Walking Walking for Weight Loss Walking for Weight Management Guide Walking for Weight Management Guide Prepare to Walk What to Wear Find the Right Shoes Determine Your Walking Speed How Long to Walk Make a Schedule Perfect Your TechniqueWell Consider Intervals Avoid Common Mistakes Work Through Plateaus Track Your Walks Stay Motivated Walking for Weight Loss To lose weight, aim to walk at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week By Jill Corleone, RD Jill Corleone, RD Jill is a registered dietitian who's been writing about nutrition, health, and fitness for more than 20 years. Learn about our editorial process Updated on October 31, 2022 Reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by nutrition and exercise professionals. Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Michele Stanten, ACE-GFI Reviewed by Michele Stanten, ACE-GFI Michele Stanten is a walking coach, certified group fitness instructor, and running coach. She is the author of Walk Off Weight and The Walking Solution. Learn about our Review Board Print Verywell / Ryan Kelly Table of Contents View All Table of Contents How Much to Walk for Weight Loss Walking For Weight Loss Sample Walking Workouts Frequently Asked Questions Next in Walking for Weight Management Guide Walking Workout Schedule for Weight Loss If you want to start walking for weight loss, you might wonder how much you should walk to lose weight. The general rule of thumb is to walk at least 10,000 steps daily. Depending on your diet and other activity, you may need to increase this number if you are walking for weight loss. Walking is one of the simplest ways to add more activity to your day. When walking for weight loss, all you need is supportive footwear, comfortable clothes, and a safe and convenient place to walk. To learn how it works and what to expect, read on. You will discover how far to walk to lose weight, how to make walking a regular part of your daily routine, and some walking workouts ideas. Walking Strategies for Overall Health How Much Should You Walk to Lose Weight According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), walking helps your body burn more calories. A 154-pound person burns 280 calories an hour walking at a moderate pace (3.5 miles per hour) and 460 calories an hour walking at a vigorous pace4.5 miles per hour (MPH). To lose weight walking, you need to walk at a moderate pace for 30 or more minutes at least five days a week. However, walking for longer periods more vigorously can lead to better results. When walking for weight loss, going at a pace that increases your breathing and heart rate is more effective at helping you reach your goals than a casual stroll. Just make sure you set walking goals you can meet. While vigorous walking leads to better outcomes, theres nothing wrong with starting at a pace that suits your current fitness level. Then, you can slowly increase the length or intensity of your walk as your fitness improves. Unattainable goals can set you up for failure, especially regarding weight loss. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term commitment that must include lifestyle changes you can follow for the rest of your life. This includes eating a nutritious, balanced diet and getting regular physical activity. Making good food choices and getting more exercise affects your calorie equation or the number of calories you need to maintain your weight. You must create a calorie deficit to lose weight by eating fewer calories, burning more calories or both. 5 Health Benefits of Walking 5 Miles a Day Walking For Weight Loss Walking is already part of your day, and turning it into a form of exercise that helps with weight management doesnt have to be complicated. You can even break up your walks into 10-minute increments if time is limited. All bouts of activity count toward helping you reach your fitness goals; even something as small as walking up one flight of stairs instead of using the elevator provides benefits. Use a walking app or fitness tracker to monitor your progress. This can help you hit your walking goals, whether youre aiming for 10,000 steps or 60 minutes a day. Also, keep a pair of comfortable walking shoes in the car or a bag to ensure you are always ready to walk. And bring a refillable water bottle with you throughout your day to stay hydrated. Here are some additional tips for making sure walking is part of your day. Park Far Away Instead of parking as close to the door as possible, park at the far end of the lot. This helps you get in more steps and saves you the frustration of finding that perfect parking spot right near the door. Take the Stairs Taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you ensure you are getting in additional steps. Moreover, opting for the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to get more strenuous physical activity. Walk During Lunch Use part of your lunch break to take a stroll through the office or around the community outside. To make it more enjoyable and to help you stay motivated, invite your co-workers and make your lunchtime walk more fun and social. Invite Friends to Hike Instead of Coffee Getting together with friends is important for yourand social well-being. Instead of meeting for coffee or lunch, make plans to check out the local hiking trails in your area. Walk While You Wait If you are too early for a healthcare provider appointment, take a walk around the block. Or, if you are waiting for your kids to finish baseball practice, go for a brisk walk around the field. Anytime you are waiting, think of it as an opportunity to get a walk in. Best Weight Loss Apps Sample Walking Workouts Adding more walks to your daily routine is a great way to boost physical activity. But when walking for weight loss, you may need to step things up a notch to reach your fitness goals. After getting the OK from a healthcare provider, try one or all of these walking workouts to keep your walks interesting and effective. Treadmill Walking Workout With a treadmill walking workout, you never have to worry about the weather spoiling your exercise routine. Plan for a 30-minute workout. First, start with a 5-minute warm-up at a moderate intensity at about 3.5 MPH and no incline. Increase the incline to 3% and pace to 4.0 MPH and walk briskly for 5 minutes, then lower your incline to zero and pace back to moderate intensity and walk for 2 minutes. Raise the incline of your treadmill back to 3% and increase your pace to 4.2 MPH so youre walking a bit faster. Stay at this pace and incline for 5 minutes and then go back to zero incline and a moderate pace for 2 minutes. Increase your incline to 3% and your pace back to a brisk walk at 4.0 MPH for 5 minutes. Lower your incline back to zero and your pace to moderate intensity (3.5 MPH) for your 5-minute cooldown. As your fitness improves, increase the incline or speed of your walk. Make sure you keep your arms moving during your workout so you get the most benefits. Also, maintain good posture during your treadmill walkhead up and eyes forwardto reduce the risk of injury. We've tried, tested, and reviewed the best treadmills. If you're in the market for an activity tracker, explore which option may be best for you. High-Intensity Interval Walking Workout High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout that alternates between periods of intense exercise followed by quick bouts of recovery. HIIT is an efficient way to get the health benefits of a moderate-intensity aerobic workout in a shorter period. A HIIT walking workout is similar to the treadmill workout but one you can do anywhere. First, start with a 5-minute warm-up, walking at a pace that allows you to have a conversation without getting winded. Then increase your speed, so youre walking at a pace that makes having a conversation difficult. Continue at this faster pace for 2 minutes, then slow back down to a conversational pace for 2 minutes and repeat. Repeat this pattern five times, walking intensely for 2 minutes, followed by a 2-minute recovery. Once you complete your HIIT walking workout, walk at a moderate pace for 5 minutes to cool down. You can increase the duration of your HIIT walking workout as your endurance improves. Hill Walking Workout It is no secret that walking uphill is hard. But a hill walking workout is a great way to change up your workout routine. It tests your strength and endurance and works out different muscle groups. Start with a 5-minute warm-up walking on level ground. Then start your uphill climb. Use short steps, maintain a steady pace, and lean slightly into the hill at your ankles, keeping your torso over your hips. If you lean too far forward or backward when walking uphill, you throw your body off balance, putting yourself at risk of injury. Walk at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. What goes up must come down. When walking downhill, keep your torso upright, and bend at the. How Many More Calories Do You Burn Walking Uphill? A Word From Verywell Walking makes a good exercise choice for weight management. It is relatively inexpensive and a workout you can do almost anywhere. When walking for weight loss, create goals you can hit to keep yourself motivated. There is nothing wrong with starting with 10-minute daily walks and slowly increasing as your fitness, endurance, and motivation improves. All types of physical activity put you on the road to wellness. Make sure you talk to a healthcare provider before beginning your new walking regimen. They can help you determine what is right for you. Walking Workout Schedule for Weight Loss Frequently Asked Questions Can you lose weight if your only exercise is walking? Yes! Walking is a good form of exercise that helps you burn calories. But when walking to lose weight you need to follow a balanced diet that provides the right number of calories and nutrients to support your health and your weight loss. Learn More: 10 Mistakes People Make When Walking for Weight Loss How can you tell if you are walking fast enough to lose weight? Though walking faster burns more calories, when it comes to weight loss, the amount of time you walk is more important than the speed of your walk. If you want to lose more than 5% of your current body weight and keep it off, you should aim for 60-minute walks 5 days a week. Learn More: What Is a Brisk Walking Pace? How many minutes should you walk if you want to lose weight? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says you need more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week to lose weight. That means you need to walk 60 or more minutes 5 days a week. Adding 2 days of strength-training a week also helps you manage your weight. However, the most effective way to reach your goal weight and stay there is by combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity like walking. Learn More: How to Enjoy Exercise and Healthy Eating 9 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity for a healthy weight. Cox CE. Role of physical activity for weight loss and weight maintenance. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(3):157-160. doi:10.2337/ds17-0013 Pétré B, Scheen A, Ziegler O, et al. Weight loss expectations and determinants in a large community-based sample. Prev Med Rep. 2018;12:12-19. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.08.005 University of Michigan, University Health Services. Weight reduction. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Texas Health Resources. Research shows incline walking could be just as beneficial as running. Ito S. High-intensity interval training for health benefits and care of cardiac diseases - The key to an efficient exercise protocol. World J Cardiol. 2019;11(7):171-188. doi:10.4330/wjc.v11.i7.171 American College of Sports Medicine. High-intensity interval training. Pickle NT, Grabowski AM, Auyang AG, Silverman AK. The functional roles of muscles during sloped walking. J Biomech. 2016;49(14):3244-3251. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2016.08.004 By Jill Corleone, RD Jill is a registered dietitian who's been learning and writing about nutrition for more than 20 years. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit