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 is not the best choice when it comes to fat loss. Here are just a few.
1. WALKING DOESN'T 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.
2. WALKING DOESN'T RESULT IN A LARGE METABOLISM INCREASE
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 workouts.
3. WALKING DOESN'T 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.
WHY IS IT RECOMMENDED?
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 an 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 like the RFT SWEAT classes either online or in the gym, are 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!
Another reason is the fact that walking doesn't build lean muscle or help preserve lean muscle. Lean muscle is important to keep your metabolism high and your body effective at burning body. Walking will not build it .. strength training is what you want to be focusing on to build the lean muscle.
We recommend 8500 steps a day as average for overall health. If you are doing a HEAP more than that and your not seeing long term results focus on doing the below..
SO, IF FAT LOSS IS YOUR GOAL