Does Walking Burn Belly Fat?

Do you often look into the mirror and hate what has become of your once enviable core? Do you constantly worry about the way it tampers with any outfit unless it’s a muumuu? Well, it gets worse. Getting rid of belly fat is more than about looks. The visceral fat nestling among your organs is associated with heart disease, insulin resistance, diabetes and even cancer. You might need to put in a bit more effort to get rid of this unhealthy fat. However you need not spend hours at the gym to get back into shape. You can actually take up walking to get rid of the bulge. So, does walking burn belly fat effectively? Find out below.

Will Walking Help Burn My Belly Bulge?

Harvard Health Publications state that a whopping 90% of the fat in your body is subcutaneous fat (this is fat found under your skin). The rest (10%) is visceral fat.  Compared to the subcutaneous fat found in the butt, thighs and hips, belly fat is easily broken down and converted into energy. For this reason, strength training and cardiovascular exercises such as running and walking can help burn belly fat. It is important to note that exercises that target the area around the stomach such as sit ups and crunches won’t help much with getting rid of the abdominal bulge.

Will walking help? Studies conducted at the University of Virginia show that taking 3 fast paced short walks a week and 2 slower paced longer walks for 5 days a week can help cut up to 2 inches off your waistline and shed up to 8 pounds in only 16 weeks - this is all without dieting.

Brisk walking has been shown to increase breathing and heart rates without putting undue stress on the joints. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and you’ll be able to get on a workout routine even if you’re overweight, elderly or arthritic. 

Walking Tips for Burning Belly Fat

  1. Watch Your Speed

To optimize fat burn, take a high intensity fast-paced walk for about 30 minutes for three days a week. You can choose to complete the walk at once or break it down into shorter spurts where you take a stroll to recover. You can walk in 3 ways:

  • Brisk walk – This is a speed of about 4m/h. When walking briskly, you burn up to 340 calories every hour.
  • Power walk – Walk at a speed of about 5m/h with a calorie burn rate of about 564 calories every hour. Take longer strides than you normally would and use your hands to propel you forward.
  • Stroll At this pace, you’re basically walking at a window shopping pace. This burns approximately 238 calories per hour.

Does walking burn belly fat? Of course it does. Studies have shown that making about 10000 steps in a day will help burn about 500 calories. Do this every day and you’ll be able to shed 1lb per week. If you want to lose more than this, simply walk for longer and at a faster pace.

  1. Walking Style

Walking comes naturally, and you hardly ever think about it. However, there are a few things you can do to optimize your calorie burn rate.

  • Keep your chin up – You should not look down at your feet when walking. Instead, look 10 feet ahead. This will enable you to make longer strides and align your spine to your neck for comfort.
  • Brace your abs - You should activate your core by trying to pull your belly button inward. This forces you to assume proper posture when walking.
  • Work your glutes - Your glutes help propel you when you’re walking. To get the most out of your walk, tighten your glutes, and walk faster and longer. Squeeze your backside like your life depended on it.   
  1. Frequency

The more you walk, the more belly fat you burn. Aim for a maximum of an hour and a minimum of half an hour for 4-6 days a week. Use a pedometer to help you track the number of steps you take for every walk. 10,000 steps is the daily target as mentioned earlier. Start small and track your progress.

  1. The Best Time To Walk

Does walking burn belly fat and what is the best time to do it? Yes it does and it is recommended that you take the walks early in the morning before having breakfast. Having no food in your stomach will make the walk much easier and you will burn more calories and shed more belly fat in the process. After your walk, make sure to eat high protein foods to help replenish energy and repair muscle.

  1. Diet

While you don’t have to change your diet to cut down belly fat, but it doesn’t do you any harm to cut down on your calorie intake. When you combine a healthy diet with walking, you will be able to achieve more in a shorter time. For example, cutting down your calorie intake by 500 calories a day will help you lose an extra pound of belly fat per week in addition to what you lose through walking.

Plyometrics

To add some variety to your belly fat burning plan, incorporate some plyometrics such as jumping and skipping. This will provide a spike in the intensity of your workouts, and in the process burn more fat.

  1. Music

Music can be a source of motivation when you’re working out. Carry your favorite music when going on walks to keep your mind occupied and motivated.

  1. Results

Does walking burn belly fat? Walking to lose belly fat is easy enough for anyone to do. However, results will vary from person to person. Stick to it and track progress to burn belly fat and keep it off for good.