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Exercise and Fitness

Weight Loss

08/18/2010

Question:

I walk 2x30 minutes per day 5 times per week will i lose the same amount of weight as if i walked 1 hour per day for 5 days

Answer:

The key to weight loss is really all about caloric intake versus caloric expenditure. Several things determine caloric burn, or expenditure, however, in this case we will focus on the intensity of your walk. This is assuming that your one-hour walk would be the on the same terrain as your two 30 minute bouts. If you can maintain the same level of intensity (you can measure this by taking your heart rate while walking) for the one-hour session as your two 30-minute sessions, then its really all about what fits best into your schedule.

Another thing to be mindful of is that the longer you are engaged in continuous movement, the more your body will use stored fat as its fuel system. On shorter walks, your body will utilize stored energy, glucose and sugars. However, stored glucose will eventually become stored fat when not used as fuel. In addition, your body also performs better (burns fuel more efficiently) when at a certain temperature, which is higher than your normal body temperature.

If you divide one workout into two separate workouts, your body will spend the initial minutes trying to warm-up and reach a certain temperature before it becomes its most efficient, fuel-burning self. Therefore, your one-hour workout offers more time for optimal caloric burn, as long as your intensity does not drop substantially when compared to the two 30-minute walking sessions.

If your main goal is weight loss, try cross training a couple days a week such as using an elliptical, arc trainer or stair climber. When cross training, you may have to begin at or below 30-minutes until you can build up endurance for longer bouts various. Low-impact or non-impact cross-training offers several benefits and can help prevent joint injuries, especially if you plan to become an avid walker.

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Response by:

Brandi  Hester Janowiecki, BSc Brandi Hester Janowiecki, BSc
Coordinator Fitness and Wellness
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati