Does Walking Reduce Belly Fat?

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
Does Walking Reduce Belly Fat

People frequently look for different types of exercise to lose weight and improve their health. Walking is one common activity that comes up in conversations about losing weight. It is easily incorporated into daily activities, low-impact, and accessible. But does walking help lose belly fat?

Before we delve into the effects of walking on belly fat, it’s essential to understand what belly fat is and why it matters.

What is Belly Fat:

Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is the fat stored around the abdominal organs. Unlike subcutaneous fat, which lies just beneath the skin, visceral fat can have more significant health implications. High levels of visceral fat have been linked to an increased risk of various health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. (Reference)

Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, stands out as one of the most effective methods for targeting belly fat.

A small study involving obese women who walked for 50–70 minutes three times a week over 12 weeks showcased significant reductions in waist circumference and body fat. Both subcutaneous and visceral fat saw notable decreases in the exercise group compared to controls. This underscores the power of aerobic exercise in combating abdominal fat. (Reference)

The Role of Exercise in Fat Loss

Exercise, including walking, plays a crucial role in burning calories and aiding in fat loss. When you engage in physical activity, your body expends energy, which can lead to a caloric deficit if your energy expenditure exceeds your calorie intake. Over time, this caloric deficit can result in weight loss, including a reduction in belly fat. (Reference)

Does Walking Reduce Belly Fat?

Yes, walking can help reduce belly fat, but it’s not a magic cure. Several factors influence how effective walking is for fat loss, including duration, intensity, and frequency of walking sessions.

According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, persons who are overweight or obese who engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, saw a significant decrease in visceral fat. Subcutaneous and visceral abdomen fat were significantly reduced by combining aerobic exercise and calorie restriction, according to another study that was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It all comes down to how much, how long, and how consistently you walk. (Reference)

Try to get in at least 150 minutes a week, spaced out across multiple days, of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. The perfect pace gets your heart rate up and makes you perspire. To further enhance calorie burn and fat loss, higher effort intervals can be included, such as walking uphill or faster.

Maintaining consistency is crucial. Even though a single walk won't magically remove belly fat, consistent, long-term effort can have a big impact. Make walking a regular part of your day and try to get some exercise at least five days a week. Whether it's a stroll in the park or a brisk walk during your lunch break.

Research suggests that walking just one mile, equivalent to approximately 1.6 kilometres, can burn around 100 calories, depending on factors such as sex and weight. (Reference)

A study comparing calorie expenditure between brisk walking and running revealed that individuals walking at a speed of 3.2 miles per hour burned an average of 90 calories per mile. While running burned more calories overall, the difference per mile was only about 23 calories, highlighting the effectiveness of both activities in calorie burning. (Reference)

Benefits of Walking

Although losing weight may be the only incentive to walk, there are many other advantages as well. Regular walking has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, boost mood and mental well-being, enhance cognitive function, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Walking is also a low-impact activity that is good for people of all ages and fitness levels because it doesn't put a lot of strain on the joints. Walking is a safe and efficient technique to increase your level of fitness and health, regardless of your level of experience.

How to Maximise Your Walking Experience?

To get the most out of your walking workouts, consider incorporating the following strategies:

  1. Change Things Up: Vary your walking route, pace, and terrain to keep things interesting and challenge your body in different ways.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your walks to stay hydrated and support optimal performance.
  3. Be Mindful of Your Posture: To avoid strain and injury, walk with proper posture, keeping your head up, shoulders back, and core tight.
  4. Set Goals: Whether it's increasing your distance, improving your speed, or reaching a certain number of steps per day, setting specific goals can help keep you motivated and focused.
  5. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you feel during and after your walks. If you experience any pain or discomfort, scale back or take a rest day as needed.

One low-to-moderate-intensity activity that you can do regularly is walking. Increasing your frequency of walking may help in weight loss and the reduction of belly fat, in addition to offering numerous other remarkable health advantages including lowered disease risk and elevated happiness. A mile of walking burns roughly 100 calories. A balanced diet and exercise are essential to reducing belly fat.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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