The easiest way to get healthier, and a simple way to lose weight, is simply to move around a bit more, and the easiest way to do this is to walk a bit more than you do now.
The small populations of hunter gatherers that still exist walk about 6-10km/day. If you measured that on a pedometer it would equate to about 10,000 steps. This is considered a good amount to aim at on an average day.
Is Walking A Simple Way To Lose Weight?
A study was done where a 1,000 Americans were given a pedometer to wear for 2 days and asked to carry on as normal. It was found that overweight people walked about 2,000 less steps/day than slimmer people. Of note – women over 50 generally didn’t reach even half of the recommended steps each day.
Another study showed that on average slim people were on their feet for about 2 hours longer every day than overweight people.
Obviously the results of these studies are reported as generalisations and I’m sure there were couch potatoes in the slim group and very active people in the overweight group.
Although walking only produces a modest calorie burn, if you are doing more of it, and doing it often, it all adds up. For example – those 2,000 extra steps the slimmer people are walking everyday (which can be done in 15-20 minutes) add up to an extra 730,000 over the course of a year. That’s a pretty massive difference between 2 people. You can begin to see why their weight is different, and that walking is a simple way to lose weight.
People who increase their activity by walking a bit more, standing for longer, taking the stairs instead of the lift can burn an extra 350 calories/day. This really adds up when it becomes your routine and part of your life, and it really is a simple way to lose weight.
How Could You Easily Walk More?
- Unless you already walk loads – walk an extra 20 minutes/day, even if you break this up
- Go for a stroll during you coffee or lunch break – take a colleague with you
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator and lift/elevator
- Walk instead of taking your car if you journey is less than a mile
- Don’t spend ages finding the parking space that is closest to where you’re going, just walk a bit furhter
Consider getting a pedometer. That way you’ll see how many steps you’re doing now. I wonder how far you are towards doing 10,000 steps/day? People who try out pedometers tend to get more active – because they are focusing on it, so maybe it’s a good thing for you to do.
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