The western world might be of fast paced mode but everything is of automation so manual, physical exertion is of minimal existence. So if you want to sweat (which could mean losing some weight), you have to intentionally do it. Back home in the Philippines, we exert physical efforts almost at all times because there was less automation, at least when I was living there. I had to wash clothes by hands, put them up on the clothes line to dry, swept and washed the floor manually because we did not own a vacuum or floor mop. I had to do a lot of walking because I did not own any vehicle. So for years and years I weighed anywhere from 98 to 109 pounds with my height of 5'4" - I was screwny.
The speed to walk for optimal fat-burning is a "determined" pace. At this rate, you should be breathing noticeably but able to carry on a conversation in full sentences. Heart rate 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. Walk at this speed for 30 minutes at a time, once you have built up to that duration. Walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism. Walking an hour a day is also associated with cutting your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and stroke.
Walking with racewalk style at paces under 13-minute miles will burn more calories per mile. This if you are already walking 20 miles a week as described above. To achieve more results purely from waking you may want to build speed as well as duration, about 30-60 minutes at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate is recommended. Start with walking at an easy pace for 5-10 minutes. Stop and do some stretches and flexibility exercises. Walk at your target heart rate for 30-60 minutes. Cool down at a slower pace for 5 minutes. Finish with some gentle stretches.
For longer walks, walk 30-60 minutes at your target heart rate and slow a bit to complete 90 or 120 minutes at a comfortable pace. If your schedule doesn't permit it, break it up into walking twice or three times a day for shorter periods. Always warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace no matter what duration you will be walking. For weight loss, walk most days of the week.
Time spent walking per week should be 5-10 hours. On your non-walking days, try some strength training exercises. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off. But be sure to get back walking the following day.
Walking shoes are your most important item of gear. The best shoe for you is the the one that fits you best, the one that gives you the proper support, flexibility, cushioning, and compensates for any stride problems you may have, such as overpronation. Each person's feet are different. I did invest in 2 pairs of walking shoes. As a nursy, I am on my feet 12 hours when I am working so if you are looking for slenders legs ... that will not be mine... hehehe!!! Mine are probably as strong as yours if not stronger, many years of being on my feet kinda did that.
If you are short on time you want to get the most out of your walking workout. How can you accomplish this? By burning more calories during your walking workout. Here are some ideas to help you accomplish just that. The easiest way to burn more calories walking is to simply walk faster. If you are just walking around for now, pick up the pace and get your heart pumping. Start by walking faster for a few minutes, then giving yourself a break while walking at your regular pace. Keep going back and forth between the two speeds. Before you know it you will get used to the new pace and will be able to keep it up during your entire walking workout.