Walking for Fat Loss?

With obesity and disease increasing dramatically, many fitness experts are recommending walking for weight loss and fitness. Some are even going so far as saying that walking is the best way to burn fat and lose weight. I strongly disagree with this and am going to show you why walking is NOT effective at burning off body fat.

Yes, you read that correctly...

Walking is NOT effective at burning body fat and if your goal is fat loss you might be wasting your time. I am not saying that walking is not beneficial, I am saying that if fat loss is the primary goal, there are far better choices that will deliver far better results.

The primary benefits of walking are increased blood flow and circulation, improved recovery, and a strengthened immune system. There are several reasons why walking in not the best choice when it comes to fat loss. Here are just a few:

  • Walking does NOT burn a lot of calories

    The lower the intensity of the activity or exercise the smaller the number of calories burned per unit of time. For example, you can burn more calories in 15 minutes of bicycling at a high intensity level than you can in 45 minutes of easy walking.

  • Walking does NOT result in a large increase in metabolism

    Another downside to walking is that because it's generally low intensity it results in only a small increase in metabolism that will only last approximately 1-2 hours after the walk. On the other hand, metabolism increases are larger and last longer (4-24 hrs or more) when you perform high intensity cardio workouts.

  • Walking does NOT deplete muscle glycogen

    Low intensity exercise like walking does not deplete muscle glycogen levels and therefore, later that day if you have excess calories they will likely be stored as body fat whereas if you deplete the glycogen the excess calories will primarily be stored in the muscles.

    So why then do so many fitness and health experts recommend walking for weight loss? One reason is that people don't want to hear that they have to work hard so they figure some activity is better than none. Another reason is that the body burns more fat for fuel when exercising at an easy pace, however, the total amount of energy used is so small that you end up burning off little body fat. That's also why when you choose the "fat burning" program on your treadmill or bike it has you exercise at any easy level. Yes, you're burning fat, but so little that you'd have to exercise at that easy pace for hours and hours each day.

    High intensity cardiovascular/aerobic exercise is much more effective in burning off the excess body fat. In fact, several studies have been done to prove this. In one study they compared one group who did moderate level aerobics for 45 minutes with another group who performed high intensity workouts for 15 minutes. They did before and after fitness testing including body fat analysis and found that the group who performed the high intensity aerobics lost nine times as much body fat!

    Want more proof?

    Compare the bodies of a walker, marathon runner, and sprinter. If you are not familiar with what a sprinters body looks like, it is very muscular and has little body fat while on the other hand the body of a walker will likely have the opposite, little muscle and more fat. The sprinter does little or no low intensity exercise and does primarily short hard bursts of work while the marathoner overtrains so much they burn off both the body fat and the muscle and that's why they tend to look almost sickly thin.

    So what should you do then if your main objective is to shed those excess pounds of body fat?

    Two things:

  • Perform some form of high intensity cardio 2-4 times per week

  • Stabilize blood sugar to minimize the storage of new fat

    I know some of you by now are saying "I can't do high intensity exercise, I have a bad knee" and don't worry, I have a solution for you. The good news is that high intensity is all relative to you and your current fitness level. For example, fast walking up and down hills may be high intensity for you... it all depends. So don't think that you have to start running or something like that. Just slowly start to increase the intensity of your cardio workouts while also maybe decreasing the time because you can either work hard or you can work long.

    Also, you can make almost any activity or exercise high intensity.... here are a few examples:

    • increase your speed

    • use an incline or hills

    • increase resistance

    • perform intervals ( the most effective method)

    Obviously, some exercises/activities or better suited than others but the point is if you want to burn more fat and make your workouts as productive as possible you need to increase the intensity.

    To learn more about high intensity cardiovascular exercise please check out the following articles:

    • Forget the Fat Burn Zone - http://www.achieve-fitness.com/forget.htm

    • In Search of the Ideal Aerobics Routine - http://www.achieve-fitness.com/ideal.htm

    • Heart Rate Guidelines - http://www.achieve-fitness.com/cardio.htm

    Be sure to also check out my Burn Fat FAST! ebook and audio program here: http://www.burn-fat-fast.com - it covers everything from cardiovascular training to strength training to nutrition and more.

    As with any changes to your fitness program be careful and don't over do it. Just because high intensity workouts burn more fat, don't think that you'll get even better results by doing it everyday - that will quickly lead to over-training and a loss of muscle which will only make it even harder to burn off the fat.

    So if your primary goal is fat loss, don't waste your time walking and instead focus on progressive, high intensity cardio to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts.

    About The Author

    Jesse Cannone is a certified personal trainer and author of the best-selling fitness ebook, Burn Fat FAST. Be sure to sign up for his free email course as it is full of powerful weight loss and fitness tips that are guaranteed to help you get the results you want. http://www.guaranteed-weightloss.com


  • Which is Better? Exercise or Dieting?

    If you want to reduce your body fat, focus on increasing the amount of exercise... Read More

    Lose Weight the Healthy Way

    It's definitely no fun to lose weight -- put it back on, lose weight, put... Read More

    Weight Loss and Huricanes? Weathering the Storm!

    Do you know this year Florida will go through a surge in baby births? Think... Read More

    Eating Tips

    Make sure that no more than a quarter of your calories come from fat.Cook your... Read More

    Walk Your Way to Weight Loss

    "The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is... Read More

    Push a Button to Lose Weight

    Trash Your TV! is pleased to announce the easiest weight loss program in the world.... Read More

    How to Lose Weight in a Healthy Way with Hypnosis

    More and more people are turning to hypnosis or hypnotherapy for help with weight loss.... Read More

    How to Curb Carbohydrate Cravings!

    As a weight loss mentor it never ceases to amaze me how people inadvertently set... Read More

    How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind!

    Ah the ever present battle to lose those unwanted pounds. In today's society we are... Read More

    Today?s Diets ? What?s Hot!

    For the person who wants to shed a few pounds (or even a lot of... Read More

    Is Emotional Eating Causing You to Blow Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan?

    You've done everything right this time. You're eating lots of salad, fruit, and protein; using... Read More

    Diet and Exercise Evolution: Adaptation (part II) -- Examples and Practical Advice

    Understanding the theory of adaptation (see previous article, Adaptation I) will give you the tools... Read More

    Atkins Diet Plan ? What?s it All About?

    A typical breakfast consists of 3 or 4 strips of bacon, two or more eggs... Read More

    No Excuse on Getting in Shape

    America is getting more obese every year. Even our children are becoming dangerously obese, even... Read More

    Healthy Recipes for Low Carb Success

    Using healthy low carb recipes are an important part of your diet success, just as... Read More

    Four Big Weight Loss No-Nos

    I've worked with hundreds of people who were interested in losing weight. Overthe years I've... Read More

    Let?s Talk About Fad Diets

    Although the big push for fad diets has died down a little bit, it is... Read More

    Tired Of Struggling To Lose Weight?

    There are many factors that cause us to increase body weight, yet three stand out... Read More

    The Big FAT Lie

    Over two thirds of Americans are over weight, and half of them are considered obese.... Read More

    Weight Loss And Nutrition Myths ? What You Need To Know! Part 1

    MYTH: Fad diets work for permanent weight loss.FACT: Fad diets are not the best way... Read More

    Cause and Solution to Obesity

    ObesityToday, 64.5 percent of adult Americans (about 127 million) are categorized as being overweight or... Read More

    The Right Diet Pill ? Where Do You Begin?

    The right diet pill should be carefully considered when deciding how much weight you are... Read More

    Winning the Battle of the Bulge: Successful Strategies

    Let's take a look at how your attitudes and perceptions affect the results you acheive... Read More

    A Holistic Approach to Weight loss & Fitness

    World Health Organization has observed that obesity has now reached epidemic proportions globally. More number... Read More

    Want Permanent Weight Loss Results? Healthy Eating is the Key

    The confusion about eating healthy and dieting will now be cleared up, all in one... Read More

    Lose Weight and Feel Great

    Many people search for a pill, a special diet or some other quick fix to... Read More

    Good Food/Bad Food Whats Left to Eat?

    We've entered the Twilight Zone when it comes to the multitude of diets being promoted... Read More

    How We Rescued Our Child from Anorexia, Effecting a Complete Recovery in Just Six Months

    In March 2003 our then 13 year old daughter, Helen, was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa,... Read More

    Dieting Strength

    There are several factors in winning at weight loss. Sometimes the food isn't the culprit,... Read More

    Atkins Diet Plan -- Are Low Carb Diets Doomed?

    According to Veronica Atkins, the widow of Dr. Robert Atkins, the cause of his death... Read More

    To Diet or not to Diet, That Should Be The Question!

    Diet information is everywhere. In advertisements, on TV, in magazines; the bookstores... Read More

    The Missing Ingredient in Your Diet That is Keeping You Fat and Tired

    Whenever I hear someone say they just can't lose weight, the first question I ask... Read More

    5 Surefire Ways to Weight Management

    You have finally decided to tackle weight management and lose that pesky weight but you... Read More

    The Truth About Diet Myths

    How do we know what we know? Often, our knowledge comes from through repetition and... Read More

    Diet and Exercise Evolution: Adaptation (part I) -- Theory

    Adaptation is the most important concept I teach. The human body adapts to the pressures... Read More

    Learning How to Become a Good Loser

    The Quest to Reach Your Ideal WeightIt was late in the day and my next... Read More

    Obesity: Let?s Prevent A Life Threatening Disorder

    In life, various factors contribute to weight gain. Be it genetic, psychological or hereditary, Obesity... Read More

    Lose Body Fat by Choosing the Right Diet Plan For You

    If you are overweight and searching for the diet program or weight loss product that... Read More

    Cleansing the Body for a Detox Weight Loss!

    Cleansing: How to Kickstart your Alkaline LifestyleDue to the highly acidic diet that most people... Read More

    Weight Loss NOW! The Soft Drink Diet

    In the early nineties doctors were beginning to see the growing trend in American's waistlines.... Read More

    Basic Approaches To Weight Management

    Being over weight is usually being 20 percent or more over the normal weight for... Read More

    Weight Loss: Customize, Personalize, Spice up!

    You know you have weighted, err, waited more than enough. So you decide to get... Read More

    The Mind Body-Fat Connection

    Negative thoughts, symbolic protection, being who we really are ..... we're definitely getting closer. It... Read More

    Diet Pills, Products, and Dieting Supplements - Can They Help You Lose Weight Quickly?

    Fighting obesity has become one of the most important issues on the minds of millions... Read More

    The Psychology of Weight Loss: Part 1 - The INSIDE OUT Mindset

    WHAT DOES BEING FIT REALLY MEAN?The "INSIDE-OUT" approach to fitness differs from that of conventional... Read More

    Cruisin to Lose

    Recently, I won a family cruise on the Regis and Kelly talk show. For a... Read More

    Weight Loss, Exercise, and New Years Resolutions ? Why They Dont Work?

    We have all set them, and we will revisit them again around January 1st. For... Read More

    The Secret to Safe Weight Loss

    The safe way to lose weight begins with a thorough checkup by your family physician.... Read More

    Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery

    Let's face facts; obesity is ripe today in America and rising on a global scale... Read More

    Heres A Diet That Wont Work

    How's this for a diet: Take in fewer calories than you expend and you'll lose... Read More