Want to learn why walking is the best form of cardio, and how to implement it into your own workout routine, then you’re going to want to read this article.
- Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, you should still walk and walk often. It has numerous benefits for health and yes, weight loss.
- Walking can be tough to fit in your schedule if you’re a busy person. That’s because it takes a long time to get anything significant out of it.
- You can make walking tougher so you can get more out of it in a shorter amount of time. Keep reading to learn more.
Today, and really since the mid-to-late 1990’s, the craze is all about High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT) and how fast you can burn calories, and for good reason.
HIIT is highly effective (here’s one of my favorite HIIT workouts) and it’s great for people who don’t have a lot of time to waste in the gym.
While I do recommend HIIT for a lot of people, there are a couple of reasons why I do put walking up a level above HIIT.
At the end of this quick article, I’ll give you some practical steps so you can start implementing walking in your weight loss journey, but first, let’s go over the benefits of walking.
4 Benefits of Walking For Weight Loss
1. Helps Lose Body Fat Without Muscle Loss
Muscle Loss is the biggest downside to reducing your calories and doing tons of cardio.
Walking doesn’t cause any muscle loss.
It’s what the majority of people did in the 80’s for their cardio and for a good reason too.
- It’s easy
- Doesn’t tax the central nervous system (which is common especially if you lift heavy and frequently)
- NO muscle loss at all.
Back then, the craze was all about looking big and keeping it that way, and cardio was a big no-no.
So, instead, they would rely on walking for their cardio for the reasons above.
2. It’s Low Impact
Every morning before school in my high school days, I would run around the park next to my apartments for 20-30 minutes.
It was a great way to start my mornings and to get in better shape, and I loved it.
Unfortunately, I had a back injury not too long after and my running every morning days were over, according to my PT.
Introduce walking, a low-impact form of cardio that wouldn’t aggravate my back in any way.
Walking wasn’t my first option (I don’t like going slow).
I’d rather get my cardio done with.
However, it was a suitable option for my situation, and it was the easiest cardio I’d ever done.
3. Reduces Stress
I don’t know about you, but, going for a walk outside is peaceful AF (as the cool kids would say).
Going for a walk around the neighborhood, park, or anywhere outside is relaxing and can be enjoyable, especially if you listen to an audiobook!
(If I lived near the beach, I would walk the shoreline every morning with my audiobook)
Right now I’m listening to Elon Musks’ biography.
Give it a listen if you can!
Not only do audiobooks help the time go by a lot quicker (more on this in a bit) but you can learn a lot and kill two birds with one stone.
Walking can be a time to recollect your thoughts, escape your problems, and think/plan about your future goals.
In fact, a study done at Stanford University said that walking outside helped with the process of creative thinking!
Don’t even think of it as cardio and you’ll have a real nice time.
If you have to walk on the treadmill, watch some Netflix or Youtube.
Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy are great choices if you haven’t seen them already 😉
4. Live Longer
Walking is no fountain of youth, but it can help you live longer.
Plenty of studies show why those who walk daily or very often have the lowest mortality rates.
Walking, as well as other forms of cardio, help decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease as well as decrease blood pressure.
Why You Don’t See Walking In Many Fitness Programs Anymore
The only disadvantage to walking is the amount of time it consumes.
During Summer break I use walking a lot as my form of cardio.
Well, cause I have time…
To reap the benefits of walking takes 1-2 hours, however, there is a workaround to this (more on this later).
Burning 300 calories from walking alone can take up to 2 hours.
Some of us simply do not have that kind of time.
This is why you will almost never find walking in traditional fitness programs because, nowadays, the hype is all about losing weight as quickly as possible.
I do agree that if you want to lose weight FAST, then HIIT is your go-to option for cardio.
However, if you want to have a fantastic cut, then slow and steady will always win and walking is your best bet.
In this case, if you’re training 3-5 times a week, I’d recommend splitting up your cardio.
Two times a week you should walk. The other two times, you should do interval training.
The Best Times To Walk
There are a couple options you can choose from when it comes to when the best time for walking is.
My number 1 recommendation is to walk every morning or after your workout.
I’ll explain why walking after your workout may be a bit more beneficial for fat loss later.
Walking For Weight Loss Workout
Usually, to get the most from walking, you need to spend 1-2 hours doing it.
However, I have a better plan for those of you who’re tight on time, but may have 30min-1 hour of time to get this walking workout done.
Here’s what you’ll need:
This one costs anywhere from 30$-100$ depending on how much weight you choose to use. More on this in a second.
Here’s why you need these two things.
- The weighted vest will make it twice as hard to walk, thus, burning more calories.
- If you’ve ever climbed up a hill or just hiked in general, you know how rough this can be.
Here’s how to do the workout:
1. Move at a “I’ve got to be somewhere, MOVE,” Speed (if you can).
2. Just walk up and down hills to your destination with your weighted vest for 30min-1hour and you will see how much you’re sweating!
I find it best to do this at your local park, or somewhere there’s hills.
If there are no hills, just simply walk with the weighted vest 🙂
When to do this Workout:
I recommend doing this workout after your weight training workout.
You can do this workout before, but for fat loss, you’d be better off walking after an intense workout.
Check out this picture:
After doing an intense workout (such as resistance training), your body releases fat acids from your fat cells into the bloodstream.
Thus, by doing cardio after this has happened, you will be in a much further fat burning state than if you were to do it before your intense exercise.
This picture is straight out of Rustys’ Visual Impact Cardio course.
If you want to learn more about maximizing the cardio you do, whether it be walking or a form of High Intensity Interval Training, you should definitely check it out.
Hope this helps,