while walking.

    One study concluded that individuals walking at 2.5 miles per hour (mph) on a flat surface wearing a weighted vest weighing 15% of their weight burned 12% more calories than someone not wearing a vest. A person wearing a weighted vest that represented 10 % of his or her bodyweight, and walking at a similar pace over a 5%-10% grade, burned 13 % more calories, on average. This study by the American Council on Exercise compared calories burned when walking on a treadmill as normal to walking on the treadmill wearing a weighted vest weighing 15% of the wearers total body weight.

    Power Walks In Intervals Power walks in intervals may be an effective way for an individual to increase the amount of calories burned during walking. The faster you walk, the farther you can travel, and the more calories you will burn. This simple exercise routine can burn up to 175 calories in less than 10 minutes for the average person, and as you get heavier, the amount of calories burned increases proportionally. A walking workout can burn just as many calories as a running workout–it just takes longer, since if your stride is slower, you will burn less calories each minute. Long walks also help you build up strength for bigger goals, such as the half-marathon.

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