Of all the ways to lose weight walking is a calorie burning activity that will suit most people of all ages weights and ability.
The great thing about walking is that you can settle on your own individual pace, plan your own route and do as much or as little as you wish.
Best of all it can cost nothing to walk (apart from a little bit of shoe leather!). No fancy sports equipment, high tech running shoes or special clothing unless you are a real walking fanatic like my friend Tony here in the photo.
Frequent walks can help you with many benefits:
- Maintain a weight which is healthy
- Strengthen bone and muscle fibre
- Walking can improve balance and coordination
- You can use the time spent learning other skills through listening to ausiobooks and podcasts or simply enjoying music while you walk
- You see things and explore places you would not normally visit
- Its good for a variety of medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes,blood pressure and heart desease
- It makes you feel good and gives you positive vibes improvng your general outlook and mood
How Many Calories Burned Walking?
Everyones calorie burning rate is different and depends on several factors such as metabolism, weight, age and distance walked. Distance walked is generally the key factor and an easy yardstick is 180lb person = 100 calories/per mile and 120lb person = 65 calories/per mile. You can adjust the calories calculated proportionally to your own weight. Don’t forget this will give you a rough guide to average calories burned walking and it’s not an exact science.
On this rule of thumb estimate:
calories burned walking 1 mile = 65
calories burned walking 2 miles = 130
calories burned walking 3 miles = 195
calories burned walking 4 miles = 260
calories burned walking 5 miles = 325
calories burned walking 1 mile = 100
calories burned walking 2 miles = 200
calories burned walking 3 miles = 300
calories burned walking 4 miles = 400
calories burned walking 5 miles = 500
Speed does make a difference e.g. a 120lb person walking at 2 mph burns 68 calories per mile but the same person walking at 5mph burns 87 calories. Studies show that increasing your speed does not generally increase calorie burn until you exceed 4mph. This appears to be due to more muscle groups kicking into action, such as in your arms as the stride intensity increases.
For those of you who are beginning to use walking as a main exercise it is better to start with a lower speed and increase the distance with each consecutive walk before increasing the speed significantly.
Are you burning sufficient calories to lose weight – workout calorie calculator
If you burn more calories that you consume you will lose weight. It’s not rocket science and that cheesy old quote ‘What gets measured gets managed’ is particularly significant in trying to achieve weight loss through walking.
The first thing you need to do is calculate your daily calorie burn. Self nutrition data have a simple workout calorie calculater that determines your daily burn according to age, wieght and activity level. You can use this to determine what you burn at at your current level of activity.
Next – find out what you consume (eat drink) to see what your body’s intake level is. Most food and drink packaging will give you the calorie rate. You can then see how much excersise you will need to increase the output (calories burned) to a level above the calories consumed (eaten/drunk).
There are many phone aps that have calorie counters or the Calorie King – Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter 2016 is a great publication that includes 200 menu items from fast food outlets. Note that it is quite pricey but if you are serious about keeping tabs on your calorie intake this highly rated reference is a huge asset.
I, me and myself…
I worked out that at my original consumption level (pre-walks) I had an intake of roughly 3000 calories per day and according to the stats actually consumed 2800 calories per day. I needed to reduce this imbalance to lose weight.
I started walking every day of the week and averaged around 500 calories per-walk and started to eat more sensibly so that I was down to an intake of around 2600 calories per day. 2500 – 500 = intake – exercise which reduced the calory balance per day to 2100 well below my stats level of 2800.
As you can imagine I lost weight rapidly and shed well over half a stone in two months. Not a drastic amount but then again I didn’t starve myself trying to get there!
Gradual loss is always better than crash diets in my opinion as you are not constantly listening to that negative little gremlin perched on your shoulder. You know the little critter’s voice…‘go on – it’s only one cookie after all!’
To lose a pound of body fat in a week you need to burn roughly 500 calories a day more than you consume i.e. 3500 calories. Although this may sound a lot you could achieve this by taking daily walks and consuming less calories.
If you can curb your food easily and also enjoy walking you are onto a winner. For the rest of us mere mortals it takes determination and iron will power to combine a ‘diet’ with exercise.
However once you have established a pattern and gone through the pain barrier continual daily walks becomes a habit and you will start to want to walk more as each day passes…honestly!
Another free gadget that helps to motivate is a pedometer that monitors calories burnt. This can either be via a smartphone ap such as ‘Endemondo’ which I have used for the last 12 months and it is excellent and free!
Or if you would rather something a bit more exotic take a look at some of the electronic wrist/ attachable gadgets that can do this and much more in my fitness tracker review section
walking makes you feel better, fitter, helps manage,maintain and in some cases prevents medical conditions and lets you lose wieght.
Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself a break? – Get Walking!