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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.
What You Will Learn
Why Should You Walk 5 Miles a Day?
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:
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.
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 moderate–intensity 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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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!