When walking, what you need to focus on to build lean muscles and get lean – Is it the distance, the number of steps you walk, or time; read on for the answer.
Walking For Exercise
Walking is a great exercise, particularly if you are:
(i) New to exercise, combating the effects of aging, or struggling with poor sleep.
(ii) Looking for some way to shore up your existing day-to-day routine with more physical activity.
Our expert “Fitness Buff – Renu Bakshi, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer & Specialist in Exercise Therapy” says:
“Even if you’re super-fit, walking more daily will not only make sure that you’re maximizing your calorie burn through the day but also do wonders to keep you fit and healthy or for your recovery process.”
However, if there’s one thing that routinely bothers us at Just Fitness Hub is the generally prevailing myth that you need to aim for walking 10,000 steps each day to be a healthy person and get lean. This number is arbitrary, created out of thin air by marketing gurus, not exercise scientists. Put simply: No, you don’t need to reach 10,000 steps every single day to get lean. Moreover, many individuals likely won’t hit 10,000 steps each day even if they make conscious efforts. As per a new article published in The New York Times, studies have found that surprisingly few people can consistently hit 10,000 steps each day for a meaningful period of time.
Does Walking Create Lean Muscles?
So, what should you aim for when you’re going out walking? Well, if your ultimate goal is to burn as much fat as possible and get lean, one study has claimed that there’s a better way to do this. Continue reading to find out what it is.
Walking for Distance Vs. Walking for Time
If you are walking for exercise, chances are you generally head out after making up your mind on one of these two things: “I’m going out for a one-hour walk or “I’m going out for a 4-kilometer walk.” But have you ever given a thought to this: “which one will provide better results? As per a study published in the International Journal of Exercise Science, there’s a definite answer.
The researchers in this study set off to compare walking/running for distance viz-a-viz with walking/running for a time as part of an exercise role for weight loss. They engaged 15 overweight volunteers and divided them into two groups. One group had to walk for a certain distance, and the other for a certain amount of time.
The ten-week study discovered the following
- The walkers and runners who went out with a distance-based goal ended up losing weight at an average of about nine pounds. On the other hand, those who walked or ran to a time-related goal gained an average of 2.4 pounds.
- Those who walked for distance showed improved glucose levels and blood cholesterol, as well. The researchers reasoned that the walkers’ mindset played a crucial role in the results. The participants who walked to time didn’t probably exercise as hard, tended to overestimate their calorie burn, and tended to overeat after their walking sessions.
However, There Are Merits of Walking to Time
I don’t say that walking or running has no merits. Experts say if your aim isn’t necessarily maximizing your fat burn for a lean body, of course, walking to time can help you walk farther, get in more steps, and may have mental health benefits by making you walk more meditative and mindful.
If your aim is simply better health—and even prolonging your life—you can, of course, benefit from walking to time. For example, suppose you decide to go out on a “three-mile walk,” which may sound significant to you. Let’s say you’re going at a brisk pace—and you should be—you’ll be moving at about four miles an hour. And, if you’re fitter, a fast walk may be more like five miles an hour. At a brisk pace, you’ll complete 3 miles in 45 minutes. At a faster pace, you’ll get there in thirty-six minutes.
If you simply readjust your mindset before heading out, you’ll find that you can actually walk farther by one to two miles, walk for a longer period of time, and more steps overall. It simply means: You need to figure out what works best for you.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”