Can you lose weight walking 2 miles a day? Walking is one of the easiest exercises anyone can do. However, despite its ease, many people often ignore this simple workout in favour of more complicated exercise routines that they eventually end up giving up on in just a few short weeks. If you are looking for a simple workout to do either for weight loss or just to improve your health then look no further. In today’s article we are going to outline the walking 2 miles a day benefits, possible weight loss achievements, and even show you the right tools to get you started.
What Are The Benefits Of Walking 2 Miles A Day?
The benefits of walking 2 miles a day include:
Can Ease Depression Symptoms
This is one of the activities often suggested for people who are clinically depressed and with good reason. Several studies have shown how walking can be used for the treatment of depression and depressive symptoms in people of all ages (4, 11, 14).
Relieve Stress And Improve Mood
Studies have shown that walking – even down the hallway at work or school – can instantly improve your mood and relieve any stresses that might be getting you down (5, 13). If you love nature, combining a walk and a serene environment will do wonders for your mood and stress levels.
Can Improve Balance And Posture
This is especially important for seniors who are prone to falling over and breaking their already fragile bones.
Improved Lung Function
The American Lung Association states that basic aerobic workouts like walking and running give your lungs a workout which helps them function at their best. Improved lung function and health means you are able to keep a large lung reserve and thus are not always running out of breath after every small activity (19).
Can Help Ease Chronic Pain
Multiple studies have shown that gentle walks work exceptionally well to not only ease chronic pain in the elderly and other injured people, but it goes a long way to improve their quality of life too (2, 12).
Other benefits of walking 2 miles a day include improved fitness and stamina, lowering bad cholesterol while improving good cholesterol levels, improving your cardiovascular fitness and heart health, reducing your risk of diabetes (16), improving blood and oxygen circulation, and even reducing your risk of breast and colon cancer (10).
Walking 2 Miles A Day Weight Loss Tools To Get You Started
You may not think that they matter, but having the right set of workout accessories goes a long way in making your workout more efficient – meaning faster fat loss – and even preventing injury. Here are some must haves to ensure that you get the most out of your walk:
The Right Footwear
Sneakers generally just look like sneakers with the most obvious difference being the colours used in the design. However their differences go far beyond how cool they look. Running shoes differ from walking shoes – meaning runners shouldn’t run in walking shoes and vice versa.
There is a lot that goes into choosing the right shoe including cushioning, width, tendon protection, heel size, etc. However, to make the process less scary for you, you are advised to choose a walking shoe that is flat, flexible, lightweight, and with enough room at the toe box (17).
While you do not have to have new brand name workout clothes for your daily 2 mile walk, whichever clothing you choose should be made of the right material to ensure that you are as comfortable as can be while exercising.
The best exercise clothes are those made from fabrics such as polyester, merino wool, nylon, spandex, or polypropylene. Do not under any circumstance wear cotton clothes while working out, especially if you sweat a lot (9). While cotton as a fabric works well for everyday wear and hides the stench of sweat better than other fabrics (7), it is not very breathable, and its extreme absorbency ability leaves you feeling damp and sticky which is not at all a great feeling.
A Foam Roller
Two miles might not seem like a lot but for anyone not used to working out, your muscles will quickly start burning after a few days. To prevent the pain from becoming too much and derailing your routine, get a foam roller and give yourself a massage everyday after your workout to boost circulation and muscle relaxation.
Dehydration while working out leads to increased fatigue, dizziness, and confusion – all factors that leave you in increased danger when working out outside. Dehydration, especially during hotter months can also lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, seizures, and even death in extreme cases. Avoid this by taking your water bottle with you and taking small sips throughout your 2 mile walk.
A Fitness Tracker
Are you concerned about how many calories can be burned walking 2 miles a day? If so, a fitness tracker should be on your next budget. While this is not a must have, it is a great gadget to help you easily log how much calories you burn during your walk.
While some people are simply okay just enjoying nature while exercising outside, other people prefer to have something else to concentrate on other than the miles ahead. A good pair of headphones (cordless if possible) works great as they let you enjoy a great playlist, podcast or audiobook while walking your designated 2 miles.
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How To Lose Weight Walking 2 Miles A Day
The decision to get off the couch and start walking is already a step in the right direction. But how can you ensure that your workout gives you the best results possible? Here are some expert tips:
- Walk on an incline – This increases the intensity of your workouts, which not only makes you sweat more but also burns more calories. If you live near a hilly area turn your two mile walk into a hike instead. If you are not close to a hill or mountains, use a treadmill and set it at an incline.
- Increase your pace – You burn more calories when your heart beats faster. If you can, try achieving your fat burning heart rate whenever you are out exercising. According to Medical News Today, when you achieve this maximum rate, your body ends up burning more fat – instead of sugar and carbs – as a source of energy.
According to a review published in 1997, the optimal heart rate for walking for weight loss is any number over 70 percent (15). Whether you reach this fat burning heart rate or not, as long as your pace is faster than normal you will burn more calories.
- Get some weights – Adding resistance to any workout automatically means more calorie burning. While walking doesn’t look like a workout requiring weights, adding some might get you some odd stares but it boosts your weight loss. Some walking weights that you can invest in include wrist and ankle weights, a pair of light dumbbells, or a weighted vest.
- Fix your diet – You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Find a weight loss diet plan that works for you and your lifestyle and stick to it.
- Enjoy yourself – Most exercise plans fail because they feel like work. Find ways to make your daily walking routine fun for you. Make it an activity that you are always looking forward to instead of something you have to get over with as soon as possible.
How Much Weight Can You Lose Walking 2 Miles A Day?
There isn’t a single number that encompasses everyone. The main reason behind this is that factors affecting weight loss – not just exercise – determine how many calories we burn and how much weight we lose (even when we do the same exercises). Some of these factors include family history and genes, initial weight, race or ethnicity, age, gender, stress levels, eating habits, and even the amount of sleep you get per night (6).
When it comes to walking 2 miles a day to burn calories burned, Verywellfit.com states that the factors determining this include other components such as walking pace and step count per minute. Livestrong.com further states that if you were walking 2 miles at 3 miles per hour, a person weighing 45 kgs would only expend 99 calories while a person weighing 136 kgs would burn about 299 calories.
To properly determine how much weight you can use walking 2 miles a day, we suggest using a walking calorie calculator.
How Much Weight Can You Lose Walking 2 Miles A Day For 3 Months?
As stated above, due to the multiple factors determining weight loss per individual, it is impossible to give one number that works for everyone. However, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, gradual and sustainable weight loss means shedding anywhere between 1 to 2 pounds a week – half a kg to 1 kg (18).
Using this as the base, in a 3 months time frame, you can expect to lose anywhere between 12 pounds to 24 pounds. Please note that any extra pounds lost during this time frame are most likely due to water weight loss and not fat loss.
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The Bottom Line: Is Walking 2 Miles A Day Good For My Health?
Yes it is. As seen above, this incredibly underrated exercise does more than just get you out of the house. Walking 2 miles a day is a great weight loss strategy, and it does wonders for your mental health, heart health and general well being.
The best part is that unlike other popular workouts, this exercise is incredibly inexpensive to start and stick with. Walking also has less chances of injury as compared to many gym exercises.
If weight loss and improved health are some of your goals this year, then go ahead and tackle those two miles. You will hit your goals in no time.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Meta-Analysis of Pedometer-Based Walking Interventions and Weight Loss (2008, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- A randomized trial of walking versus physical methods for chronic pain management (1997, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dose-response effect of walking exercise on weight loss. How much is enough? (2002, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of a six-month walking intervention on depression in inactive post-menopausal women: a randomized controlled trial (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Factors Affecting Weight & Health (2018, niddk.nih.gov)
- Microbial Odor Profile of Polyester and Cotton Clothes after a Fitness Session (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Moderate Walking Enhances the Effects of an Energy-Restricted Diet on Fat Mass Loss and Serum Insulin in Overweight and Obese Adults in a 12-Week Randomized Controlled Trial (2017, academic.oup.com)
- Polyester, nylon, wool and more: The fabrics to look for in your workout clothes (2020, cnet.com)
- Study: Even a Little Walking May Help You Live Longer (2017, cancer.org)
- The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effectiveness of walking versus exercise on pain and function in chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials (2019, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Walking facilitates positive affect (even when expecting the opposite) (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Walking for depression or depressive symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2012, sciencedirect.com)
- Walking to health (1997, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Walking vs running for hypertension, cholesterol, & diabetes risk reduction (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Walking: Select the Right Shoes (2017, ag.ndsu.edu)
- What is healthy weight loss? (2020, cdc.gov)
- Your lungs and exercise (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)