Health & Fitness: Can you lose weight with a walking-only exercise regimen?

I’m a runner insomuch that I enjoy running. To me, it is not a chore; it is respite from a day’s stress. I have gone weeks where I run 4-5 times, and I’ve gone weeks where I don’t run at all.

As much as I enjoy running, there are aspects of it that are hard to make habit:

  • Sometimes I get sore after a 3-4 mile run.
  • My allergies act up when I run outside.
  • It eats up time.

Unless my knees give out or I lose a foot to a freak accident, I’m going to keep running.

But I’m also going to walk.

I’m going to walk at least for the next 2-3 months to try to solidify a habit of going to the gym every single day and doing something to put my body in motion. My plan is to do this without injury and without ever making my body feel like it’s been overworked.

My plan is to do this and lose that extra 10-15 pounds that have been nagging at me.

But science.

Yes, I understand that it requires a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. However, the way I see it, when I run 3-4 miles, I eat as if I just ran a half. In an hour, I walk about 3.25 miles on the treadmill with zero soreness.

It gets me to 10,000 steps each day.

I’m not famished afterward.

And I even get some work done while on the treadmill, although tonight that consisted only of doing a single Instagram post. Mostly, I walked (at 3.5 on the treadmill most of the time at various inclines) and watched Gary Vaynerchuk and Seinfeld re-runs — the one where Kramer butters himself, Bania prompts Jerry to tank a set and Elaine nicknames an airplane passenger, Vegetable Lasagna, while breaking up and making out with David Puddy.

But can you lose weight with only a walking regimen?

I think you can if you do it consistently without eating beyond your workout efforts. My plan is to not adjust my diet otherwise. Truth is: I eat a lot of fish, lean chicken and veggies. My culinary vices are the occasional donut (especially the maple bars at 7-Eleven), Fritos, A&W (and only A&W rootbeer) and Guinness Draught or Newcastle Brown Ale.

As of Oct. 23, I’m at 212.8 pounds. I might mix in some basketball, racquetball or some runs at my discretion — but mostly I’m just going to walk.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Stay smooth.

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