Fitness walking, whether it is fast or Nordic walking, is an excellent sports activity for losing weight that is often practised for improving the figure. It's true that this endurance sport is a way of gently recovering or maintaining one's ideal weight. However we do not all shed weight in the same way, let alone at the same speed! These 3 factors have a direct influence on the number of calories expended during each of your fitness walking sessions.
1 - The length of your sessions: the more you walk, the more you burn off!
The longer you sustain the effort, the more your muscles will use the energy from your fat reserves to function and continue walking. Walking is an endurance sport for which is more important to sustain the effort than to go quickly, particularly if you are seeking to lose weight.
During physical exercise, the body uses 2 sources of energy: sugar (carbohydrates) and fat (lipids). At the beginning of your session, the body draws on the sugar reserves to supply the muscles. Later on, it is the fat that will provide the primary source of energy.
In order to slim effectively with fitness walking, your sessions must exceed 30 minutes, because that is when the muscles will begin to tap into your fat reserves.
2 - Your walking speed: when technique helps to burn off more calories!
The quicker you walk over time, the more energy will be required by the muscles during fitness walking. In order to find out how many calories are expended when walking for 1 hour, everything depends on your speed:
- At 5km/h, 240 calories are burnt off
- At 6km/h, 300 calories are burnt off
- At 7.5km/h, 380 calories are burnt off
(Please note: these figures are approximate and may vary from one person to another)
In order to walk more quickly, you need to be proficient in all the fitness walking techniques: a good foot motion and arm motion. These are the techniques that will exercise the muscles of your body most effectively, from head to toe!
3 - Your basic energy requirements!
This is what is known as the "basic metabolic rate". Depending on your weight, age or height, the human body has different requirements for maintaining the vital functions and consuming more or less energy.
"A few extra pounds should not require too stringent a diet. A good balance between a healthy diet and regular fitness walking sessions is an excellent solution. " - Dr. Bacquaert, IRBMS.
Given that fitness walking exercises all of your muscles, it has a positive impact on your muscle mass: you will develop your muscles and, given that they expend a lot of energy, they will burn off more calories even when you are resting! This is what is known as increasing your "basic metabolic rate".
Consequently, the length of your fast walking sessions, your walking speed and the increase in the basic needs of your body when fitness walking will help you lose weight effectively as well as keeping the weight off. Activate your body to recover your figure!