woman walking outdoors

Can you lose weight just by walking? In a word, yes. Walking is among the easiest and most effective weight loss activities. The key to weight loss with walking is to do it often.

Walking off weight

Many of us make the mistake of thinking we have to suit up and head to aerobics class or even go for a run to lose weight. While it is true that these activities promote weight loss, walking can be as effective for dropping pounds. Here’s how:

Count your steps

Monitoring your movements has never been easier. With technological tools like wearable fitness trackers you can count every step you take from morning to night. Achieve your weight loss goal by adding steps each week until you reach 12,000 to 15,000 steps most days each week (2,000 steps equals 1 mile). According to the University Of Michigan School Of Nursing that is the number of steps you need for successful, sustained weight loss.

Stop being sedentary

You have probably heard recent warnings that sitting is the new smoking. Avoid the health hazards of being too sedentary and lose weight by using every opportunity to get up and take some steps.

  • Walk to a co-workers desk rather than calling or sending email.
  • Get up to change the channel instead of using the remote.
  • Take the stairs at work or use the upstairs bathroom at home.
  • Choose a distant parking spot.
  • Head for the park or track or just walk your dog around the neighborhood for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Boost the intensity by power walking for an aerobic workout that benefits your heart and lungs.
  • Make walking a family affair. Push the stroller or get the kids and partner to walk along with you.
  • Invite a friend for a walk in a lovely setting instead of sitting around eating or drinking.
  • Ditch the conference table and hold walking meetings.
  • Consider a treadmill desk.
  • Start a lunch time walking club.

Reward yourself for reaching weekly step goals

Every mile you walk burns about 100 calories. That means 3500 calories or one pound gets torched for every 35 miles you walk. Walking really does work for weight loss. Pair your great stepping habits with healthy eating habits for optimal results. Choose meals that include lean protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit fats, sweets and alcohol all of which can be high in calories. When you watch your calories and your steps you will walk away the pounds before you know it.