Do you feel frustrated every time you see your belly in the mirror or wear tight clothes? Well, aesthetics shouldn’t be your only concern. Research has linked excess fat in the midsection to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
In fact, if you’re a woman with a waist circumference wider than 35 inches (88 cm) or a man with a waist circumference wider than 40 inches (102 cm), you have abdominal obesity, which puts your health in jeopardy.
Luckily, you can get rid of the excess belly fat without going on an extreme diet or doing long painful workouts.
Walking is surprisingly one of the most effective exercises for reducing belly fat. In this study, researchers found that walking for 50 to 70 minutes 3 times a week helped reduce participants’ waist circumferences by an average of 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) over a period of 12 weeks.
In another study, combining walking with a healthy diet shrunk the waistline by 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) in 12 weeks.
Before you get too excited and start walking right away, realize that simply putting one foot in front of the other won’t help you get the best results.
Read on to discover the best tricks to help you lose belly fat through walking.
Tricks to Use When Walking to Lose Belly Fat
1. Take Advantage of Interval Walks
You’re totally missing out if you always walk at a steady pace. Walking at different intensities can make your walks extremely rewarding.
Interval walks involve walking at maximum speed for about a minute, then walking at a slow pace for a minute, and then continue to alternate the paces.
Research from Ohio State University shows that using interval walks can help you burn 20 percent more calories than steady walking
If you’re out of shape, start with intervals of 30 seconds and then increase the duration as you get fitter.
2. Go for Short Walks Throughout the Day
Have you been unable to walk 10,000 steps a day despite your best efforts? That won’t be a challenge anymore if you take advantage of short walks.
Walking for 5-20 minutes during lunch and tea breaks can tremendously increase your steps.
Alternatively, walk after every meal. This study found that walking for 15 minutes after every meal helped older people regulate blood sugar and lose weight.
If you find yourself forgetting to go for short walks, set several alarm reminders throughout the day.
3. Track Your Steps Every Day
Tracking steps is crucial when walking to lose belly fat. Without a tracker, you may not know whether you’re making progress or not.
Walking the same number of steps every day won’t help you get the best results. Therefore, you need to increase your steps day after day.
To do this effectively, you need a pedometer or an app that tracks steps. Aim to walk an extra 200 to 300 steps every day.
4. Walk on Hills
Walking on hills is more rewarding than walking on flat ground because it burns more calories and builds your leg muscles.
Therefore, take advantage of the hills in your neighborhood. If there are no hills where you stay, do 30-minute stair climbing once or twice a week.
I may also note walking on hills has less impact on your knees and ankles, which can be handy if you have joint pain.
For those walking on the treadmill, set it on incline. If you’re looking to purchase a treadmill, here are the best affordable treadmills.
5. Swing Your Arms When Walking
Most people walking to lose belly fat just let their arms hang, which is a huge mistake. Swinging your arms will tone your arm and shoulder muscles and increase your calorie burn.
The next time you go for a walk, bend your arms at 90 degrees and then swing them back and forth.
You can take it a step further by holding a pair of light dumbbells while walking.
6. Get A Walking Partner
A good walking partner can make it incredibly easy for you to lose belly through walking. He or she will keep you accountable and push you to walk when you’re feeling lazy.
And if you’re both competitive, you can compete on who walks the most steps every day.
Be meticulous when choosing a walking partner. Choose someone who has the same schedule and goals as you. It’s also better to choose someone who’s fitter and more disciplined than you because they’ll make you push yourself.
7. Mix it Up with Strength Training
Even though walking shrinks your waistline, it doesn’t build a lot of muscle. As you may know, it’s important to increase muscle mass as we age to keep our metabolism up.
For this reason, you need to incorporate strength training into your walks. Luckily, this is very easy to do with bodyweight exercises.
You could walk for 10 minutes then do a few push-ups and squats, walk for another 10 minutes and do a few other bodyweight exercises.
If you prefer to exercise indoors, do a short bodyweight workout after every walk. Use the workouts in this fat-burning sequence.
8. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Walking consistently without maintaining a healthy diet won’t help you lose belly fat. Make sure your diet is on point by getting most of your calories from unprocessed foods.
You should also avoid processed snacks and drinks. They can gradually expand your waistline even when you consume them in small quantities.
Read this article to discover simple strategies that can help you lose weight and keep it off.
9. Walk for at least 30 Minutes Every Day
Going for short walks throughout the day is not enough, you should also go for planned walks.
When combined with the short walks, a 30-minute walk can help reduce belly fat. Go for the walks in the morning or evening depending on your schedule.
Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t walk for 30 minutes now. Start with 10-minute walks and then gradually increase the duration.
10. Walk for 1-2 hours on Saturdays and Sundays
You’re probably less active on weekends than you are on weekdays. Well, you’re not alone. Researchers explain that weekend inactivity is one of the main reasons most people struggle to lose weight.
Since you now know about the “weekend trap” you can maximize on your weekends by going for long walks.
Long walks will allow you to burn lots of calories and reduce chances of overindulging in junk food.
If you use these strategies, it’ll be incredibly easy for you to lose belly fat through walking. But to shrink your belly rapidly, combine walking with the fat blaster sequence.