One of the easiest exercises to do is walking. You can walk anywhere—on your treadmill in the living room or just taking a stroll around your neighborhood—and it’s low-impact for your joints. Walking can also burn a lot of calories, which, if weight loss is your aim, can help you achieve it.
The NikkiFitness YouTube Channel’s owner and fitness teacher Nicole Glor asserts that walking is one of the finest workouts for losing weight. Walking may undoubtedly aid in weight loss attempts when combined with a good diet and way of life that includes managing stress, getting enough sleep, and exercising, says Shana Maleeff, M.A., R.D.
Why walking is a top choice for weight loss?
This straightforward kind of exercise has a number of health advantages. Walking increases your body’s need for energy, which boosts your metabolism, according to Maleeff. In other words, it aids in calorie burning. She says, “Anything that moves your body burns calories.” We consume energy through food, which is then passively burned through bodily processes like breathing or digestion as well as through active movement like walking or exercise.
Walking increases metabolism and reduces stress chemicals like cortisol, which can cause weight gain. According to Maleeff, high cortisol levels might cause belly obesity. Walking not only helps relieve stress, which can aid with weight loss, but it also burns calories.
Walking might help you sleep better. Maleeff says that when we lack sleep, we often crave foods that are higher in salt and sugar and tend to make unhealthy dietary decisions. Walking can help burn off excess energy and relax the mind, which can help you feel more at peace and get a better night’s sleep.
According to Glor, walking also promotes “cardiovascular endurance, improves your bones and muscles, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.”
How many calories does walking burn?
Your age, height, and weight, as well as the intensity, duration, and tempo of your walking routine, all affect how many calories you burn. According to Glor, the more weight you have, the more calories you burn.
According to Glor, a 150-pound person will typically burn 100 calories per mile at a moderate speed (2.5 miles per hour), and a 120-pound person will typically burn 85 calories per mile at the same pace. You can burn a little bit more calories by moving more quickly. A 150-pound individual will typically burn 115 calories per mile while walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour, whereas a 120-pound person may only burn 100 calories per mile, according to Glor.
To burn more calories when walking, you can experiment with different terrain or additional equipment.
There are a lot of genetic, demographic, nutritional, and lifestyle factors that affect overall weight loss in addition to walking, which burns calories and can help with weight loss. Maleeff asserts that there are a variety of factors that affect weight reduction, both those that are under your control (such as diet and lifestyle decisions) and those that are not (such as age, gender, and metabolic rate).
For instance, some individuals are born with a faster metabolic rate, or a higher rate of calorie burning. Maleeff adds that men “also tend to have a higher metabolism, partly due to their size and muscle mass.” As we grow older and become less active while also losing muscular mass, our capacity to burn calories may also diminish.
How to increase calories burned walking?
Picking up your pace when walking is the simplest approach to burn more calories. According to Glor, upping the intensity of your workout causes your heart rate to increase, which uses up more energy and increases the number of calories you burn. To increase your endurance, you can also walk farther than you normally would on a casual stroll.
Your heart will beat more quickly and you will burn more calories during your workout if you add an incline. Glor advises, “Look for slopes if you’re strolling outside.” Additionally, Glor advises inclining your treadmill at 1.5 or higher if you’re walking. She explains that the treadmill is made to push your feet apart, so it does some of the work for you. “Increasing the incline simulates outside walking, which demands more work.”
Inclined walking helps tone the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core in addition to increasing calorie expenditure. When walking uphill, Glor advises “avoid hip hunching, maintain your shoulders back, and activate your core.”
Resistance bands, dumbbells, and even backpacks can be used to give some extra strength while you walk. This makes it easier to build your muscles and burn more calories, according to Glor.
Are you burning enough calories?
Knowing if you’re burning enough calories when walking without the aid of a tracker can be difficult. The good news is that you can assess your level of effort by looking at your body.
Have you ever struggled to breathe while working out? That’s a fairly excellent sign that you’re putting forth effort. Glor advises that if you were to converse while walking, you should try to maintain a small layer of sweat and feel somewhat out of breath. Your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) should be at a six out of ten if you’re performing a slower, longer endurance walk, advises Glor.
On a scale from one to 10, rate of perceived effort can be used to gauge how hard someone is working when engaging in physical activity. “Your RPE should be at a seven at least if you’re practising a higher intensity sort of walking program with dumbbell work, incline hills, or lunges throughout,” says Glor.
In addition to exercise, eating is a crucial component of weight loss because a bad diet will always win. Maleeff asserts that the main method of weight loss is nutrition, despite the fact that exercise is often overemphasized.
Your calorie needs are based on your age, height, and body weight. To find out exactly how many calories you should be ingesting and burning each day, utilize a weight loss calculator or consult a doctor or physical trainer.
Maleeff asserts that you may begin by making healthier decisions right now. Aim for a plate that contains 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat, she advises. Try to include lean meats, healthy fats, veggies, and fiber-rich foods like fruits and whole grains in your diet. And stay away from hidden calories like sugary drinks, excessive alcohol, refined sugars, and coffee creamers, especially during the holiday season.
How to track calories burned walking?
Fortunately, you may use fitness trackers and weight reduction apps to estimate how many calories you’ll burn each activity or day. A person’s percentages of macronutrients, micronutrients, and calories depend on their goals, degree of exercise, and medical problems, according to Maleeff. “Trackers are incredible tools because they make you more conscious of your dietary choices and help you understand what you’re looking at in terms of macros and micros, which may significantly affect weight loss.”
For tracking other health indicators like calories burnt, steps taken, water intake, and more, Glor advises obtaining a FitBit or utilizing an Apple Watch. Map My Run, MyFitnessPal, Strava, and RunKeeper are more useful applications for keeping track of steps and calories.
In the end, Glor advises against putting too much emphasis on the number of calories you burn when walking. “You’re going to experience the different physical and mental benefits of walking if you’re up and moving your body,” she claims.
Try this beginner-friendly walking workout at home
If you really want to step up your walking regimen, start with this easy-to-follow Glor walking routine that can be done on a treadmill or outside. For further toning, all you’ll need is a set of 3 to 5 pound weights.
Glor’s 4-Week Walking Plan:
- Week 1: Walk ½ mile or 10 minutes Monday through Friday. Rest Saturday, stretch Sunday.
- Week 2: Walk 1 mile or 20 minutes Monday through Friday. Rest Saturday, stretch Sunday.
- Week 3: Walk 2 miles or 30 minutes Monday through Friday. Rest Saturday, stretch Sunday.
- Week 4:Walk 3 miles or 40-45 minutes Monday through Friday, Rest Saturday, stretch Sunday.
Walk while performing the following dumbbell movements. For a complete set of arm-weighted intervals, perform these movements three times in the order of the written out intervals.
Biceps curl and kick: To exercise the biceps, step forward with the right leg, lift the left knee, and stretch the leg into a forceful forward kick with the left foot flexed. While lowering the weights, lower the left leg and kick with the right. For 30-second intervals, carry out the kicks and biceps curls again.
Stepping triceps kickbacks are performed with the left foot planted on the ground and rotated to the side with a slight knee bend. Put your right leg behind you and take a small lunge. With your elbows up, pull the weights into your ribcage (starting position). As you “kickback” the weights to work the triceps, bring the right knee in toward the other knee. Perform a 30-second interval while bringing the weights and your right leg back to the beginning position. Repeat on the opposite side while switching the facing direction.
Step forward with your left foot while holding weights by your hips to perform a shoulder-knee raise. As you lift the weights to just above your chest, raise your right leg to hip height. Step down with your right foot and lift your left knee as you lower the weights. Repeat at intervals of 30 seconds.
March for a count of four while leading with your right leg and holding weights in your hands. Shoulder lateral lift with lunge. Lift the weights to the sides with a small bend in your elbows while lunging forward with your right leg. Keep your torso directly over your hips and lunge deep enough such that your right knee is exactly over your right ankle and not out near or past the toe. Return to standing by pushing off your right foot, then lower your arms. Lift the weights laterally while extending your left leg forward and re-engaging your shoulders. To begin, push off with the left leg while lowering the weights. For a 60-second period, march for 4 counts and then repeat.
Inside biceps cross: Start by marching, then switch to a toe tap while keeping your arms outstretched and your palms facing away from you. Curl your left hand toward your right shoulder across your body when your right toe taps, keeping your left elbow near to your waist. Drop your left hand. Cross your right hand over your left shoulder while tapping your left big toe. Repeat at intervals of 30 seconds.
Lift both weights above your head while marching your feet back to the starting walking speed. The hands should contact at the knuckles and the elbows should be bent so that the weights are precisely behind the neck (starting position). Continue to march right and left while straightening your arms to raise the weights upward. (Two counts for feet equals one count for arms.) March right, left, and lower arms. Repeat after a pause of 30 seconds.