With the rising obesity epidemic and diabetes as the 7th leading cause of death in America, according to the CDC, maintaining a healthy weight should be one of the top priorities for most Americans. There are a variety of reasons why to stay healthy. A healthy weight can reduce the chance of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. It can make managing diabetes easier, relieve back and joint pain, and best of all an increase in energy. It’s more than just to look good. Weight loss seems to be one of the few things we all want to do but are hesitant to try or think that we are too buy.
Most people think exercise is needed to lose weight, which is true, but not in the way most people think of it. The general assumption of exercise is that it should be long, grueling workouts at the gym, 3 – 5 times a week. This truth is, exercise is any type of physical activity. We exercise every day and don’t even know it! The easiest exercise is walking, something we do every day. Of course, you won’t get a bodybuilder physique, but most people don’t want or need that. What’s important though, is to burn more calories than you consume which is dependent upon what you eat.
We are constantly burning calories, this is called the Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR. The average BMR for women is 166 lbs which is1,474 calories and for a 195 lb man, it’s 1,771 but the numbers greatly vary on age and weight. If they strived to lose a pound a week they would need to cut around 500 – 1000 calories to lose 1 – 2lb a week. That sounds a lot but that’s where the beauty of exercise comes in like walking to lose weight! A 30-minute walk would burn 128 calories. This means that 3 days of walking to lose weight for 30 mins. a week is enough to burn 640 calories that’s within the 1 – 2lb. loss a week range.
The idea of weight loss is pretty simple. All you need to do is to burn more calories than you take in. Unfortunately, even though it sounds easy in practice it’s not. The main reason for gaining weight is having more calories than needed. All of those calories come from the food we eat. So adding in food, the actual average calorie intake for women is 1,765 calories and 2,126 calories for men. This number gets higher the more energy one spends and lower the less weight they have. The important takeaway is that walking 30 mins a day for 3 days is enough to lose weight, but only if you don’t go over the average.
The benefits of walking are wonderful and can be done by anyone, regardless of athletic ability. If you want to amp up your walking routine, consider adding in trails with steeper inclines or walking at a brisker pace. You will get some fresh air, spend time with those you care about and lose weight. Head on out for a walk and enjoy the day.