Is walking considered cardio? It’s a good question and I never would have believed the answer is “yes” back when I was kickboxing & doing a variety of insane sweat-inducing workouts. You have to kick your own ass into shape with intense cardio exercises I thought. It’s the only way to blast fat and get lean, right? That’s what I believed my whole adult life. But my views have changed completely.
In this article, I’ll share with you 4 reasons I believe walking is the most effective cardio for weight loss.
I now consider it to be the best fat-burning exercise that exists, after witnessing firsthand how it can transform your body when combined with a proper nutrition plan. But first, I had to throw out my old beliefs that crazy heart-pounding workouts 5 – 6 days a week were the only ways to burn fat. It was hard to let go of that, cause it was ingrained in my head that you have to be moving furiously from movement to movement & sweating wildly if you want to seriously get results.
But then I discovered something amazing. I started following a very simple bodyweight workout routine, which had no cardio component to it. Actually, I take that back. There is ONE cardio component – walking. And I thought to myself, what? Walk? I walk every day. How on earth can you transform your body by just walking?! That’s ridiculous. It sounds too easy. And that’s the beauty and magic of it.
Little did I know that when it’s strategically implemented into your daily routine, with a simple eating plan, your body will transform in ways you never believed possible. In just 3 months, I dropped 3% body fat and lost 13 pounds. I didn’t even know I had significant weight to lose. But the weight that I lost was pure fat.
So, here are 4 reasons why walking is the best cardio workout that I personally know of.
It’s The Simplest Cardio On Earth
It’s quite possibly the simplest cardio that exists. You walk from the living room to the fridge to get a bite to eat. You take a couple of hundred steps outside to get your mail, and you head out each day to walk your dog. We do it regularly. I used to take for granted all the steps I was getting in each day and the overall impact walking had on my health. But every movement on your feet is burning calories, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
I had a major mental barrier about walking being an effective form of cardio at first because it seemed far too simple. You’re telling me that lazily walking down the street will help me burn fat? Yes, it will. If you also have a hard time believing it’s an effective form of cardio, I urge you to just trust the process and allow it to be a fantastic fat-blasting cardio exercise.
Of course, there needs to be a strategy in place for it to give you the results you want. But that’s the same as any workout. I’ve broken up my walking routine in various ways since I began. Get creative with it. You can divide your walks into small chunks throughout your day or do it all at once. It’s really up to you. Here are some weird ways I’ve implemented it into my life. The fat burning strategy I use is in the next section.
10,000 Steps Burns 400 – 500 Calories
There’s a magic number when it comes to burning fat while walking. That number is 10,000. If you walk 10,000 steps per day, you’ll burn about 400 – 500 calories each session. I now have a system in place where I walk and work at the same time using a treadmill desk, so I’m killing two birds with one stone.
It takes me about 90 minutes to walk 10,000 steps, and cause I’m on my laptop at the same time, the cardio workout doesn’t even feel like it happened. I used to take all my steps outside, and I continue to add outdoor walking to my daily routine. Nothing beats exploring your neighborhood with headphones on as you listen to music or a podcast while taking in the fresh air and the world around you.
I’ve installed MyNetDiary onto my phone, which is an app that tracks my daily steps. If you have a fitness tracker, that’ll work just fine too. I’ve been seriously contemplating getting the Amazon Halo, which does the same thing. But I’m very intrigued by the fact that it also provides body fat percentage readings. It’s supposedly been extensively tested for accuracy and has even been compared to results you can get from a Dexa scan.
If your goal is to find an effective cardio workout to burn fat and lose weight, I strongly urge you to get into the habit of walking 10,000 steps per day. If you combine this exercise with following a proper eating routine, the results you’ll see in the mirror will astound you.
Walking Reduces Hunger Cravings
One of the great benefits of walking vs. other cardio workouts is that you won’t have intense hunger cravings the way you do when you complete other exercises. In fact, there is research that actually shows walking has a neutral effect on your appetite and cravings for food.
When you force yourself to do incredibly intense cardio workouts, you are burning so many calories, that your body is being depleted of its glycogen stores. The reason that’s a bad thing is that depletion will increase your hunger cravings making it much more difficult for you to burn fat and lose weight if you’re trying to watch your daily calories.
Intense cardio means intense cravings. If you just walk 10,000 steps every day, you’ll reduce your hunger cravings, and you’ll still be burning 400 – 500 calories per day.
It Doesn’t FEEL Like A Workout
Walking isn’t going to burn you out like so many other cardio exercises do. I remember when I was doing Shaun T’s Insanity not long ago. I was dreading waking up those 5 days a week, not to mention the hours leading up to the workouts themselves.
My logic now is, why on earth put yourself through hell when you can take the easier route and get better results by just walking? It doesn’t feel like a workout. It’s fun and it’s the laziest yet most effective cardio I personally know of.
One thing I want to add is that I ALSO do bodyweight training 3 days a week, and it’s incredibly powerful, combined with walking & a fun eating plan. I believe exercise & eating should both be simple and enjoyable. The program I currently follow has changed my life for those reasons. You can learn about it here.
Yes – Walking Is Fantastic Cardio
So, is walking considered cardio? It absolutely is. It’s changed the way I perceive cardio workouts in general. Since walking became my daily exercise, I haven’t done anything else. It’s hard to go back to sweat-inducing workouts when you realize you don’t need to do them anymore to get powerful results.
That’s the other thing. I never really got measurable results from any other cardio I ever did. It wasn’t until I started walking daily that fat really started to melt off in ways that I could clearly see in the mirror. It’s simple. It’s fun. It’s effective. And it’s cardio. Why would I go back to anything else?
I hope this article was helpful in answering your question. Yes, walking is cardio, and I hope you see the many benefits you will get by implementing it daily into your life. Visit this page to calculate the calories you will personally burn walking 10,000 steps. Even though the general range is between 400 – 500, it is different for everyone.
If you have any questions or comments at all regarding anything discussed in this article, please leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you so much for reading!