Does walking speed affect weight loss?

Q: I purchased my treadmill about one month ago and have been walking for one hour, 4 – 6 times a week. I am only walking at 3.2-3.3 speed and have not noticed any weight loss. Am I walking too slowly? I log only 2.5-2.7 miles each work out. I find that if I go any faster my calves burn and it becomes very uncomfortable. I want to get the best workout for my time and still enjoy it. Any suggestions? Also, how long does it take before a change in the body is noticed?

A: The speed you are walking is fine for a person who is just getting used to a treadmill. And you’re still in that stage. The fact that you’re starting walking an hour at a time tells me you’re in pretty good shape. Your calves burn because they are not conditioned to walking faster yet. And that can take a while. In order to get comfortable with faster speeds, pick up your pace for 30 seconds to a minute, and then return to your average pace.

Keep doing this until you can extend the time to two minutes, then three, etc., without feeling the burn. Whenever you feel the burn, back off to your average pace until you recover. This is the way to get faster, without injury or strain. It’s called interval training. Have fun!

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