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- American Council on Exercise: I’ve Heard That Performing Aerobic Workouts at a Low Intensity is Best for Losing Body Fat - is That True?
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Weight loss is easiest when cutting back on calorie intake is combined with exercise. In addition, exercise is essential when maintaining weight loss. Walking is a great form of exercise because it not only burns calories, it keeps the bones strong. The amount of weight that can be lost when walking on a treadmill depends on several factors. In general, the higher the intensity of the walk, the more calories burned.
Walking to Lose Weight
To lose weight, it is necessary to burn off more calories than are consumed. Since one pound is equal to 3,500 calories, to lose one to two pounds per week it is necessary to burn off 500 to 1,000 calories each day through exercise. However, a daily 30-minute walk doesn't burn enough calories to lose one pound a week. By adding a healthy low-calorie diet to your weight loss plan, you can divide the calorie deficit between walking and consuming fewer calories, making your 30-minute walk more effective.
Monitor the Intensity Level
The intensity level of your walk will determine how many calories you burn and how much weight you will lose. The intensity of your session can be determined by taking your heart rate. The goal is to stay within a target heart rate that is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Then, multiply the answer by 60 percent and then 85 percent to get your target heart rate range. While exercising at a lower intensity level such as 60 percent may burn fat for energy, walking at 80 percent will burn more calories, says the American Council on Exercise 1. Both intensity levels can lead to weight loss, but a lower intensity walk leads to a slower weight loss than working out at a higher intensity. Since everyone responds to exercise differently, the best bet is to wear a heart rate monitor that tracks your heart rate and how many calories you are actually burning.
Burning Calories While Walking
The number of calories you burn while walking on a treadmill is also dependent on your current weight. Heavier individuals burn more calories than lighter individuals. For example, a 160-pound person walking 2 mph burns about 91 calories in a 30 minute walk; while a 240-pound person would burn about 136 calories. If both individuals increased the speed to 3.5 mph, the calorie expenditure would jump to 138 and 207 respectively. If the speed was decreased to 2.8 mph, the 160-pound person would burn about 150 calories and the 240-pound person would burn around 180 calories.
A Walking Solution
Since 3,500 calories is equal to one pound, the 160-pound person would need to walk at 2.8 mph for 30 minutes on 23 days to lose one pound and the 240-pound person would need to walk for about 20 days to shed one pound. At this rate you could lose about 12 to 15 pounds per year if you walk every day. To boost your calorie expenditure, elevate the treadmill, wear a weighted vest or use interval training. Interval training involves walking for most of the 30 minutes at 2.8 mph, but then performing short bursts of exercise at a higher speed. There are also treadmills that have handlebars that move, which will also increase the number of calories burned. However, using hand weights while walking is not recommended because swinging the weights can lead to shoulder, neck and back injuries.
While exercising at a lower intensity level such as 60 percent may burn fat for energy, walking at 80 percent will burn more calories, says the American Council on Exercise. The number of calories you burn while walking on a treadmill is also dependent on your current weight. However, a daily 30-minute walk doesn't burn enough calories to lose one pound a week.
- Man running on treadmill in gym image by .shock from Fotolia.com