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Walking - one of the most underrated tools for weight loss

BackInTheGame78

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People associate "cardio" or "running" with losing weight but most don't associate walking...however in the grand scheme of things walking might actually come out ahead for a few reasons.

First, pretty much anyone is capable of doing it even as they get older. Unless you have some sort of issue with your feet or legs that prevent it, walking is able to be done by people of any age.

Secondly, unlike many other forms of cardio, walking LOWERS Cortisol instead of raising it. This is a stress hormone and is not good when you are trying to lose weight except in certain scenarios(like after lifting as a natural process your body goes through). This helps with lowering blood sugar and insulin resistance as well as Cortisol causes increases in those.

Thirdly, simply the act of moving the large muscles in your lower body repeatedly has the ability to suck glucose out of your bloodstream and into the muscles, WITHOUT the need for insulin, which obviously helps with lowering blood sugar levels.

Additionally, walking can be done daily even on off days from the gym to help get in some movement and can be done even on days where you life with no ill effects seen in terms of muscle gain.

Want to lose weight? Adding walking to your exercise routine might be something that helps far more than you would think.
 

Deranged

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Great post. Walking is a very sustainable form exercise, next to standing all day. Not to mention the mental aspect. I have the clearest mind when walking and have come up with job ideas, music beats, pushed through existential plateaus, you name it. Nothing like getting out in nature, just you and your thoughts.
 

Bandolero

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When I hit a plateau while cutting I add walks to my workouts or go on long walks on weekends (20-30km)

Works wonders
 

TheMonkeyKing

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Driving is one scourge of modern society in many different ways. I've seen a conversation online recently asking what's the shortest distance one would drive. Some quotes talking about children being driven to school at the end of the road etc etc. This is a pitiful appraisal of the world we live in.
An older friend of mine passed away just over a year ago. He would drive to the shops that were no more than a ten minute walk from his front door when just a few years earlier he was commuting to the city every day. Laziness will literally kill you.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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I would agree with this. I hate that people still think you need to do cardio purely as a tool for lose weight - you lose weight from changing diet/lifestyle, cardio is worthless for that. The unique benefits of cardio are more about improving overall CV health. But yes it seems like long distance running increases cortisol, it's why almost all marathon runners are emanciated.

I always feel fvcking fantastic after long walks, especially hikes. There is no better feeling than going on a 6 hour long hike with some elevation changes and difficult terrain. I know that the main benefit of cardio is increased BDNF production so it's possible that long walks can increase BDNF levels in the same way WITHOUT drastically affecting cortisol levels.

Beyond that, there is also benefit for walking after meals (especially meals with carbs) for the same reasons you outlined and it's a habit i'm trying to build.
 

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Stanley

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Ran everyday consistently for about 4 years in Hs, then slowed down in college. Switched to walking almost every day (a few miles) and got into lifting. Cardio plus my inferno metabolism kept me rail thin. Today I walk at least a few miles outside in nature daily, aside from the physical health benefits walking is fantastic for your emotional and mental health. Nothing provides better clarity and thought process then a brisk walk for me. Nietzsche thought that "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking" as well.
 

Murk

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Agree, but you left out a couple of key points to why walking is better; less impact on joints, more muscle-sparing and you don't get as hungry after compared to running/jogging.

I walk every day for 30-60 min after my workout, sometimes while sending emails/on calls/working, or just listening to music/podcast.
 

BackInTheGame78

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Agree, but you left out a couple of key points to why walking is better; less impact on joints, more muscle-sparing and you don't get as hungry after compared to running/jogging.

I walk every day for 30-60 min after my workout, sometimes while sending emails/on calls/working, or just listening to music/podcast.
The point about lowering cortisol instead of raising it was directly related to muscle sparing but I could have spelled it out better I suppose.

That's the one thing I have noticed that most Americans do far less of than people from other countries in general, is walk much less during the course of their day
 

Ricky

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It is a great way to listen to podcasts, audiobooks etc as well and you can always add weight to a backpack and ruck.
 

BackInTheGame78

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It is a great way to listen to podcasts, audiobooks etc as well and you can always add weight to a backpack and ruck.
Weighted vests are preferable as they distribute the weight evenly instead of very unevenly like a backpack.
 

eli77

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Low impact cardio like running cycling and swimming is what it's all about having a treadmill at home is very overrated
 

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BackInTheGame78

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First weighted vest walk of the year...3.5 miles but it slowed my pace by almost 3 mins/mile. Gotta work my way back up to under 30 seconds/mile difference then will start with the weighted vest hill climbs.
 

tightgrp

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Absolutely correct. Metabolic crossover. High intensity aerobics burns carbs and robs your muscles of glycogen. Why long distance runners are not very muscular especially when compared with a sprinter.

 

Kotaix

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You need to do a certain amount of exersize before you start burning stored fat. And it takes about 40 minutes of cardio for this to happen. You have to deplete your glycogen reserves first.
 

BackInTheGame78

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You need to do a certain amount of exersize before you start burning stored fat. And it takes about 40 minutes of cardio for this to happen. You have to deplete your glycogen reserves first.
This is the least relevant part of it. Lowering your blood glucose levels which will drive down the body's insulin response is much more important overall.

The more time insulin is not active in the body, the greater the body's ability to burn fat.

Walking is not really cardio per se. There are different things in play versus cardio. The body burns mostly fat while walking as it is a low intensity exercise that lowers cortisol rather than raises it like other forms of cardio do. Higher intensity exercise is fueled by glycogen, low intensity exercise is fueled mainly by fat. It will not burn as many calories, but a greater percentage of the calories it does burn comes from fat.

Think of it as a sneaky way to burn fat while also not hindering your bodies ability to build muscle like many other forms of cardio do.

This 40 minute timeframe does not apply when walking and in fact they are finding it doesn't really apply with other forms of cardio either. Studies have shown similar results can be gotten from breaking up your workouts into smaller ones so that 10 minutes of cardio 4 times a day is as effective as 40 minutes done at once.

Also, consistently walking daily or several times a week helps the body not only burn fat but because it is doing so often in small intervals, it becomes more efficient at burning fat all the time throughout the day.
 
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