There has been an ongoing discussion for some time now. Can walking really help you to lose weight? 

Various studies show that walking can help people lose weight – but it takes more than taking a casual stroll or walking at a normal speed to shed the pounds. 

Distance also plays a role. But the only true way to lose weight through a walking program is to make sure you get out of breath. 

As we have documented on the Sweatcoin blog before, a brisk walking program or a speed walking program can help you to lose weight. Nordic walking has also been shown to be advantageous for participants to lose weight. 

It was previously recorded that walking between 7000 and 8600 steps a day can prevent weight gain. But walking this distance only enables you to manage your weight and keep it at the level you are. It won’t help you to lose weight. 

However, researchers in Spain have shown that adding an additional 2400 steps a day can prompt weight loss. The study also found that the best time to go for a walk is after a meal because it helps to process blood sugar. 

Sweating and Deep Breathing

The number of steps you need to lose weight largely depends on your metabolism, the rigour you put into a workout and your diet. Losing weight, it has been found, involves more than exercising. 

A plant-based diet is known to aid weight loss. Essentially, cutting out processed foods, junk food and unhealthy snacks between meals. De-stressing and a good night’s sleep also contribute to how well your body functions for weight loss. 

Researchers suspect that weight loss may be related to specific pathways which are stimulated by physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. People with more muscles have less fat and better heart health – which are known factors that protect people from cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Counting steps with a pedometer – like the one built into the sweatcoin app – can be a good indicator of whether your daily routines constitute as an exercise that facilities weight loss. For example, if your exercise is not structured such as housework, gardening and walking the dog, counting steps is a good measure. 

However, researchers say that it is the level of effort you put in will mostly determine how effective the exercise is for helping you to lose weight. The Spain study found that 40 steps per minute – a little more than an amble – is less effective than 80 steps a minute. 

Researchers concluded that walking only makes a difference to your health if it is “purposeful”. The exercise should make your heart and lungs work harder. Is if you’re not breathing more heavily or working hard enough to make your heart pump faster, you’re probably not losing weight. 

Experts say that you don’t have to be panting or gasping for breath. A good measure of being breathless is when you’re unable to talk normally without panting halfway through a sentence. Moreover, you should spend around 30 minutes in this state of breathlessness.