Slogging it out at the gym may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and with the risk of impact on joints and muscles, some should be careful. This is where walking comes in – but how long should you walk for to hit that fat-burning zone?
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Walking is an underrated form of exercise, which can be done almost anywhere with no exercise equipment needed.
A pair of good trainers and, if required, some upbeat music – and away you go.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who adopted to a walking program showed significant improvements in blood pressure, slowing of resting heart rate, reduction of body fat and body weight, reduced cholesterol, improved depression scores with better quality of life and increased measures of endurance.
The exercise is said to also help target belly fat, but what is the sweet spot when it comes to how long you should walk for?
Can walking burn fat?
Walking is surprisingly one of the best exercises for fat burning.
The low-impact exercise can burn plenty of calories, helping the body to dip into its fat reserves and burn off stored fat.
And for those with a protruding tummy, it’s especially effective for burning internal belly fat.
How many minutes of walking should you aim for?
Experts advise a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss, with the sweet spot being at 45 minutes.
You can walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes.
The fat-burning heart rate is 70%-80% of the maximum heart rate for your age and sex.
The fat-burning zone is reached when the heart rate reaches those levels, says experts.
To calculate your maximum heart rate take 220bpm (beats per minute) and minus your age.
“While you can break up your walking time into periods of 10 minutes or longer, you get an added benefit of burning fat when you walk at a brisk pace for longer than 30 minutes at a time after warming up,” added VeryWellFit.
For those who are new to walking, aim to increase both your time and intensity as your fitness improves.
Walking is an excellent cardiovascular aerobic exercise that most healthy adults can do without equipment or special training.
It’s one of the best exercises for fat-burning and is an easy exercise that can be done every day.
Walking is a great way to reduce body and build lean muscle, it burns calories and is one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate into your fitness regime.
Benefits of walking for fat loss
Health benefits from walking include:
- Improves fitness
- Improves cardiac health
- Reduces depression
- Improves fatigue
- Creates less stress on joints
- Reduces pain
- Prevents weight gain
- Reduces risk for cancer and chronic disease
- Increases endurance
- Improves posture.