April 2

Walking is the magic bullet for weight loss/maintenance


Walking is majorly important. ‘Non exercise activity’ and formal exercise can take up to 30% of energy in output for very active individuals. For those of you who have always complained about having a thrifty metabolism, you may well have a lower than normal metabolism, but it is more than likely that your metabolism is up to scratch and you are less active than you think.


Your metabolism is basically based on how heavy you are, how tall you are, how old you are, and how much energy it takes to keep your body alive.


In active individuals, physical activity from exercise and ‘non exercise’ adds up to around 30% of their energy output.


This means that if you are very active you will burn more energy than people who are not active. It sounds basic, but it’s true and includes things like fidgeting as well. So for people who think their friends can just eat whatever they like and not gain weight. They need to note that their friends are probably big fidgets, they probably never sit still and probably are more active than they think. They probably also eat less than you think too.


As we lose body fat, our body gets more efficient at burning energy, which means that for the same exercise we burn fewer calories. This makes keeping up things like walking and other non exercise activity, as in moving around all of the time, much more important.


in 1986 a study put 176 people into a metabolic chamber for 24 hours. The difference between people’s non exercise activity varied from 138 to 685 calories per day. That is a dramatic individual difference brought about by how much people move from fidgeting and just moving inside of a room.


Think about getting up and down from your chair, moving from item to item, even just shaking your feet up and down off the floor, all are going to make a difference.


What can you do? Well, it’s hard to force ourselves to fidget, but there is a 38 calorie per hour difference between sitting still and sitting while fidgeting. If you can move your legs or do little shoulder movements and things like that very often or while you’re working, it is going to make a difference over a working day and over a working week.


There’s a 60 calorie per hour difference between standing still and standing and fidgeting. So if you get a standing desk, that’s one step forward. If you stand and fidget at the same time, maybe put on some music and dance to the music as you work, that’s going to make a big difference over a working day and it’s going to make a big difference over a working week.


How much walking around your house and how much walking around your flats and things make a difference now during this quarantine? Just note that if you walked for just five minutes every hour, you would burn an additional 16 and a half calories per hour over an eight hour workday, this would be an extra 132 calories. Across a week, this would be an extra 660 calories.


If you can, set your Fitbit or your Activity Monitor to alert you every hour, and set yourself a five minute walking target. This will make a massive difference when it comes to not only losing body fat, but maintaining body fat as well.


If you’re looking for extra tips to walk around as much as possible during this quarantine, I would advise that you make the most of your outside time per day and go for your full one hour walk. Maybe get yourself a standing desk or a walking desk where you get a treadmill that sits underneath your work desk. You could even get a treadmill for watching the TV in the evening and just go for a gentle stroll on it.


Take the stairs wherever possible when you do go out and if you want, move up and down your stairs throughout the day. Doing gardening and DIY in this period is going to be massive for keeping up movement and obviously, if you get a dog, you’re going have to get give them one long walk a day in order to keep them quiet and happy.


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