Any exercise is better than sitting at home watching television, but not all exercises are created equal. The answer to questions such as, "Can I lose weight by walking every day?" is probably "no."
While walking is a legitimate way to get fresh air, build physical stamina and burn a few calories it is generally not enough to help you lose significant amounts of body fat.
A Daily Walk Schedule
Most people who start a walking program have a problem sustaining it on a daily basis due to issues such as interest, personal schedules, weather and accessibility.
Though more people are starting walking clubs with friends and neighbors or purchasing a treadmill for home use, the reality is that simply walking all the time will bore most people.
Boredom causes people to quit any exercise program more than any other factor including time and money.
However, choosing an interesting route taking in some countryside or parks can add interest to an otherwise lackluster vista if you only walk around the block in a built-up urban area.
A major drawback is that most people who walk do not do so at a brisk enough pace to burn a significant number of calories. Even if someone walks briskly, he will probably only burn about 75 calories every 15 minutes.
When you consider that it takes deficit of 3,600 calories to actually lose any weight, you soon see how ineffective simply going for a stroll can be. If you just rely upon that as your main source of exercise, you will need to carve out 50 x 15-minute walking sessions for every pound you wish to lose!
While small increments of exercise can add up, walking is generally not vigorous enough to make a significant difference when it comes to weight loss unless you maintain a fast pace for at least 20 minutes to give your body a chance to switch from burning blood sugar to extracting its energy source from store fat.
You will likely eliminate the possibility of boredom and stalled weight reduction by combining walking sessions with other activities such as:
- Strength training
- Team Sports (eg: football, hockey, basketball etc)
The general idea is that the more exercise you can do each day, the better chance you'll have of burning more calories than you are consuming from your food and therefore create a negative calorie balance. That's what you need to instigate a reduction in body weight.
Eating and Not Eating
While everyone hates this word, you also must diet. Not a crash diet that you cannot sustain for a day let alone a lifetime, but a healthier way of eating that includes less junk food and more fruits and vegetables.
The trick is to reduce your calorie intake enough so that even relatively low levels of activity will burn enough to prevent further weight gain and even result in a net loss.
These efforts will likely create enough of a calorie deficit and you could lose a few pounds each month. While slow and steady is the key to lasting weight loss success, just relying on walking would make the already challenging path to fitness and slimness very slow and likely minimally successful.