How to Lose Weight Walking 5 Miles a Day

How to Lose Weight Walking 5 Miles a Day

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We all know it's hard to lose weight. You probably already know that diet and exercise will help you lose weight; however, you might not have to energy to go to the gym every day.

You may even have trouble simply running a lap around the track. The good news is that you can lose weight with a daily habit of cardio walking.

So in this post, I am going to explain to you how you can systematically lose weight by walking 5 miles a day.

Let's get to it.

Why Should You Walk 5 Miles a Day?

If you are looking for ways to lose weight, then you should walk 5 miles a day (or if you're using a pedometer then your target would be 10,000 steps).

But why do doctors and weight loss professionals recommend 5 miles as a target goal? There are several reasons why this metric is often recommended:

  • Starting Point: When people think about exercise, they often envision running laps around a track, swimming in the pool, or riding a bike; however, if you are looking for ways to lose weight, you might not be able to participate in these activities. You might get winded quickly and wonder how you will ever lose weight when you can’t keep up. With walking, this isn’t as big of an issue. Walking is a great starting point for people who haven’t exercised in a while. This is one of the main reasons why you should try to walk several miles daily.
  • Muscles and Joints: Walking is also a good form of exercise because it can help you with muscle and joint pain. Over time, walking will improve your flexibility and strength. Starting at a slower pace will minimize the amount of stress that is being placed on your ankles, hips, knees, and lower back. In this manner, walking is even helpful for people who are living with arthritis. If other forms of exercise cause you joint pain, walking several miles per day is a great alternative.
  • Objective Goals: Finally, if you are looking to lose weight while walking, you need to set objective goals for yourself. Walking daily will help you do exactly that. You can set progressive goals along the way such as miles walked, speed, and time. As you walk more, you will build up your flexibility and strength. You will be able to see the results as you walk more and more. This will help you feel encouraged, helping you stick with the program.

These are a few of the most important reasons why you should try to walk around five miles per day. When you start to walk five miles per day, it is helpful to have a pedometer to help you count your steps. On average, those who take 10,000 steps per day will have walked about five miles. With this in mind, how can you reach this goal?

How Much Weight Can You Lose from Walking?

Walking consistently does take some work; however, with some dedication, the payoff can be significant. As a rule of thumb, you will drop one pound when you burn 3,500 calories. With every mile walked, you will burn about 100 calories. If you are able to walk five miles per day, you will burn 500 calories during your workout. If you are able to do this every day for a week, you will burn 3,500 calories from exercise during that week.

This means that if you are able to stick to your routine, you should drop one pound every week. That is ideal because many health experts indicate that it is safe to drop about one to two pounds per week.

You might be looking at these numbers thinking that you want to walk as quickly and as far as possible to watch the weight melt away; however, it is very important to remember that you need to ease into any new exercise program. If you try to push your body too hard too fast, you could start to develop joint and muscle pain. This could derail your progress. Therefore, listen to your body. Start low, go slow, and try not to walk too far too fast. As you get stronger and more flexible, you will be able to walk farther, faster.

How To Lose Weight While Walking 5 Miles Daily

If you are looking to start this exercise program, there are a few points that you should keep in mind. It is important for you to ease into this program so that you push yourself and burn calories while avoiding injury.

Time To Complete

How long it will take people to walk five miles is dependent on how fast they walk and whether or not they take breaks. If you haven’t walked to exercise before, you might be surprised at how long this will take. If you walk at three miles per hour, which is a casual walk, you will be walking at a pace of 20 minutes per mile. This means that it will take you one hour and forty minutes to complete your five miles. As you get in better shape, you might be able to walk at four miles per hour. This means that you are walking at a pace of 15 minutes per mile. In this case, it will take you one hour and 15 minutes to complete your five miles.

Cardio Walking

In addition to simply burning calories, you want to make sure that you are accessing the cardiovascular benefits of walking as well. This is commonly shortened to cardio walking. According to the American Heart Association, walking is considered moderateintensity if you are using between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate.

  • In order to calculate your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age in years.
  • So if you are 40 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 220 – 40 which is 180 beats per minute.
  • As you walk, you want to shoot for a heart rate between 90 beats per minute and 126 beats per minute.
  • If your heart rate is within this range, you know that you are accessing the cardio benefits of walking.

It is helpful to either take your pulse while you walk or wear a device that measures your heart rate for you.

Burning Calories

It is great to walk several miles per day because you burn extra calories; however, you aren’t going to lose any weight if you simply eat the same number of calories. This is why doctors stress both diet and exercise for weight loss. You need to burn more calories than you consume. While walking several miles per day will help you with the “burning” part of this equation, you also need to think about what you consume as well.

If you are trying to stick to a diet, it is important to make gradual changes. Similar to gradually increasing your speed and distance when you walk, you need to ease into your diet as well. You won’t be able to stick to your diet if you try to change everything at once. Therefore, target one thing at a time. Make one change, stick with it for a month, and then try to make another change.

One of the common first targets for a new diet is liquid calories. These are a good starting place because you won’t feel hungry if you remove them. If you drink a lot of sugary drinks (such as juice, soda, or sports drinks), eliminate them, and replace them with water. Then, if you stick with it for a month, make another change!

Equipment

Walking is strenuous exercise. You wouldn’t go biking without a helmet and you wouldn’t go swimming without a suit. Therefore, you need to make sure you have the right equipment when walking. You should invest in the best walking shoes. Both men and women have recommended walking shoes that provide plenty of foot support, arch support, and ankle support without giving you blisters. If you get injured, you won’t be able to keep walking. Therefore, invest in a great pair of walking shoes.

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Walking is a strenuous exercise, that is why you should invest in the best walking shoes.

In addition, it is helpful for you to have a good pedometer that will help you track your steps. This will help you see how far you walk throughout the day in addition to showing you how much you’re walking in a span of a specific workout. Some pedometers will even tell you your heart rate, helping you hit that “cardio walking” goal.

Plan

If you are serious about losing weight while walking, it is important to have a solid plan in place. Now, everyone is starting from a different place in terms of physical fitness. Therefore, this plan is going to start from scratch and build up to five miles a day. The steps include:

  • Week 1: During the first week, don’t track the distance. Simply walk for time. Try to walk for 30 minutes continuously around the neighborhood or around the block. Bring a stopwatch. Try not to miss a day.
  • Week 2: In the second week, lengthen walks to 45 minutes per day. This time, track how far each walk is going. See how many miles you are walking during this time. If you can walk two miles in 45 minutes, you are doing great!
  • Week 3: By week three, try to push yourself to about an hour of walking continuously every day. Try to walk a bit faster as well. If you can get to three miles in an hour, this is a good place to be. In addition, try to start tracking your heart rate during this time period. Remember that you are shooting for that “cardio walking” zone referenced above.
  • Week 4: By week four, we are actually shooting for five miles per day on most days. Remember to wear the right shoes and see how long this walk takes you. If you can continue that pace of 20 minutes per mile, this is a sign that you are getting in better shape.
  • Week 5: By week five, you are a natural at this! Try to push yourself to walk briskly throughout your workouts. See if you can get up to four miles per hour. This would be a solid power walk and is hard evidence of the progress you have made. You can get those 10000 steps in without any problem!

This is a basic plan that will get you to five miles per day. In order for you to keep up with this routine, it is important to take care of your body. Stretch before and after you walk. Make sure to cool down after your walks. If you feel a bit sore the next, that is okay. Just remember to stretch regularly to remove the lactic acid from your body.

Final Thoughts on Walking 5 Miles a Day

If you think that walking five miles a day sounds like a lot, you are not alone. This is a high bar to reach; however, I know that you can do it. Remember that you are doing this for your cardiovascular health and to lose weight. Put the plan above into action and track your goals! You will feel incredibly proud of what you have accomplished!

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How to Lose Weight Walking 5 Miles a Day