How much you have to walk each week to lose weight

Hands-down, one of the most straightforward exercises to fit into your daily life is walking.

In fact, when you choose to walk your way to weight loss, you don’t need special equipment, a gym membership, or expensive new clothes. You can just step outside your door and start moving.

However, everyone always has one big question whether they’re trying to lose a couple or a couple dozen stubborn pounds…

How much do I actually need to walk to lose weight?

Well, we’ve put together the science behind the answer right here…

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Your fitness level

First, you need to take into account your fitness level. After all, while some of us might be couch potatoes and just starting on a new active lifestyle, others might already be getting in higher levels of activity.

So, for you beginners out there here’s what you should know…

A 2016 study by Thai researchers found that 10,000 steps a day (70,000 per week) is the key to weight loss if you’re new to exercise. In their study, people who were overweight and followed this guideline — which works out to approximately five miles each day — lost on average 3.4 pounds in 12 weeks, without changing their diet.

On the other hand, if you’re already active, you’ll probably need to take it up a notch to get the results you’re looking for.

That’s because a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health found that for healthy, active adults, there’s a higher threshold of activity required for weight loss — and it depends on your age.

The study’s results showed that for women up to the age of 40, the magic number is 12,000 steps a day or 84,000 steps a week. If you’re over the 40-year mark though, 11,000 steps (or 5 ½ miles) seven days a week should be enough to spur weight loss.

For active men, those numbers are slightly different with 12,000 steps a day necessary up to the age of 50 when it drops back to 11,000.

Brisk walking

On top of the number of steps you take each day, there’s one more thing to keep in mind…

How fast are you walking?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should shoot for at least moderate-intensity activity.

So, this means walking briskly.

To tell if you’re in the moderate zone, simply use the “talk test.”

Basically, you should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for air but it should take a little more effort than it would when you’re not exercising.

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Losing more through a combination

However, if you want to get more bang for your buck, you should consider adding diet along with walking to shed the pounds even faster since studies have shown that the combination leads to significantly higher weight loss.

In fact, one study found that over a one-year period, diet plus exercise resulted in a 10.8 percent loss of body fat. When you compare that to the 2.4 percent loss achieved with exercise alone, it’s easy to see why it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket.

So, if you’re goal this year is to get in shape and lose those extra pounds, why not go the easy route, with a combination of walking and dieting. Get in your 10-12,000 steps each day depending on your age and current fitness level.

And, check out this simple trick to managing your diet that led to an average of 16 pounds of fat lost.

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  1. Here’s How Far You Need to Walk Every Day to Lose Weight — Best Life
  2. What Does Moderate Exercise Mean, Anyway? — Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.