Home » Walking and Weight Loss – Is it a Big Fat Waste of Time?
Walking for general fitness
I am not against walking for weight loss and general fitness and I think that is has some value when it comes to healthy weight loss. I just think that your time can be spent much better with some other forms of cardio training. In fact, I feel that resistance training is going to give you much better results than just cardio training, and resistance and cardio training combined is as close to the holy grail of fat loss training that you can get.
I am not going to get in to the importance of diet and how great resistance training is in this article, only cardio training. Keep in mind though that you need to be at a caloric deficit on a consistent basis, or it won’t matter what kind of training that you are doing. You should also incorporate some kind of resistance training in to your workout in order to get the best results.
Okay, on to the cardio!
Walking and weight loss go hand in hand in most people’s minds and that is the reason we start walking whenever we decide to drop a few pounds. It is ‘usual’ to see overweight people walking around the neighborhood each day, regardless of where you live. This is a great start but in reality is not going to give the results that most people are striving for. Our bodies are incredible machines and are very good at adapting. We need to progressively challenge our bodies and force them to work harder each time that we train. Walking around the neighborhood each day is just not going to have enough intensity to force your body to burn fat and lose weight, at least not for the long haul.
General fitness, yes … Burn fat as a long term answer, no. Of course, you have to be healthy enough and physically capable of doing more intense training or you should just stick to walking. This is something that you should go over with your doctor before doing any type of training routine.
Walking doesn’t require any expensive equipment
Walking is popular because it doesn’t require you to buy anything or have to drive to a gym just to exercise. It also doesn’t require any special skills or training to accomplish. These are valid points, but not enough to keep doing a subpar workout routine only to get little results and quit whenever you get discouraged. There are many things that you can do that do not involve buying expensive equipment or joining a gym that are very effective at burning fat.
Doing some sort of interval cardio training while running, on a bike, or even with a jump rope will dramatically increase your results over walking. Interval cardio involves warming up for a few minutes, and then alternating between high intensity and low intensity intervals for around 12 minutes, followed by a few minute cool down.
Interval Cardio Training
Here is a quick example of running as interval cardio training:
(First you need to judge for yourself what is low and high intensity. Think on a scale of 1-10 for intensity levels, 1 being a slow walk and 10 being an all out sprint as fast as you can go.)
– Warm up for around three minutes at a level 3
– Go up to a 6 level for 30 seconds
– drop down to a 4 level for 90 seconds
– Go up to a 8 or 9 level for 30 seconds
– Drop back down to a 4 level for 90 seconds
– Go back to an 8 or 9 level for 30 seconds
– Keep alternating between the 4 level and the 8 or 9 level for five cycles total
– After the last 30 seconds at 8 or 9, drop to a 3 level for around 3 minutes
That is just one of many different ways that you can do interval training. You can adjust the amount of time at each level to fit your fitness level as well as your fat loss goals. I have done alternating cycles at one minute each level as well as 30 seconds at 9 and 60 seconds at 4. There are unlimited ways for you to try and this can easily be done on a bike as well.
Jump rope your way to a killer workout!
One thing that I have recently started doing is interval training with a jump rope. This is an incredible workout and a basic jump rope can cost as little as $5. Just use the same concept with alternating the cycles from jumping fast to slower. Try this out and you will have a new found respect for the jump rope!
You have to work within your own fitness level, but I am confident that if you gives this type of training a try, you will see great results. If you go from just walking; to eating correctly, doing resistance training, and this type of interval cardio training, you will definitely see incredible results! So when it comes to walking and weight loss , hopefully you have a new opinion of what results to expect and will try this out for yourself.