Walking to Lose Weight
Many individuals possess a preconceived notion that if you are not sweating and out of breath, then you are not going to lose weight. This cannot be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is, any kind of sustained cardio exercise can lead to weight loss.
How weight loss occurs while walking
Contrary to the popular belief above, all forms of weight loss occur from expending more calories than one takes in. Of course this has a great deal to do with one's nutrition as well. For example: you can walk 6 hours a day but if you are still consuming more calories than you are burning, weight loss will not occur. At the average walking speed of 3mph, one will burn 360 calories per hour. Read more about this in "Calories Burned While Walking".
The good and the bad aspects to walking for weight loss
The obvious positive effect walking will have is of course the expenditure of calories. This use of calories would not occur if one was lying on the couch instead of walking. There are also cardiovascular benefits such as increased heart strength and greater aerobic endurance. Another great aspect of walking is that it is generally considered a low impact exercise. It is much easier on the knees and hips than jogging or running.
The major downside to walking for weight reduction is that it can often take longer to burn those calories than other activities. For example, walking at 3mph for one hour will burn the same amount of calories as jogging at 6mph for one half hour. If you have the time, walking is a fantastic and completely acceptable alternative to running.
Going beyond just walking
Weight loss goes far beyond having a dedicated cardio program. It is important to incorporate other exercises into your fitness program. These exercises can increase muscle which assists in daily calories spent to maintain that muscle mass. Above all else, eating health is of the utmost importance and cannot be stressed enough. Remember to fuel your body appropriately and it will reward you with more energy and a better physical appearance.