Is Walking Once or Twice a Day Good for Fat Loss?


question-icon-newI really like to get outside and go for two 15 minute walks every day. I go for one in the morning after breakfast and one after I have dinner. My question is if I went for a 30 minute walk once a day, would it have the same impact on the amount of calories I would burn throughout the day. Or would it just be better to stick with doing two walks a day like I’m currently doing?

answer-icon-newChoosing to walk once a day or twice a day in order to get the biggest benefit is a common question that is often asked by people who have taken up regular walking as an exercise. Walking once or twice a day is often a matter of choice. The overall calorie burn will be the same whether you do 30 minutes at once or break it up into two separate 15 minute workouts. The one thing you need to factor in is when you are performing this cardio exercise which is extremely important for burning the most amount of body fat.

The one thing you might consider doing is walking for a full 30 minutes in the morning before breakfast on an empty stomach. This way your body will utilize more fat versus carbohydrates during the exercise. If you eat first, your body will spend the entire time burning up the carbs you just ate before finally tapping into your fat stores for energy. Add a small cup of coffee (black) or green tea before your walk for an even greater fat burning effect!

Walking is a great low impact aerobic exercise. People of any age can start a walking program to regain fitness and to lose weight. It is the perfect exercise for older people. People who are obese and unfit can start an exercise program by taking up walking first and then as their fitness improves, they can take up jogging and even move into running which burns a ton of calories and fat.

walking-cardio-workouts-fat-burningWalking does not put a lot of stress on the joints and hence it is great for all people. It does not lead to injuries to the knees or the ankles since it’s a very low impact type of exercise. On the flip side, when you run, your ankles and knees take a real pounding and this high intensity exercise is very stressful on your joints.

If your objective is to lose weight and burn overall body fat, it would be better to walk for 30-60 minutes at least 5 days a week. When you walk for 30-60 minutes at a stretch, your heart rate goes up and your metabolism begins to rise. This causes your body to burn more calories. The increased heart rate also benefits you by improving your cardiorespiratory functions. Your lung capacity also improves over time which allows you to breathe better and feel more vigorous.

When you walk what really matters is the pace at which you walk. A slow and laborious walk even for an hour is not good enough for burning a sufficient amount of calories. Instead of that, a rapid walk for just half an hour would do you wonders (if you are healthy enough for this).

When you walk, you really want to focus on getting your heart rate to increase. If your heart rate does not go up, you are losing many of the benefits of cardio exercise. This is where interval training comes into play and this can also be referred to as “power walking” in segments for great results. Interval training involves a burst of fast walking followed by walking at a slower pace. You should walk as fast as you can for several minutes and then slow down your pace for a few minutes. You can do this repeatedly for 30-60 minutes for a great calorie burning cardio workout.

If you are extremely busy and simply do not have the time to do one long continuous walking workout consisting of 30-60 minutes, then by all means don’t worry about breaking it up into several segments during the day to fit into your schedule. The bottom line is that doing any type of exercise is great so just try your best to fit it into your daily routine to gain all the healthy benefits from it!

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    I walk for 60-70 minutes a day at a medium pace and then do 20 minutes of crosstraining and 30 minutes of cycling. My son told me it’s not good for weight loss. He told me that I need to run to lose weight. Is this true?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Seema – You can lose weight by doing any type of cardio exercise that burns calories, whether it’s riding a bike, walking, running, jumping rope, etc. It is true that running will burn more calories than walking but you can still successfully lose weight with moderate to low-impact exercises. It’s also important to focus on your diet when you’re on a weight loss program since the foods you eat and your overall caloric intake will be more important than how much cardio you do. Remember, it’s impossible to out-exercise a bad diet 🙂

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    Seema – Walking 60 minutes a day with 20 minutes of crosstraining and 30 minutes of cycling is fine if you are eating healthy. That’s great since it’s low impact and you won’t hurt yourself as easily as lifting weights. You’ll get results but they will be slower results. You don’t need to do any certain exercise. Working out is working out, no matter what way you slice it. If you like your workout then do it because the main thing is that you need to enjoy it or you’ll quit what you are doing and that is not what you want.

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    I’m 35 years old, 58 kg and I want to lose 2 stones. I have a daughter who is 2 years old and I walk in park for 1 hour and sometimes in the afternoon.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Naz – That’s great that you’re walking for an hour! To lose 2 stones, try to focus on your nutrition plan which is a major factor in losing weight. You can review our Nutrition 101 Guide for more information on specific foods to include in your diet.

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    If I do a 1 hour walk after breakfast, do I still have to walk for one hour again after dinner? I am so tired after I eat.

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    I’m 20 years old and my weight is 76kgs. I want to lose fat fast but without strict dieting. I’m walking for 1 hour in the morning daily. Should I also walk again at night for 1 hour because I can’t diet too strict?

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Neda – Yes, you can also add another hour of walking at night if your main goal is to lose body fat. However, make sure to try your best on eating a healthy diet since that has the biggest impact on losing weight. You can walk for hours each day and not lose any weight if you’re consuming too many calories.

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