If you’ve been looking to lose some weight, we have a question for you:
Have you tried walking?
After all, it’s the most accessible exercise you can do. You don’t need fancy equipment, and you can wear whatever you want. All you need is some wide open spaces and you’re good to go.
Plus, you can easily integrate it into your daily life – after all, you walk, even if you commute or take a car. That means it’s more sustainable compared to other exercise programs that don’t feel like everyday activities.
Of course, just because you walk for say, 5 minutes a day, doesn’t mean you’re going to lose weight immediately. So how much should you walk so that you’ll be healthier and end up losing weight?
Well, it’s important to know your BMI or Body Mass Index and understand how much you should walk according to it. Getting an in-depth understanding of your BMI, learning how to calculate it, and making plans based on your calculations will make the most out of your effort.
What exactly is BMI?
BMI or Body Mass Index is simply a numerical representation derived from your weight in relation to your height. It is a convenient and accurate way of identifying whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
For example, your height is five feet six inches. According to the BMI table, for you to have a normal BMI, your weight should be from 128 to 156 pounds. And if you’re female, your weight should range from 117 to 143 pounds.
In the medical field, it is a rule of thumb to refer to the patient’s BMI to make an objective weight evaluation. Experts can objectively point out your possible health problems and how you can effectively and efficiently improve your health just by looking at your BMI.
However, do take note that BMI, while useful, is not always accurate. It does not distinguish the weight that comes from fat, muscles, and bones.
For example, if you are male, standing at 5’6, and are also very muscular, you might have a weight of 200 pounds. Since BMI will not distinguish the muscle weight from the fat weight, you’ll be classified as overweight, even if that’s not necessarily the case.
How do you calculate your Body Mass Index?
As we’ve mentioned above, the two necessary variables in computing your BMI are your height and your weight. It is the same for children and adults – you just have to divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches.
But you can make it easier for you by using BMI calculators. There are a lot of free web-based BMI calculators like WebMD BMI Calculator & Healthy Weight Plan and NHLBI’s BMI Calculator. Feel free to use any calculator you like.
According to the Center for Disease Control, here’s how to interpret the results:
- If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
- If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the normal or Healthy Weight range.
- If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range.
- If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Now that you know what BMI is and how to calculate it, let’s find out how much you should walk based on your Body Mass Index.
So… how much should you walk according to your BMI?
If you’ve been researching by yourself, you may have seen plenty of websites advising you to go buy a portable step counter and take at least 10,000 steps a day.
Well, while it’s entirely possible for you to achieve this (especially if your work involves plenty of walking, such as working in the field or being an archaeologist), it might be an unreachable goal for you. For example, your knees might not be in the best shape to be walking for that long or you spend most of the day sitting behind a desk.
Ultimately, how much you should walk depends on the weight you want to lose. The important thing for you to do is just start – even a small amount will help.
If you’re coming from an inactive or sedentary lifestyle, it might take you a while to get used to moving around. Try setting a goal of at least 10 minutes a day. Once you’ve gotten accustomed to it, you can try adding more minutes.
Walking 30 minutes a day is a goal that is doable and attainable. That’s roughly 3000 to 5000 steps a day, which is already plenty, especially if you don’t have an active lifestyle.
And if you feel like the weight loss is slow, don’t worry. Walking can be just as effective as higher intensity exercises like running. You may not feel the weight loss right away, but it will happen, as well as other health benefits.
Plus, walking is less stressful and less tiring, meaning you can do it more often without having to recover for a day.
Finally, for optimal weight loss, target to walk at least 5 miles per day.
What are some things to remember when starting a walking routine?
- Walking is not the fastest way to melt fat and shed pounds, but it’s easier to be consistent with walking.
- If you’re not used to walking for long times or distances, it is best to start slow and listen to your body.
- Once you’ve determined your end goal weight and steps, work steadily towards it. Discipline, patience, and commitment are key.
- To prevent weight loss plateaus, increase the distance you set as your target, as well as increase the amount you exert.
- Talk to a doctor before starting any walking routines to ensure that you are fit for it, as well as to make sure it won’t have any negative effects on you in the long run.
- Walking is great, but don’t rely on it alone for losing weight. Walk in combination with a better and healthier diet.
Want a faster way to lose weight?
As mentioned above, walking is a great way to get in shape, lose weight, and become healthier. However, it’s not the fastest way.
So if you’re looking for a weight loss method that will give you results quicker, visit us at Davytan Medical Weight Loss and Wellness, led by Dr. David Davytan from Beverly Hills, CA. We can discuss with you different bariatric surgery methods such as Lap Band, Gastric Sleeve, and Gastric Balloon and other information that you may like to know.
And don’t worry – if ever you do decide to go for a procedure, we won’t just perform it on you then let you go after. We have a culture of excellence, compassion, and expertise in this center. We’ll give you post-op care and help you develop a better and more active lifestyle for a healthier you so that you’ll have lifetime lasting results.
Reach out today to find out how we can help you. The consultation is completely complimentary!
We look forward to hearing from you soon and making a healthier you!