Is Walking Exercise? (How To Use Steps To Lose Weight)

Is Walking Exercise? (How To Use Steps To Lose Weight)

12 min read


18 Apr 2024

Things you'll learn here

  1. What is exercise
  2. How can you add more steps to your day?
  3. Can you lose weight walking
    1. Calories in vs calories out
    2. Burn more calories walking
  4. The body-boosting benefits of walking
  5. Walking Routines
  6. How PhenQ can help?

Sometimes the easiest form of exercise is right under your feet. That’s right, we’re talking about walking. 

It’s not only a simple form of physical activity, but also a powerful way to boost your health and your happiness

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk, it's one of the best forms of exercise for all fitness levels, with benefits that extend beyond just exercise. 

Here, we’ll guide you in the right direction when it comes to adding walking into your daily routine, staying motivated, and burning calories with confidence.

Breaking down exercise barriers

Let’s take a look at what exercise actually is and why quick-fix solutions won’t work. We’ll also explore some of the science behind why doing exercise you enjoy means you’re more likely to stick to it.

Starting up exercise can be intimidating. But there’s something so familiar about walking (as we do it each day) that it’s the perfect place to start. 

Just getting out there and moving more can set you on a really positive trajectory to enjoying exercise and leading a healthier lifestyle.

But before we go any further, let’s answer the question, “What is exercise?”

Exercise is an intentional physical activity that aims to enhance or maintain fitness and improve your health.

It involves structured bodily movements that require energy expenditure and is performed for lots of different reasons that aid health and wellbeing.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical activity covers any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that leads to energy expenditure.

So, is walking considered exercise? As stepping is an intentional physical activity where you move your body and expend energy, yes it is.

woman exercising at home

What is the recommended amount of exercise a day?

The recommended amount of steps and time spent exercising varies according to age groups and fitness goals but generally, 10,000 steps a day can be beneficial for adults under the age of 60.

For those over the age of 60, 6,000 to 8,000 steps per day is recommended.

When it comes to physical activity guidelines from health organisations on how much physical activity you should do and how often, it’s recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week for adults. 

Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise means deeper and slightly faster breathing, an increased heart rate, and a noticeable but sustainable increase in effort. It’s "somewhat hard" on a perceived exertion scale.

Why won’t exercise quick fixes work?

Quick fixes tend to focus on rapid weight loss or muscle growth, which usually take extreme measures to achieve. There's usually a highly restrictive or specialist diet that accompanies these measures.

Remember the cayenne pepper diet? Anything that promises rapid results is either a scam or an unrealistic method to continue. 

We want the long-term enjoyment of exercise, not only short-term. Consistency and dedication to exercise are more likely to result in gradual weight loss that is easier to maintain. It can be fun, too.

Why is walking good for exercise motivation?

Straining with weights in the gym and being yelled at by a personal trainer isn’t appealing, right? But interesting walks in nature or treadmill walking watching your favourite show means you’re going to want to do it and stick to it.

Research has shown that walking can be a motivating and sustainable exercise due to its accessibility and adaptability. 

People are more likely to maintain a walking routine compared to other forms of physical activity, partly due to the ease of weaving it into their daily activities.

If you do exercise you enjoy, you’re less likely to fall off the wagon and more likely to keep it up. The result? Well…results.

woman walking

How can you add more steps to your day?

Adding more steps to your day is easier than you think. Once you change your mindset, you’ll see opportunities to add steps everywhere. Start feeling the health benefits of walking today.

Just starting out? Follow these simple steps

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Park further away from your destination to increase your walking distance.
  • Set a timer to take short, brisk walks around your home or office every hour.
  • Establish a daily goal for step count and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with walking.

Already active? Try these steps

  • Add brisk walking or hiking into leisure activities on weekends or during vacations.
  • Set specific challenges, such as completing a certain number of steps before lunch or dinner.
  • Add interval training by alternating between brisk walking and periods of higher intensity.
  • Join a walking group or participate in walking events to stay motivated and socialise with like-minded steppers.

Try a walking routine that you vary every month. Adapting and mixing up walking routines makes them more fun to do.

Can you lose weight walking?

The answer is, yes. Let us explain how.

Calories in vs calories out

Walking can totally contribute to weight loss by creating a calorie deficit, where the calories burned exceed the calories consumed. 

Calorie intake and energy expenditure play vital roles in weight management, as they adhere to the principle of "calories in, calories out."

This is it in a nutshell…

This principle emphasises the balance between energy intake (calories consumed) and energy expenditure (calories burned through exercise). 

Walking, as a form of exercise, can contribute to the "calories out" side of the equation by helping you burn calories. For example, a 30-minute brisk walk can burn around 225 calories, contributing to the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss.

Burn more calories with walking

If you start walking and you find you’re making progress, you might want to burn more calories by increasing the intensity, duration, and frequency of your walks.


Brisk walking or adding intervals of higher intensity can elevate the heart rate and increase calorie expenditure. For instance, power walking or speed walking can burn more calories compared to walking at a leisurely pace. 

You can challenge yourself with a faster walking speed as your fitness level increases.


Walking for longer periods of time allows for a greater total energy expenditure. By extending the duration of each walking session, more calories can be burned. For example, a 60-minute brisk walk will generally burn more calories than stepping for 30 minutes.


Increasing the frequency of walking sessions can contribute to a higher overall calorie burn throughout the week. Instead of walking only once or twice, adding additional sessions can result in a greater calorie expenditure.

You can also include stairs in your workouts

Climbing stairs provides a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that engages multiple muscle groups, helping to burn more calories.

You can try intentionally seeking out staircases or using a stair climber machine. This can increase the intensity of your workout and challenge your body in new ways. 

This not only supports weight loss efforts but also improves cardiovascular endurance, strengthens lower body muscles, and enhances your fitness overall. 

Walking is the perfect exercise in terms of how you can tweak it to suit your goals. So whether that means you need to walk faster to shed more pounds or take long walks, there is the option to increase several aspects of this type of exercise.

woman walking up stairs

The body-boosting benefits of walking

Walking has an amazing amount of benefits for both the body and the mind. Let’s check them out below.

Lose weight sustainably

As we know, walking as an exercise can help you shed pounds by contributing to a calorie deficit. When you walk, you burn calories, and if your calorie burn exceeds your calorie intake, you create a deficit that can lead to weight loss. 

Walking regularly, especially at a brisk pace, can help you burn calories and fat. 

Another benefit to do with losing weight is that it can help you burn calories even when at rest.


Walking increases your metabolic rate, leading to calorie burning even when at rest. When you engage in physical activity like walking, your body requires more energy to perform the exercise. 

This increased energy demand can elevate your metabolic rate during and immediately after the activity. But the effects don't stop there.

Walking also has the potential to elevate your metabolic rate for an extended period after you finish exercising, a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the "afterburn" effect. So that means you’re burning calories even after you stop walking.

It’s been proven that walking at a moderate intensity has been shown to increase EPOC and keep your metabolic rate elevated for a certain period after exercise.


Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise that engages various muscle groups, particularly in the lower body. As a result, it helps tone and strengthen muscles in the calves, thighs, glutes, and abdomen and toning them at the same time. 

Walking uphill or adding inclines to the mix can intensify the workout and further engage these muscles, contributing to toning and shaping the legs and core.

Of course, weight loss in general is going to give a tighter look to the body, so the combination of fat loss and toning will create a physique to be proud of.

Heart health

Walking is a simple and effective way to promote heart health. If you get regular with your walks, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Walking strengthens the heart muscle, improves circulation, and results in lower blood pressure. This type of exercise helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, as well as staving off or lessening the effects of cardiovascular disease. 

Did you know? It isn’t just the heart that walking is beneficial for; it’s great exercise for people with health conditions such as arthritis, cardiovascular issues, and respiratory conditions. 

Mental health

Walking, or any kind of exercise, is a way to achieve health benefits for not only your body but your mind and mental health.

Studies show the relationship between walking and mental health, showcasing the positive effects of walking on emotional wellbeing. Yes, walking can even promote recovery from mental health disorders and is an essential measure for improving mental health.

What is better than a beautiful walk in nature whilst listening to your favourite playlists? Oh, and if you’re looking for motivational music to strut to, check out our very own PhenQ Spotify ‘Step into Spring’ playlist

Walking versus running

Let’s discuss walking versus running and how they compare as forms of exercise. And their fat-burning potential.


Walking and running can both be done for varying durations, depending on your preferences and fitness levels. 

A typical walking session may last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, while running sessions usually range from 20 minutes to several hours for more experienced runners.


Running is generally considered a higher-intensity activity compared to walking. The higher speed and impact involve a greater effort and result in a higher heart rate and oxygen consumption. 

Walking, on the other hand, is a lower-intensity activity with a moderate walking pace and lower impact on the body.

Calorie Burn

Running typically burns more calories per unit of time compared to walking due to the higher intensity. 

For example, an average 160-pound person may burn around 314 calories in 30 minutes of running at a five mph pace, while walking at a 3.5 mph pace for the same duration may burn around 165 calories.


People’s motivation can vary when choosing between walking and running. 

Some may find the challenge and intensity of running more appealing, while others prefer the lower-impact and more relaxed nature of walking. It can come down to your own fitness goals and level of enjoyment when choosing which type of exercise. 

According to the National Sporting Goods Association, around 80 million Americans walk for exercise, while about 60 million engage in running or jogging activities. This shows just how commonly people opt for walking as exercise.

grouple of people walking in forest

Walking routines

Let’s talk about actionable weekly walking workouts. Whether you’re already exercising throughout the day or you’re just starting out on your exercise journey, we’ve put together a weekly walking routine to get you into the swing of things.

Week 1: Beginner Walking Routine

Day 1: Brisk Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up at a comfortable pace
  • 20-minute brisk walk
  • Five-minute cool-down at a slower pace

Day 2: Rest day. Light stretching only

Day 3: Interval Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • Alternate between a brisk walk for two minutes and a slower pace for one minute for a total of 20 minutes
  • Five-minute cool-down

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5: Hill Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • Walk uphill for 10 to15 minutes (whether outdoors or on an incline on a treadmill)
  • Walk downhill or on a flat surface for five minutes to recover
  • Repeat this pattern for a total of 30 to 45 minutes
  • Five-minute cool-down

Day 6: Rest day

Day 7: Brisk Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • 30-minute brisk walk
  • Five-minute cool-down

If you already exercise, adding walking into your routine can provide even more body-boosting health benefits. Check out the routine below.

Week 1: Walking routine for experienced exercisers

Day 1: Power Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • 30-minute power walk (maintain a faster pace, engage your arms for intensity)
  • Five-minute cool-down

Day 2: Rest day (engage in light stretching or other low-impact activities)

Day 3: Interval Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • Alternate between a brisk walk for two minutes and a slower pace for one minute for a total of 30 minutes
  • Five-minute cool-down

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5: Hill Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • Walk uphill for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Walk downhill or on a flat surface for 10 minutes to recover
  • Repeat this pattern for a total of 45-60 minutes
  • Five-minute cool-down

Day 6: Rest day

Day 7: Power Walk

  • Five-minute warm-up
  • 45-minute power walk
  • Five-minute cool-down

Read: How many steps should I be doing a day?

How PhenQ can help

Here at PhenQ, we’re all about walking for exercise. We believe that alongside a healthy diet, both of these factors can result in you shedding those unwanted pounds.

Our powerful slimming formula is the ideal supplement to take during your fitness and weight loss journey. Fast, simple and packed with natural fat-burning ingredients, the ingredients in our formula have been proven to…

  • Burn stored fat
  • Suppress your appetite
  • Block fat production
  • Improve energy levels and mood

Go on, join us in reaching for self-love and being the best version of yourself today. Download our free tracking sheet to record your walking progress and get started on the right foot today.