Did you know that just walking one mile a day can burn a considerable number of calories? I was surprised when I found out it was possible!
When it comes to working out, walking is one of the most accessible activities. In addition, it’s safe and effective since it has a low impact on our joints and doesn’t require too much physical effort.
I love walking because I can do it anywhere. Also, it’s one of the best exercises when I want to shed a few extra pounds because it can support weight loss.
As long as we pair this activity with a healthy diet and lifestyle, including enough sleep, we can burn a significant number of calories by walking.
Let’s learn more about why this exercise is a top choice for burning calories and reaping other health benefits.
Walking to Lose Weight? Why Is It a Good Choice?
Although walking is a simple way to move and exercise, it offers many health benefits. Even if it is only one mile, our body’s demand for energy increases when we walk. As a result, this activity boosts our metabolism and helps us burn calories.
Every time we move or perform any action, including sleeping, breathing, or digesting food, we burn calories.
Actually, our body gets energy from the calories we consume through food and burns them passively throughout the day.
It happens through body functioning, but the number of calories burned increases if we move actively, whether by walking or doing other exercises.
Also, walking not only boosts our metabolism. This activity can control the production of cortisol and other stress hormones that can contribute to weight gain.
Experts explain that high cortisol levels can cause belly fat. However, when we walk, we can reduce stress and lose weight.
Moreover, if we don’t need to lose some extra pounds, walking can help us maintain a healthy weight and burn fat.
Walking also has effects on our physique. This exercise can strengthen our muscles and bones while supporting cardiovascular endurance.
Finally, this simple way to move can also improve sleep, which is also essential for losing weight and staying healthy.
When I’m deprived of sleep, my food choices tend to be unhealthy, as I’m mostly craving foods with too much sugar or salt.
However, a walk can help me sleep like a baby. It happens because this exercise can burn excess energy and has a relaxing effect.
Walking can also contribute to anxiety or stress management, giving our body and mind a more restful sleep.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking?
Various factors determine the number of calories we can burn while walking, including our age, weight, and height. The more weight, the more energy we burn, for example.
Our workout intensity, duration, and pace can also influence the number of calories we burn. Let’s check the following averages.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 30 Minutes?
On average, a 150-lb person can burn about 50 calories walking for 20 minutes at a mild pace, which is about 2.5 miles per hour.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking for 1 Hour?
In this regard, a 150-lb person walking for an hour at a mild pace can burn around 100 calories.
Contrastingly, a 120-lb individual would burn only about 85 calories walking at the same pace.
However, we can increase the number of calories we burn if we speed up or play around with extra equipment.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 1 Mile If We Speed Up?
While the average per mile is around 50 calories at a mild pace, speeding up can help us burn more energy.
Walking at a pace of 3 miles per hour can help a 150-lb person burn at least 115 calories per mile on average.
A 120-lb person might burn 100 calories per mile at the same pace, for example.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 2 Miles?
If we speed up and walk 2 miles in 30-40 minutes, we can burn around 230 calories (it applies to 150-lb individuals).
However, a 120-lb individual would burn only 200 calories when walking the same distance and at the same pace.
Can Other Factors Affect the Number of Calories We Burn Walking?
Walking can definitely help us burn calories and lose weight. However, different genetic, dietary, demographic, and lifestyle factors can influence weight loss.
These factors may or may not be under our control. I decide what I eat or how many hours I sleep each day. However, I cannot change my metabolic rate, age, and gender.
Some people have a faster metabolic rate, meaning they can burn more calories. Men have more muscle mass and faster metabolism than women, for example.
Also, the rate at which we lose weight or the number of calories we burn can decrease as we age, lose muscle mass, or become less active.
How to Increase Calories Burned When Walking
Increasing the number of calories we burn while walking is not rocket science. As mentioned, picking up our pace is the easiest way to do so.
Walking at Moderate Pace to Burn More Calories
There’s a natural process that explains why this happens. If we increase the intensity of our workout, our heart rate rises.
As a result, our body needs more energy and burns more calories. Walking a long distance can have a similar effect and help us build endurance.
Walking Uphills or on a Slope
Also, when we add an incline, our heart also pumps faster, which means it also makes our body burn more calories because it needs more energy. That’s why I usually look for hills when I’m walking outside.
Are you using a treadmill? Don’t worry! Since they have been designed to push our feet away, these devices can help us burn more calories during workouts. However, we can set incline levels to 1.5 or higher for better results.
When we use a treadmill and add an incline, we mimic outside walking, which often requires more physical effort and energy. As a result, we burn more calories and optimize our weight loss efforts.
Also, incline walking has other benefits. Besides burning more calories, it can tone our glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, and core. In other words, it’s a great activity to improve our physique.
However, you should consider some recommendations to make this exercise safer.
We should always keep our shoulders back and avoid hinging at the hips. Engaging our core while doing incline walking can also be highly beneficial.
Using Equipment While Walking
Different types of equipment can also help us burn more calories when we walk.
Resistance bands and dumbbells are my favorite options, but a backpack could also help us add a little more weight when walking.
What Happens When We Play Around with Extra Equipment or Terrain?
As mentioned, playing around with extra equipment or walking on uneven terrain can help us burn more calories.
If we use hand weights and swing our arms to shoulder height for at least 25 minutes while walking, we can lose up to 20% more calories.
The same is true if we use ankle weights. I’ve used them! They make my leg muscle workout more intense, so I strengthen those muscle groups while burning more calories.
Based on these facts, these are the average calories that a 150-lb person can burn when walking uphill or with extra weights.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 3 Miles?
At a pace of 2.5 miles per hour, incline walking or walking with weights can help us burn around 60-70 calories per mile, which can amount to over 200 calories in total.
Actually, the average calorie burn for a person who walks 3 miles a day is 210-360 calories.
If we speed up, the average per mile also increases, exceeding 100 calories per mile in some cases.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 4 Miles?
In this regard, walking 4 miles with inclines or weights can help us burn 300 calories or more at a brisk pace.
How Many Calories Are Burned Walking 5 Miles?
If the distance is longer, reaching 5 miles in less than two hours, the number of calories burned can be around 400 calories at a mild pace or over 500-600 at a brisk pace.
Calories Burned Walking – Are We Burning Enough?
Knowing how many calories we’re burning while walking can be confusing if we don’t have a tracker or calories burned walking calculator. However, our bodies can tell us if our effort is paying off.
When I’m slightly out of breath during a workout, I know I’m working hard enough. Experiencing this if we were to talk while walking and having a thin layer of sweat covering our body are indicators that we are on the right track.
We can also measure how hard we’re working during physical activity through the rate of perceived exertion (RPE). It’s a scale from one to 10 that lets us know if we’re not trying hard enough.
During a slow, long walk, the RPE should be at six out of 10. However, when intensity ramps up or we’re doing a type of walking workout with extra weight and incline hills, the RPE should be at least seven.
How Diet Influences Weight Loss
Diet is another essential aspect when it comes to weight loss. Mistakenly, people overemphasize exercise. However, good nutrition is essential to reach our goals and shed those extra pounds.
As mentioned, the number of calories you can burn while walking depends on several factors, such as age, body weight, and height.
The type of activity also influences how many calories we burn. Brisk walking requires more energy than a casual walk, for example.
There’s a scientific formula to losing weight: we must burn more calories than we eat.
Therefore, if we want to lose weight with this simple activity, we can use a walking calorie calculator or talk to a physical or physical trainer to determine how many calories we should consume and burn per day.
Meanwhile, we can start by making better and healthier choices. A balanced and nutritious plate should include 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
In addition, we should aim to base our diet on high-quality foods, such as vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of fiber. These are some examples:
- Lean proteins: White-fleshed fish, low-fat cheese, lean beef, lean chicken, lentils, tofu, beans, and plain Greek yogurt.
- Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, kale, asparagus, carrots, brussels sprouts, green peas, bell peppers, beets, and more.
- Healthy fats: Olive, canola, sunflower oil, soymilk, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, fatty fish, fish oil, egg yolks, avocados, dark chocolate, and coconut oil.
- Foods with high fiber content: Fruits, whole grains, and beans.
It’s also important to avoid products or foods with hidden calories, especially during the holiday season. This group includes alcohol, sugary drinks, coffee creamers, and refined sugars.
Best Way to Track Calories Burned Walking
If I want to track the calories I burn while walking, I use weight loss apps. There are many options for our smartphones! Most can help us calculate the estimated number of calories for each day or workout.
Some fitness trackers can also calculate the percentages of macronutrients, micronutrients, and calories for a person. However, they may vary based on our goals, activity levels, and medical conditions.
Trackers are great if we want to be more aware of our food choices and understand what we need in terms of calorie intake or macros and micros.
However, a physician can better assess our physical condition and determine our medical needs to help us know the number of calories we should burn or consume daily.
Also, we shouldn’t stress too much about how many calories we burn while walking. If we only do it for half an hour, we can reap this activity’s physical and mental benefits.
Factors Influencing Our Calorie Burn
Knowing exactly how many calories the average person burns is tricky. As mentioned, it varies by different factors.
The average person can burn between 140 and 240 calories walking 2.5 miles. However, the type of activity and intensity can increase calorie burn.
A brisk walk, which has a typical speed of 4 mph and can cover a mile in just 15 minutes, can burn a lot more calories.
Overall, a 150-lb person can burn about 30 calories for a 5-minute brisk walk.
To sum up, these are the factors that influence the number of calories burned walking:
- Walking distance
- Walking speed
- Time we spend walking
- Body weight
- Type of activity
- Workout intensity
- Metabolic rate
- Lifestyle choices
- Sleeping patterns
Final Thoughts: How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?
I love walking. Besides helping me burn calories, this activity is one of the best ways to unwind after a stressful and busy day.
Also, it’s a low-impact exercise that can bring many physical and mental benefits. Even if we aren’t fitness enthusiasts, we can lose weight or keep fit if we walk for at least half an hour every day.
However, in order to determine how many calories we should burn, we have to consider different factors. Some are under our control, but others aren’t.
Fortunately, you don’t have to stress too much about how many calories you burn while walking. Being up and moving can greatly contribute to a healthy lifestyle!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Weight Can You Lose By Burning Calories Walking?
If you cover 2.5 or 3 miles in an hour walk daily for at least five days a week, you’ll burn an extra 1,000 to 1,800 calories, depending on the factors mentioned above.
As a result, if your diet is healthy, you can lose up to ½ pounds of body fat a week.
Does Running Burn More Calories Than Walking?
Yes, it does! Running requires more effort, even if it’s at a slow pace. Therefore, it burns around 70% more calories than walking over the same distance and time.
What Happens If I Walk Downhill?
When we walk downhill, we burn fewer calories. However, it’s only by a little. Studies have shown that we burn about 6.5-6.6% fewer calories per mile in these cases.