Often, the reason most of us avoid the gym like the plague is because we feel inadequate. Compared to the near-professionals pumping iron next to us like their life depends on it, we’re there drowning in sweat after two minutes jogging on level 9 of the treadmill and it makes us feel terrible.
But actually, the joke’s on them. Because celebrity personal trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak, who trains the likes of Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande says that, actually, walking is the best way to burn body fat. D’you here that? Walking.
Speaking to Business Insider, Harley explains that although you’ll burn more calories per minute with more intense forms of cardio like running, more of these will come from non-fat sources in your body. But if you want to work on shifting some of your excess fat, low intensity cardio is your guy because it heads straight to your fat reserves and starts burning there.
And there’s another reason the personal trainer says it’s not the best idea to always stick to high intensity work-outs; they make you more hungry afterwards.
“You hear people after a spin class, they get out of there and they’re ravenous. And they go have a gluten-free scone and a fresh-pressed, sugar-laden juice,” says Harley. The more you eat, the more calories you’re gaining again, which essentially defeats the object of having worked so hard in the first place.
And he backs up his theory with stats; an average American will only walk around 4,100 steps per day, whereas those who live in some of the world’s healthiest countries have a much higher average of 10,000. So hike up that step count and you’ll be on your way to getting slimmer.
But before you start skipping your favorite workouts, Nutrition Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute, Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, says that moderate-intensity exercise may be beneficial for fat cells and high intensity training may be beneficial for boosting metabolic rate. “But ultimately, the workout that works best for you is one that you actually enjoy doing enough to keep you busy and happy coming back for more — a.k.a doing it regularly.”
If you do want to give walking to lose weight a try, London recommends finding a location that’s easy enough for you to walk comfortably,but might be just a teensy bit out of your way to start. “Taking small, quantifiable steps toward your goals is just as important in fitness as it is in nutrition and weight-loss, so the best thing about walking — it often can feel like just a slight cherry on top of an already busy day that can help you reach your goals in a more efficient way.”
So start hoofing it!