Walking is the simplest and the easiest thing that one can include in one’s weight loss regimen and manage to lose weight and keep it off too. But one has to be regular and walk a certain distance everyday to attain such a goal. The weight and the distance you walk decide the energy calories burn walk. A general rule of thumb to follow is 100 calories per mile for a 180-pound person and 65 for a 120-pound person. If you can accomplish the speed of walking a mile in 13 minutes or less, it is possible to burn more calories per mile. But for most beginners it is better to increase the distance you walk before working on speed.
To lose weight, basically one needs to increase one’s activities that lead to burning more calories and reduce calories intake each day. To start with one must know how many calories your body burns per day just in maintaining your current weight. One might burn more calories per mile at very low speeds as you are basically stopping and starting with each step and your momentum isn’t helping to carry you along.
At very high walking speeds you tend to use more muscle groups with arm motion and with a racewalking pace. Extra muscles lead to burning up extra calories with every step. Thus running helps you lose burn more calories per mile as there is an up and down motion lifting your weight off the ground as well as moving it forward.
The more distance you walk, the more calories you burn. The easiest way to burn more calories is simply to walk farther. Focus your training on building distance before you build speed. Steadily increase the amount of time you walk every day, with an aim of being able to walk for 30 to 60 minutes at a time, five or six days in a week.
Absolute beginner walkers will build leg muscles as they increase their walking time and distance, focusing on increasing the amount of time you spend walking.
Seasoned walkers or those who have been walking for months or years need to change their walking style to build more muscle just from walking. The racewalking technique uses and builds more muscles than regular walking. Learning racewalking will help in building new muscle and burning more calories per mile.
For those who do not have a penchant for race walking to build up muscle, they should add strength training to their weekly exercise schedule in addition to walking in order to build muscle. Strength training workouts two to three days per week greatly help in their weight loss regimen.
Fitness walking poles are another alternative for those who cannot walk fast and want to burn more calories per mile. They do an upper body workout together with walking as when used with the Nordic Walking or Exerstriding techniques. Nordic walking uses two specifically designed poles to work the upper body while walking. Like cross country skiing, the poles are used by the arms to match each step the person takes. These techniques greatly help to lose weight and keep it off and thus ultimately leading to fit and shapely body.