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Will Parking Far from Buildings Really Make You Lose Weight?

Updated on June 30, 2019
Lorra Garrick profile image

Former ACE-certified personal trainer Lorra Garrick has trained men and women for fat loss, muscle building, and more strength and fitness.

I’m sure that if you’ve been chronically trying to lose weight, you’ve read at least a dozen times somewhere that one of the things you should do is to park far from your building of destination – to force extra walking into your life.

The more buildings you visit, the more potentially effective this strategy can be – under certain circumstances, that is.

Circumstances Under Which Parking Far from a Building Will NOT Cause Weight Loss

  • The extra walking is “house-walking.” This is the pace you normally walk around your house or inside buildings. Merely adding more house-walking to your life will not trim your body, even if you make frequent trips every week to various destinations.
  • Feeling you’re entitled to an extra large piece of pie because you did a lot of walking in parking lots earlier that day.

How to Lose Weight from Extra Walking in a Parking Lot

It’s possible. But, like for any physical activity, you will have to earn the weight loss.

I see the following all the time: A shopper is slowly walking the upward grade of a parking lot. They are moving lethargically on that mild incline – when instead, they have a perfect opportunity to get in a hearty work interval.

You can walk as fast as you can up that little incline, run it, or lunge-walk it. This assumes you are not encumbered with three preschoolers. But even if you’re carrying a child or package, you can still make an effort to walk up that grade as fast as possible.

Thus, every time there’s an upward grade, go for it. Move as fast as you can. If you’re not breathing heavily at the end, then you didn’t try hard enough.

Never mind what people will think about an adult galloping across a parking lot. If they can’t appreciate the benefits of inserting brief quick runs into your daily life, then that’s their problem.

Making use of inclines like this – assuming you have ample opportunity – will help you shed some weight.

If there are never any inclines wherever you go, then walk very briskly anyways. If you frequently go out, all that fast walking will help aid in weight loss. You can also add dashing to these parking lot walks.

Anything and everything helps. Leap onto curbs, run up steps, push shopping carts as fast as possible to your vehicle.

Eliminate house-walking altogether (unless you have a sprained ankle or pulled hamstring).

As mentioned, if you don’t go out much, you won’t lose weight with an occasional incline dash or 4 mph walk across a large parking lot.

But the more often you go out, the more potential there is for this approach to knock off five, maybe even 10 pounds.

An Adjunct to a Regular Exercise Program

Parking far from buildings is an accessory to a regular, structured exercise regimen of both cardio and strength training.

Even if you don’t need to lose weight, you should still make the most of your parking lot walks.

Does this mean every person should park far from the doors? No. It just means that whatever walking you need to do, do it with gusto rather than with sluggishness. This will help preserve mobility in older age.

Nevertheless, if you have weight to lose, and weather permitting, park far from buildings BUT give those walks an element of intensity.


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