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Is Walking In Place Effective for Weight Loss?

Is Walking In Place Effective for Weight Loss?

February 26, 2020 / Patrick Zavorskas

In the constant day to day of a 9-5, it feels like it is getting harder to exercise. With emails to respond to, reminders to manage, and certain goals for the day to be maintained, the stress of finishing your work load can play a major toll on your physical health. In wanting to make your boss happy, feel like you achieved what you needed to do for the day, and somehow still convincing yourself to get home to cook dinner and maintain your social life, the stress of the day can feel exhausting. One way to manage staying alert and keeping up with your physical health is to walk in place. Walking in place is a convenient way to keep up with your physical health while at work, away from the gym, or briefly on the go. It is effective in keeping your energy levels up, keeping you alert, and possibly a way to maintain some calorie loss for a brief workout. While the results may not be huge, if you need a little pick-me-up and want to avoid the caffeine, try walking in place.

If you are, however, curious about whether walking in place can result in weight loss, the results may seem to be that of common sense. The physical activity that goes into walking in place is nothing compared to that of actually walking outside, running, or getting in another cardio workout. Not pairing it with strength training can actually affect your body even more, resulting in more negative benefits than if you actually found time to just workout. If you want to know if walking in place is effective for weight loss, here is some research that we have found.

How Many Calories Can You Actually Burn?

Walking in place doesn't have to be a silly fad found in old eighties workout videos. Jane Fonda had the right idea when it came to this little added bit of cardio! With walking in place, you are creating an easy and strategic way to add movement to your life while being able to shed pounds. If you maintain a brisk walk for an hour, it was found that a person who weighs one-hundred-fifty pounds can effectively burn about 260 calories - which for something has simply as walking in place, isn't too bad! 

In a study published by Jeremy Steeves, Dixie Thompson, and David Bassett for the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, it was found that participants who walked for one-hour in place everyday were able to burn around 258 calories each compared to 304 calories that could be burned on a treadmill. Steeves, Thompson, and Bassett also found through their study that participants who have walked in place for nearly 20 minutes during commercial breaks good burn around 148 calories. The participants also racked up nearly 2,111 steps, so if you are trying to break your step goal or rack up some extra steps on your fitness tracker, walking in place may be beneficial for you. 

Is Walking in Place Effective for Weight Loss?

If you actually want to lose weight while walking in place, there are some things to know first before you go trying to find results. If you want to effectively lose weight while walking in place, you will need to raise your heart rate to the second or third zone. Each heart rate zone has a different result and benefit on the body. For example, in getting your heart rate up to Zone Two, you are now effectively in the "fat burner" zone. Zone Two requires about 50-60% of your max heart rate, while being beneficial in losing weight and burning calories. Getting into Zone Two is ideal for beginners looking to workout, and can burn 7-12 calories per minutes. If you want to track your heart rate, using a smartwatch can help ensure you find the right results. In order to get into Zone Two, you must get your heart rate up to anywhere from 113 to 130 beats per minutes. 

Walking in Place Exercises to Get You Started

If you are looking to start incorporating walking in place into your everyday routine, note you do not need to go overboard. If you find that it gets boring after a while, try to first start by walking in place for five minute intervals, whether it would be every hour or as we said, during commercial breaks. At work, get up when you have a chance and walk in place at your desk or in an area where you will not be a distraction to other people. The results may be small, but the results overtime will pay off overtime to aid in effectively improving your fitness goals and physical health.

There are several tips for adding more benefits to your walking in place routine. Try doing the following:

  1. Use A Marching Technique - lift your heels close to your butt and quickly bring down at a fast pace 
  2. Track Your Heart Rate - using your smartwatch or fitness tracker, track your heart rate to ensure you are reaching zone two of your heart rate and are counting anywhere from 113 to 130 beats per minute.
  3. Swing Your Arms - swing your arms as you would if you were normally walking or running outdoors
  4. Add Strength Exercises - if you can, try adding weights to your routine and incorporate bicep curls or arm circles to maximize your workout and aid in your upper body
  5. Add Burpees - If you are in an environment that allows for it, try adding a burpee or two within your routine to add in some more added benefit
  6. Increase Intensity - If you find that the routine gets to boring after awhile, try increasing intensity and reach into other heart zones. If you up your heart rate to Zone Three, you can actively burn 12-17 calories per minute while increasing endurance and improve cardio and aerobic exercises. 

When considering walking in place, it is good to know that it is a good start or warm-up to your routine or a beneficial option while at the office or away from a gym or machine. It is not beneficial in a workout alone, but is an alternative when your workout cannot be done and other options are not there.

Share with us your thoughts on the benefits of walking in place by tagging us on Instagram @itouchwearables and Facebook @itouchwearables. Also, be sure to check out our new articles published daily!

-Patrick