Walking is a great way to exercise because it can be done anywhere– indoors on a treadmill, on the street, at a break during work or while running errands.
Regular physical activity plays an important role in maintaining a health weight or promoting weight loss. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate aerobic activity for at least two and a half hours each week or vigorous aerobic activity for one hour and 15 minutes during the week. In addition, they recommend strength training activities at least twice a week.
To burn enough calories for weight loss, a general rule is 3,500 calories equals about one pound of fat, so you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound. Cutting 500 calories from your diet daily will cause you do to lose one pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).
Calories Burned by Walking
Calories burned by walking depends on speed, duration and the person’s weight. Generally, the more a person weighs, the more calories they will burn since their body has to work harder to exercise. Here is a guideline for how many calories a person can burn by walking for one mile.
- 100 lb person burns 57 calories at 2.0mph, 52 calories at 3.5mph and 73 calories at 5.0mph.
- 120 lb person burns 68 calories at 2.0mph, 62 calories at 3.5mph, and 87 calories at 5.0mph.
- 140 lb person burns 80 calories at 2.0mph, 73 calories at 3.5mph and 102 calories at 5.0mph.
- 160 lb person burns 91 calories at 2.0mph, 83 calories at 3.5mph and 102 calories at 5.0mph.
- 180 lb person burns 102 calories at 2.0mph, 94 calories at 3.5mph and 131 calories at 5.0mph.
- 200 lb person burns 114 calories at 2.0mph, 104 calories at 3.5mph and 145 calories at 5.0mph.
- 220 lb person burns 125 calories at 2.0mph, 114 calories at 3.5mph and 160 calories at 5.0mph.
- 250 lb person burns 142 calories at 2.0mph, 130 calories at 3.5mph, and 182 calories at 5.0mph.
- 275 lb person burns 156 calories at 2.0mph, 143 calories at 3.5mph and 200 calories at 5.0mph.
- 300 lb person burns 170 calories at 2.0mph, 156 calories at 3.5mph and 218 calories at 5.0mph.
Tips for Burning More Calories
Brisk or speed walking will burn more calories than light or casual walking. To burn more calories, try speeding up your pace, walking on hilly surfaces, going hiking or using weighs on your legs or carried in your hands. For example, a person that weighs 150 pounds and walks for an hour can burn 170 calories walking at 2.0 miles per hour (mph) compared to walking 3.5 mph uphill to burn 408 calories.
Try to walk throughout the day. If location permits, walk to work or school. Walking to work or class burns 272 calories per hour (150 pound person.) Take the kids on a walk in the stroller, which can burn 170 calories or more in an hour. Walk during a work break to burn 238 calories in an hour or 119 calories in half an hour. Find other ways to walk, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking at a fast pace while running errands or shopping.
Calories burned by walking is not the only benefit to being active; you’ll look better and have more energy as well. As making time to walk becomes a habit, you’ll find it becomes easier and more enjoyable, too.
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