When you want to lose weight, many diet programs and health experts recommend brisk walking as a calorie-burning cardio exercise. But what is the right amount of walking each day to help you achieve your weight loss goals?
How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss
Aim for a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss. You can walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours).
You should walk fast enough that you are in the moderate-intensity exercise zone at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing harder than usual and can speak in full sentences, but you couldn’t sing. You can use your heart rate and exercise zone reading from a fitness band, app, or heart rate monitor to ensure you are exercising at moderate intensity.
While you can break up your walking time into periods of 10 minutes or longer, you get an added benefit of burning fat when you walk at a brisk pace for longer than 30 minutes at a time after warming up.
If you’re new to walking, get started with shorter periods of walking and steadily build up your walking time. You might want to take longer walks every other day at first.
Try not to skip more than one day in a row. Consistency is good for burning calories and improving your metabolism, as well as for building new habits. On your non-walking days, try strength training exercises. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off. But be sure to get back walking the following day.
If you’ve hit your weight loss goal and are working on maintaining your weight, the CDC recommends you should spend 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week in moderate-intensity physical activity while not eating more calories than you expend all day.
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