The Benefits of Walking to Lose Weight 6 Days Per Week

A dog can help you stick to your walking routine.
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Forget fancy machines and exercise DVDs; walking is a simple, effective exercise for weight loss. It is low impact and the risk of injury is low. All you need is a decent pair of shoes and access to the outdoors, a mall or a treadmill and you are ready to start. To make it effective for dropping pounds, however, you have to put some effort into it. You’ll need to commit to a fairly brisk intensity six days a week to see results on the scale.

Exercise Needs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, weekly for good health. This amounts to about 30 minutes, five days per week. If you want to lose weight, you have to up the frequency. The American College of Sports Medicine says it takes more than 250 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to bring about significant weight loss. This amounts to a minimum of approximately 45 minutes six days per week. Pairing your walking routine with a low-calorie, portion-controlled diet full of healthy food choices such as lean proteins, leafy greens and whole grains accelerates your weight-loss progress.

Weight Loss

When you burn 3,500 calories more than you consume, you lose a pound. Walk off 250 to 500 calories per day and achieve a weight loss of 1/2 to 1 pound per week. You need to power walk to lose weight, not stroll. During moderate-intensity aerobic work, you breathe a little heavy and feel your heart beating faster. If you have a heart rate monitor, you'll want it to get to at least 55 percent of maximum. For most people, this is between 3 and 4 miles per hour. The fitter you are, the more work it takes to get your heart rate up while walking. You may have to add an incline on the treadmill or tackle hills outdoors.


Even if you can’t fit in one large session, you can break up your daily walks into shorter segments. Anything longer than 10 minutes counts as daily physical activity. Wake up early and take a 15-minute power walk before your morning shower. Spend 15 minutes of your lunch break walking outdoors. Record your favorite television show and walk before sitting down to watch it in the evening. Walking can be social – meet a friend or a family member for a walk to catch up. You can even fit walking in during phone calls or schedule walking “meetings” with colleagues at work.

Health Benefits

Regular exercise, such as walking, can boost your mood and improve your health by reducing your risk of developing many chronic diseases. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps build bone density.


Walking six days per week makes fitting in 250 minutes or more somewhat manageable. You can still face home and work obligations without feeling overwhelmed by the exercise. When you plan to walk most days of the week, it also becomes a routine – much like eating breakfast or brushing your teeth. You are more likely to stick to your workout routine if it is a regular part of your day.

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