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Should I Walk or Exercise to Lose Weight?

By Rachel Carver

You want to increase your physical activity to lose weight. But you only have so many hours in a day. In the perfect world, you would reach your step goal and exercise during the day. But this is not always possible.

Read on for some ways to answer the important question: Should I walk or exercise?

The Benefits of Walking

Regular walking gives you many benefits, including

  • Mood improvement
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Boosted metabolism

Walking is also a great way to burn fat, especially if you walk in zone 2 of your heart rate. This teaches your body how to burn fat more efficiently. To lose weight while walking, keep your heart rate under the threshold where your body switches fuel from fats to carbs. This is approximately 60-70 percent of your max heart rate and is referred to as zone 2.

Walking does not drastically increase the heart rate, and it can be done each day. Consistent frequent daily walks might help you burn more calories than a 30-minute workout. This helps with weight loss. Get your steps in by choosing a distant parking spot or by taking the stairs whenever possible.

Walking is also a great workout if you are new to exercising. Brisk walking will increase your heart rate and prepare you for running or lifting weights. Regular movement loosens tight muscles and combats a life of too much sitting.

Benefits of Working Out

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. One training session helps you burn more calories because of the intensity of the movements.

Some workouts increase muscle mass and build metabolism. HIIT, circuit training, or heavy resistance training will be better for weight loss than a 30-minute walk for a couple of reasons.

Build muscle mass - Increased muscle strength burns calories over a longer period of time, even when you are resting.

Elevate your metabolism- After you finish a 30-minute walk, your metabolism goes back to a normal level. An intense workout elevates your metabolism for several hours after completion, causing your body to burn more calories.

You should try to incorporate walking and intense workouts into your routine to lose weight. Here is an example schedule.

  • Walk at least 30 minutes five days a week
  • Exercise three days each week, incorporating cardio and strength training into these workouts

Walk regularly and add some purposeful workouts into the mix. Don't stress if you fall short of your workouts in a given week. Set a goal to slowly increase your workouts, and forgive yourself when your schedule or other life circumstances prevent you from carrying out your full routine.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denton, Tex.

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