Most people think they have to show extreme dedication to maintain a physically active lifestyle, but that is not always true. You can get great results simply by walking on a treadmill. Brisk walking is a great form of cardio and it helps improve your overall health. Walking an hour a day not just helps you lose weight but also improves your immune system and relieves stress as well. Let' find out more about it.
How Much Weight Can You Lose by Walking an Hour a Day?
Your Weight Plays a Role
The more you weight, the higher the number of calories you burn in an hour. It is obvious that you will require more energy to move a larger mass. If you walk at 3mph and weigh 140 pounds, you can burn 220 calories walking for an hour. You will burn up to 314 calories if you maintain the same pace but weigh 200 pounds. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound, which means a 200-pound person can lose a pound or more within a couple of weeks simply by walking for an hour a day.
Your Walking Speed Matters
Simply by increasing your walking speed, you can end up burning more calories, and lose more weight in return. At 3mph, you can burn 267 calories if you weigh 170 pounds. Increase your speed by 1mph and you will be able to burn 405 calories. Walking at a brisk pace of 5mph would help you burn up to 648 calories, which means that you can lose up to 5.5lbs within a month.
Your Terrain Can Affect Results
You are going to burn more calories while walking uphill. The more force you exert, the higher the number of calories you burn. It means that simply by walking on an incline, you can burn a lot more calories than you might burn while walking on a flat surface. If your body weight is 170 pounds, you can burn 406 calories walking at a moderate pace of 3mph. Just by changing the treadmill to a 5-degree incline, you can end up burning 537 calories, which will help you lose a pound within a week.
Your Diet Can Change Results
No matter how hard you try to lose weight, physical activity alone is not going to produce great results. You have to pay attention to your diet to get good results. You can regain the calories you burn walking by having a few snacks, sodas, or super-sided portions at the dinner table. Be sure to include more fruits and veggies in your diet because they keep you full longer. Avoid fatty food as much as possible.
What Are Other Benefits of Walking an Hour a Day?
It Helps You Relieve Stress.
Secreted by the adrenal glands, cortisol is a stress hormone that helps regulate blood pressure and insulin release in the blood. In stressful situations, your body triggers the release of cortisol, which increases the levels of cortisol in the blood stream. Persistent, high levels of cortisol deceases bone density, suppresses thyroid function, and increases blood pressure. Walking can help reduce stress by regulating the cortisol levels in your body. You get even better results when you walk in nature – it lowers stress and triggers the release of feel-good hormones.
It Boosts Your Immune System.
Studies show that walking increases oxygen consumption as well as heart rate, which in turn causes changes in immune parameters and protects you against common infections. Another study shows that walking 7000 steps a day helps improve mucosal immune function in elderly people. However, it is important to keep in mind that intense activity for a long time can actually suppress your immune system, which is the reason why walking at a moderate pace for an hour or so is the best way to boost your immune system, at least for short-time.
It Lowers Risk of Chronic Disease.
Walking protects you from chronic disease, like diabetes and stroke. Regular walking helps lower your blood sugar levels, which lowers your risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, walking an hour a day helps lower your blood pressure; in fact, there may be a reduction of 11 points in your blood pressure, which lowers your risk of a stroke by 20%. Another study shows that a 30-minute walk, 5-7 days a week can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease up to 30%, as compared to that in sedentary people. Brisk walking also proves effective against cognitive impairment problems.
It Improves Life Expectancy.
By lowering your risk of Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, cerebral vascular diseases, and cancer, walking helps improve your life expectancy. Some studies have found that a physically active lifestyle can actually add 4.5 years to your life. You really do not have to do much to get these results, as moderate physical activities like walking on a treadmill work just fine.