Does Walking Target Fat Loss?

Does Walking Target Fat Loss?

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Several walks per week can contribute to fat loss.

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Whether you enjoy a quiet walk through a neighborhood park or have joined a group that walks through your city's mall before it opens each morning, you're doing more than just stretching your legs. Although walking's caloric burn isn't quite as high as some other forms of exercise, it's possible to use this daily activity as you work toward burning fat to lose weight. As with all exercises, however, you can't use walking to specifically burn a chosen area.

Targeted Fat Loss is a Myth

You might wish to use walking to target a specific part of your body -- perhaps your abdomen or thighs -- for fat loss. Although targeted fat loss would certainly make sculpting your desired body easier, you can't select the region of your body in which to burn fat, even if you're exclusively working the muscles in the specific area. Fat loss will occur throughout your body by walking, but only if you walk enough and also consume a diet low in calories.

It's All About the Deficit

Fat loss is the result of placing your body in caloric deficit, which takes place when your body consumes fewer calories than it burns. By creating this deficit, your body pulls energy from its fat stores, which leads to fat loss and subsequent weight loss. If you're able to create a deficit of 1,000 calories per day for seven days, you'll lose two pounds in a week.

Time to Feel the Burn

The exact caloric burn you can expect during your walk depends on your body weight and the duration of the activity. People who weigh 155 and 190 pounds burn about 176 and 216 calories, respectively, in an hour of walking at a pace of 2 mph. If the same two people increase their pace to 4 mph, however, they burn about 281 and 345 calories, respectively. For a greater caloric burn, find an incline to walk or use a pair of wrist weights.

Schedule Enough Time

Up-tempo exercises such as jogging can lead to faster fat-loss results, given their quicker caloric burn. Walking for fat loss requires you to devote a significant amount of time to the activity, but it's possible to lose weight through walking. Adults should plan to walk at least 300 minutes every week, while also being vigilant about avoiding high-calorie foods. Three-hundred minutes of walking might seem monumental, but you can break up the amount by walking with your family, taking a short walk at lunch or exercising with your dog.

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