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Walking to Lose Weight: What Distance Do You Need to Take Daily?

6 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on June 20, 2022
Davi Santana, M.Sc.
Fact checked by Davi Santana, M.Sc.
The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

Have you decided to do intensive walking or a casual stroll to lose weight? Or maybe you are still unsure if walking will help you melt off? Don't despair. In the article, you will find out how many extra miles you need on your step tracker to see the result!

Table of content

Does walking help you lose weight?

Walking and weight loss. Are these things in some way connected? We know that exercise can help to lose extra fat. But what about just walking around? Is it even a workout? The answer is yes. Walking is definitely a kind of physical activity that can aid in weight management.

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For example, medical research in 2014 claims that walking can help obese women slim down and reduce waist circumference. The finding is based on a 3-month experiment with women who walked for 50-70 minutes daily three times a week. Scientists discovered that participants dropped 1.5 percent body fat and 1.1 inches around their waists during this time. 

How much should you walk per day to see results?

In fact, any amount of exercise is a step forward toward your health objectives. Even climbing one flight of stairs on foot is better than using the elevator. 

According to the current findings, taking less than 5,000 steps daily is considered passive. Meanwhile, the average person in the United States has a physically inactive lifestyle and makes just about 3,000–4,000 steps daily.

Walking is a low-impact, moderate-intensity activity that involves approximately 90% of body muscles. Therefore, most medical calculations, including the CDC study, advise taking 10,000 steps every day to lose weight. Converted into distances, this is around 8 kilometers (5 miles).

You might have heard a current trend - walking 20,000 steps a day to speed up the weight loss process. But you must understand that effectiveness depends on your goals and current physical shape. 

Can you lose weight by walking an hour a day?

To burn fat, you don't need to drive yourself to exhaustion. Walking for 30 minutes daily 5-7 times a week is enough. The main secret is to monitor the intensity of your walking.

Quick walks burn more calories per hour than slow ones. A speed of 6 kilometers per hour is advised to increase calorie-burning efficiency while keeping a relatively easy walking pace. 

How far can you walk in 60 minutes?

Walking speed decreases significantly with age. Approximately every year, your walking speed reduces a bit: if at your 20th you can walk 3 miles per hour, at your 60th, your speed will be only 2 miles per hour.

The walking pace varies from person to person, but the average adult walking speed is about 3 miles in 60 minutes. Be patient if you are a newbie to moderate walking or recovering from an illness because you'll need more time. Experienced athletes often go this distance faster than an hour.

Best time for walking to lose weight

When deciding to go for a walk, an obvious question comes up: Is it best to plan walks in the morning or evening?

In fact, there is no such time of day ideal for losing weight. In the morning, your body is in calorie deficit mode, so walking can favor the fat loss process. But it can also be achieved in the evening. So anyway, you'll activate the weight loss process. 

The best way is to connect walking with your meal plan. For example, people with type 2 diabetes who walks 10 minutes after lunch, dinner, or breakfast decrease their blood sugar level. A 10-minute walk after any meal is more effective than walking for half an hour at any other time.

Can you lose belly fat by walking?

Fat stored deep in the belly is the most harmful kind, but at the same time, the easiest to lose. Compared to other physical exercises, walking helps you lose extra pounds in general but not specifically in one body part. But belly fat will take place in this complex process as well. 

It's important to understand that just walking will not be enough for a visible result. You need to mix it with proper nutrition. You can use weight management charts and calculators that, according to BMI, can measure your daily calorie intake. As a complement to walking, an individual weight loss meal plan or a nutritionally approved diet is equally effective.

To slim down, you should reduce your average daily calorie intake by 20%. For example, if you have calculated that your daily physiological needs are 1800 calories, you need to cut it to 1680 kcal. 

Or you need to reduce the calorie intake by 10% and burn the rest of the calories by walking or other workouts. Considering 50-60 kcal burn on average per kilometer, by walking 5 km, you can burn 250-300 calories.

Final thoughts

Walking is an aerobic form of physical activity, the same tipe as running, swimming, fitness, etc. It helps burn calories. There will be no stunning result from walking as in a complex with a workout in a gym and a strict diet plan. 

Walking fits perfectly into your daily routine, whether you have time to exercise in the morning or in the evening. You can effortlessly lose extra pounds from walking for half an hour daily. So, stop reading this article now and go for a walk!

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Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.