The main confusion of choosing between walking, running and weight lifting stems from the lack of understanding of how the human body actually works and the best way in which you can burn excess fat. Many find it logical to assume that running is better than walking because of your elevated heart rate and rapid breathing. On the other hand, once you complete your walk you may feel like you haven’t done enough. For this reason, you may be tempted to run so that you can burn calories faster.
We have already figured out that this is only partly true because while walking you will be able to cover a much greater distance.
However, your strategy should be to work on building muscle as well as losing weight. You should understand that losing weight usually includes losing muscles, which is a big mistake. Muscle is your biggest ally in your fight against fat!
Here are just a couple of benefits you will feel by building some muscles:
*A healthy, slim and strong body looks always better than just a skinny one. Don’t fall for those anorexic models. Men don’t actually like women that are just thin.
*You will feel better, stronger and more energetic. Just being skinny doesn’t feel good if you are not fit at the same time.
*You will be heavier, without feeling so and more importantly, without looking bigger. That last point might confuse you, so let me explain it to you. The calories you burn basically depend on two things: The distance you go and your weight.
You can calculate the calories you have burned by using this simple rule of thumb:
For running: 1 * your weight in kg * distance in km
For walking: 0.9 * your weight in kg * distance in km
For running: 0.75 * your weight in lbs * distance in miles
For walking: 0.675 * your weight in lbs * distance in miles
*This formula works pretty accurately for both men and women regardless of age.
As you can see, your weight is a big factor when trying to lose weight. Note that not only the calories burned walking and running but also your basal metabolism rises with higher weight.
This is one of the reasons why losing weight gets more difficult the more weight you have already lost.
So simply put, the more muscles you have, the easier it will be to lose your belly fat!
As such, your priority should be on retaining your muscle mass and gaining more if possible. By having more muscles, you will have a much higher metabolism, which will enable you to burn fat faster.
With this in mind, you should know that running breaks down muscles; hence it is just not worth the risk for a person who is trying to lose weight since retaining every ounce of muscle should be your prime objective.
Don’t be afraid – you won’t have to do some kind of hardcore bodybuilding! Just try not to lose your existing muscles and maybe try to add one or two pounds of muscle if you can.
Even one pound of muscle makes a big difference in the long run.
Also remember that overweight people should avoid running since they could easily get injured. Keep in mind that for each pound you are overweight, you are adding at least four pounds of pressure on your knees and six on your hips. So, clearly identify whether you want to lose weight or be a runner.
Once you have accomplished your fat loss objectives and improved your strength, conditioning and flexibility, THEN running and weight lifting would be great exercises to improve your strength and endurance.
Essential Tips for Getting the Most out of Walking
We have learnt that, as much as people have a hard time believing it, walking is one of the healthiest and simplest ways of losing weight. One of the best things about walking as a mode of exercise is that it is very cheap and you can start at any time, even now (keep on reading this book first though).
The biggest ‘secret’ with reaching your fitness goals is getting started and maintaining the habit. The following chapters will give advice gleaned from leading experts on successfully losing weight. Read on.