Many people turn to running to lose weight, but if you truly hate running, no need to worry because there are tons of ways walking helps you lose weight, without the need to run at all! Walking is a simple exercise anyone can do and the best part is, all you need is your body and a good pair of shoes to get going. Check out the reasons that I personally love walking and why I make it my personal exercise choice every single day. There are many reasons walking is good for you, but also many unknown ways walking helps you lose weight that you might not know about. I'm going to show you what they are and how they can help you lose weight simply and quickly, no running required!
1. Lowers Stress
One of the absolute best ways walking helps you lose weight is that it lowers stress. Walking has been proven to lower cortisol levels in the body, while running actually increases cortisol in the body. Cortisol is your stress hormone that causes anxiety, nervousness, tension and stress. By lowering your stress and cortisol levels, walking can help you lose weight faster. If you’re nervous, tense and stressed, the body holds onto weight and it even makes you hungrier.
2. It Burns Fat
Walking has been proven to burn fat, even if you’re going at a moderately slow pace. Walking is great for your joints, and because the body isn’t being overly stressed, it can focus on burning fat. In fact, researchers have found that even women who walk moderately slow throughout the day, have been proven to lose more weight than those who just run for a mile or two in the morning. The key is that this form of movement is non stressful, yet keeps the body active, which is key. Walk wherever you go and walk each morning for at least 45 minutes for best results.
3. It Helps You Focus
Walking is a very therapeutic form of exercise. If you find it boring, go for a nature walk! I love walking outside because the atmosphere is so much more refreshing than a gym. In the winter, if you’re inside on a treadmill walking, grab a magazine, or browse your phone and look at Pinterest. Walking can help you think clearly because you’re relaxed and enjoying what you’re doing. It can be a great time to focus on your goals and help you gain control of stress or anxiety as well. Running is great if you enjoy this form of exercise, but if you’re more prone to anxious thoughts, try walking instead. It can be a great way to help you focus and rebalance, while also burning fat.
4. It Increases Metabolism-but Not Too Much
I’m a firm believer that running can help you lose weight fast, but there’s a tricky part of running most people don’t consider- it makes you much hungrier and can shoot your blood sugar up and down, faster than walking can. It can also make you hungrier throughout the day. If you’re careful about fueling up with the right carbs, proteins, etc. and refueling with such, you will still probably lose weight with running, yet I prefer making things easy and stick to gentle walking. Walking doesn’t cause fast changes in your blood sugar, or alter your appetite that much. Yet, it still increases your metabolism and helps you lose weight without causing you to raid the fridge all day afterwards.
5. It’s Better for Your Joints
Many runners consistently get injuries or strains, which can leave them with either torn ligaments or sore muscles that cause injury or inflammation. This can lead to you having to stop exercising if things get bad, or just being too sore to exercise each day. That’s why I like walking! It is easy on your joints and you can easily do it everyday, helping you still lose weight, or maintain your weight, but much more slowly in a way that won’t hurt your joints or make you prone to injury. It also builds muscle while running tears muscles down. Muscle burns fat, and I notice my muscle tone is much better when walking up hills than when I used to be a runner.
6. It Balances Your Hormones
Walking has been proven to be therapeutic for the endocrine system, which regulates all your hormonal systems. This is key to weight loss. You want to keep your hormones as balanced as possible when it comes to losing weight. Otherwise, stress, fatigue, low thyroid and more can cause all sorts of problems that make you gain weight, not lose it. Go for a 30 minute walk and you’ll see what I mean. You just feel good, but not overly tired. This is key to losing weight and being active each day.
7. It Improves Your Lymph Function
Most of us don’t get up each day and think about our lymph systems, but we should. Our lymph system is the bodily system that holds fluids throughout the body, which are responsible for flushing out toxins, preventing inflammation and more. They are crucial to losing weight, good digestion, and daily detox. When the lymph isn’t cleared from the body properly, you get tired from toxic buildup or stress. Walking helps move lymph along perfectly, and won’t stress your muscles or body in the meantime. It is a gentle form of movement that is optimal for lymph flow. Other great alternatives are yoga, Pilates and rebounding.
Are you a walker or a runner? If you’re curious about walking for weight loss, what questions do you have for me?