Can I Lose 20 pounds in a Month by Walking?

Walking can be a fantastic way to shed 20 pounds for a host of reasons, and finding out how to do this in the most effective way has helped many people to reach their goal weights.

Walking is an enjoyable exercise that is easy on the joints. It is also easy to stay with a long-term walking program which is important if you want to maintain your weight.

According to Livestrong.com, your motivation or drive to drop 20 pounds within 30 days is unsafe or close to impossible to achieve unless you are on one of the medically prescribed plans [1].

The key to dropping 20 pounds with an exercise such as walking involves setting realistic goals and understanding the fundamentals linked to weight loss.

How Long Will it Take You to Lose 20 Pounds By Walking?

a woman walking in pink shoes

If you are losing between 1/2 to 1 pound each week, it will probably take around 20 weeks to shed 20 pounds. This type of weight loss is regarded as a safe pace. To achieve dropping 1/2 to 1 pound a week, aim to burn 250 to 500 calories every day by walking.

RELATED: Meal Plan for Dropping 20 Pounds in 30 Days

If you are finding that you can’t burn this amount of calories from just walking, you will need to reduce how many calories you are consuming through your diet.

How Often Should You Be Walking?

If you are a beginner, aim to walk for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes 3 times a week. Slowly increase your duration and frequency until you can walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day. To keep these exercises enjoyable alternate walking outdoors with walking indoors. You can also listen to music or audiobooks with headphones.

For many people, it is not the walking that they dislike, but rather that they become bored with the exercise. To overcome this, make sure you make walking a part of your routine and ensure it becomes a priority.

How Many Calories Can You Burn By Walking?

The calories that you will burn when walking is dependent on both your walking pace and body weight. If you are walking at a standard pace of 4 miles per hour, you should burn 4.7 calories a minute if you weigh 120 lb., 5.5 calories if you weigh 140 lb., 6.3 calories if you weigh 160 lb., 7.1 calories if you weigh 180 lb., 7.8 calories if you weigh 200 pounds, and 8.6 calories if you weigh 220 lb.

If you are planning to shed 20 pounds from walking alone, you should be aiming to burn a minimum of 250 extra calories from each of your walks.

For example, if a person weighs 160 pounds, they would need to walk at a standard pace of 4 miles in an hour for 40 minutes each day to drop 1/2 pound in a week. If you are not sure about your pace, use a treadmill to provide you with a more accurate idea [2].

What You Need To Know About Walking For Weight Loss

Walking regularly provides several health benefits which include weight loss. It is also a cost-effective and easy exercise that most people can do.

Many doctors and health practitioners suggest that inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle often lead to a host of preventable conditions and illnesses, such as obesity and heart disease.

A study featured in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry indicated some of the positive effects walking can have on decreasing waist circumference and burning fat in obese women.

The women in this study walked between 50 to 70 minutes (3 days per week) over 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers discovered that the participants shed around 1.1 inches around the area of their waists and 1.5% body fat.

Even though an increase in any type of activity level will bring advantages, there are a few things you should be doing to maximize the fat you are burning while walking.

Tips for Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals with Walking

walking in black jeans and jacket

Here is a list of tips you can use to make sure you reach your goal of losing 20 pounds as effectively and quickly as possible.

1. Wear A Weighted Vest

Adding more weight to your workouts is going to burn a lot more calories. This is also why heavier men or women tend to shed more calories since their bodies need more energy when it comes to performing similar tasks to people that are not that heavy. Using a weighted vest while you are walking will encourage your body to work even harder.

One of the studies concluded that people who walk at 2.5 mph (miles per hour) using a weighted vest (weighing 15% of their weight) burned 12% more calories when compared to people not wearing one of these vests.

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Even though weighted vests can help to burn additional calories, it is recommended that you avoid carrying a weight in your hand or wearing wrist or ankle weights. Both these practices could lead to either an injury or muscle imbalance.

You should also exercise caution before you try a weighted vest. As with all new exercises, you should consult with your health practitioner before you use a weighted vest. If you have a neck or back problem, it is advisable to stay away from weighted vests.

If your doctor has said that it is safe for you to use a weighted vest, you will most likely notice improvements when it comes to how many calories you are burning while walking.

2. Walk Uphill

If you want to increase your calorie burn, you should also add a few uphill walks into your routine. This could either mean increasing the gradient on a treadmill or including more hills or inclines if you prefer to walk outdoors.

Try to include walking up inclines, stairs, or hills 2 to 3 times every week.

3. Do Three Shorter Walks Every Day

Even though most people think that longer walks are better, more frequent, shorter walks can provide even better benefits. In fact, certain people find it easier to maintain a daily routine by performing shorter walks in a day rather than taking one long walk each day. Some experts suggest that walking after every meal can also be very beneficial.

A study conducted on inactive individuals (over 60 years old), found that walking for 15 minutes 3 times daily after each meal could assist with controlling blood sugar levels in a much better way when compared to walking for 45 minutes once a day.

4. Focus On Posture And Form

It is essential to maintain your posture and form while walking. While walking makes sure you look ahead as this will help to lengthen your stride and increase your speed. While you walk, also focus on tightening your glutes and abdominal muscles.

You can do this over short intervals or during your entire walk. These techniques will also help to build your strength and to prevent injuries.

5. Incorporate Resistance Training Intervals

When you add resistance training, like tricep dips, it can also make your walks a lot more beneficial. If you are interested in burning calories faster and increasing new muscle growth, there are a few resistance training exercises you can incorporate into your walks.

Here are a few exercises you can try:

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Tricep dips
  • Squat thrusts, or burpees
  • Lunges

Short and rapid exercise intervals will help you to build muscle and increase your heart rate. These exercise routines can also add more interest to your walking routine.

6. Aim To Increase Your Steps Each Day

One of the easiest ways to increase your step count each day is to take the stairs rather than an elevator. You can also use a pedometer or fitness tracker to encourage you to take 10,000 steps each day.

According to a 2016 study, it was concluded that 10,000 steps seemed to be ideal since it works out to around 5 miles of walking.

If you are walking to lose weight, you should be aiming for a minimum of 10,000 steps every day. Any steps you are taking beyond your typical step count will help you to lose weight.

Fitness trackers offer a fabulous incentive to help you to increase your steps every day. Even if you can’t reach 10,000 steps every day, you can set reasonable goals to help you achieve them.

You can also increase your daily step count by making a few changes to your movement patterns. Some tips to achieve this include:

  • Using the stairs rather than an elevator
  • Walking to school, work, lunch, or any activity when possible
  • Parking further from the entrance of your school, works, or the shops
  • Take a walk during your lunch break, rather than sitting down

7. Power Walking In Intervals

Power walking intervals are also an effective method to increase how many calories you are burning while walking.

RELATED: How Much Weight Can I Lose in 1 Month by Walking?

Interval power walks start with walking for around 5 to 10 minutes for your warm-up. From here increase your pace to a sustainable but uncomfortable pace for 10 to 15 seconds before you return to a normal pace. You can repeat these intervals until you can’t do anymore.

To help you ease into this method of training, start with 5 minutes of power interval training with each workout.

Summary

As with swimming, running, or any other form of aerobic exercise, your pace is what makes the difference. You will start to burn more calories when you walk at a brisker pace than compared with walking slowly.

According to a study that was published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, when people increase their pace up to a run, they burn more calories. This study also indicated that in many studies runners seem to weigh less than walkers, which suggests that speed has a direct effect on the calories that a person will burn during exercise.

However, increasing your pace doesn’t mean that you have to work up to a run. Walking at a brisk pace will also help you to burn more calories, and help you lose weight faster.

Before you increase intensity or add weight either through incline or speed, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner or a doctor.

To reach your goal of losing 20 pounds, you should be aiming to increase your steps or miles each day and increase how regularly you are walking. You should also aim to add a bit of intensity 2 to 3 times a week with increased inclines or brisker walks.

 

References

  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/69192-lose-pounds-one-month/
  2. https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/understanding-weight-loss-how-to-lose-20-pounds-by-walking
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325809

 

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