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10 Health Benefits Of Walking For Weight Loss

by | Diet and Nutrition

Jun 3, 2020

Walking and running are two of the most popular forms of exercise. They help to improve health, boost metabolism, promote hormonal balance, and deal with aging. However, when it comes to losing weight, walking provides plenty of benefits you might not know. That might sound a bit shocking to many people because, on the surface, it seems the intensity of running makes it better for losing weight. It’s not. Here are ten health benefits of walking and why it’s great for weight loss

The Health Benefits Of Walking & Why It’s Great For Weight Loss

It’s Easier

Walking is just putting one step after the other; how hard can it be. It’s easier to complete 15,000 steps than to run a couple of kilometers. When you choose walking as your form of exercise for losing weight, you’re more likely never to get discouraged or procrastinate, which can improve consistency and weight loss plans. 

Walking also doesn’t require all those gadgets and apparel you need to wear to make running comfortable. Running is intense with all the sweating, hard breathing, and muscle pumping. Walking is so easy you almost won’t feel anything. 

No Pressure To Eat Before Exercise

Most people who run are usually under pressure to eat before they step out. Wise runners go for light food in small quantities so they don’t get heavy and tired. Others fall into temptation. You can’t blame runners for wanting to fuel up, as their choice of exercise requires plenty of energy and involves heightened metabolic activities. 

Walkers are never under pressure to eat anything before they go out for their exercise routine. Eating less before exercise will help in weight loss or reduce the tendency to gain weight. 

Manage Your Stress Level 

When you’re running, your body makes use of glucose to produce energy. This instant energy supply will soon deplete, and then your body still requires more fuel. Your body raises the level of Cortisol, the stress hormone, to deliver consistent power. 

Cortisol will get the job done by making sure you don’t immediately run out of fuel. Cortisol will keep you going but will also inflict muscle damage and raise the stress level. When this happens once in a while, it’s okay. If you run regularly, this might jeopardize your weight loss plan, as stress will make you gain weight or store fat in your body.  

Keep Your Muscle

To lose weight, you need to burn fat. Getting rid of fat in the body, especially visceral fat (abdominal fat), is challenging. You will need a well-planned exercise routine to target the fat and your weight loss working. 

People who are overweight or obese will find it hard to lose weight through running. The reason is that running involves burning glucose more than burning fat tissues. When your body can’t find sugar, it starts burning muscle, so walking is great for weight loss. 

One of the health benefits of walking is that it doesn’t expose your muscle to burning. It targets the fat instead and allows you to have muscle, improving strength, stamina, and energy. 

Saves Time 

Running requires more preparation and planning compared to walking. Like most other types of exercise, you have to create a separate time to engage in it. After running, you will need to shower and clean up from all that sweat, dust, and debris you picked up on the road. 

Walking is something you can do on your way to work in the morning. Yes, you may also sweat, but not so much. If your work involves moving from one place to another, you can include walking times to complete your daily number of steps. 

Fewer Injuries 

Running is associated with different types of injuries, some of which can be very devastating to your physical and mental health. Runner’s Knee is a common running injury that affects the knee cap and can be very painful. You can also suffer from Achilles Tendinitis, which affects 20% of active runners. Runners also deal with Shin Splints, Hamstring Issues, Plantar Fasciitis, Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome, and Stress Fracture. 

Most of these injuries will require a physiotherapy session to fix, which will cost money and time. You will surely gain some weight by the time you come back from treatment. Few injuries and faster healing are two undeniable health benefits of walking. 

Walking Burns Fat 

Running to lose weight is for people who have average body size and want to get rid of glucose before it converts to fat and is stored in the body. If you’re overweight and need to burn fat, walking is the best option for you. 

Walking burns fat better than running because there is no stress, and the metabolism is steady. 

Fun To Do With Others

Imagine trying to have a conversation while running. That’s why many people today are considering walking. It’s fun, and you can do it with other people, friends, neighbors, and pets. 

You can have a conversation while walking. Discuss business plans, exchange new ideas, and build relationships on the go. Running doesn’t allow you to do most of that because of sweating and deep breathing. 

Enjoying your exercise as opposed to doing it under stress is one of the major health benefits of walking. You’re in a better state of mind, and your mood is right. 

You Can Do It Every Day 

You can walk every day of the year without any side effects. Walking is already part of our daily routine, so you’re going to gain a lot from it. As you walk every day, you burn fat and lose weight gradually and progressively. 

Running every day, especially for overweight people, is practically impossible. You will need rest days to help your muscles heal and get back in full form. Most people find it hard to get back to running after their rest days. 

Drink More Water 

Water plays a vital role in the weight loss process. Water helps you burn more calories, suppresses your appetite, and is a suitable replacement for sugary beverages. Walking makes you drink more water, and combining the two is excellent for weight loss. When running, you hardly have time to drink. All you want to do is get to the finish line as quickly as possible. 

By Sara Leandro

Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.

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