How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking?

The number of calories while walking varies from person to person. You may walk the same route at the same speed with a friend who weighs about the same and is of similar age, and one of you will burn more calories than the other. Why is that?How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking?

The Other Variable

Besides weight, age speed and distance, the other variable is fitness level. If one of you is more fit than the other, the one that is most fit will have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR), meaning that person naturally burns more calories at rest. While you can’t directly control your BMR, you can increase it by improving your fitness level; this is where walking comes in.

Know Your BMR

Regardless if you are walking to lose weight or improve fitness, you have to know your BMR as a starting point. An online search for “Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator” brings up a host of options. Pick one and enter your information – height, weight and age (and sedentary, if it asks for fitness level). The results are the number of calories your body needs each day to maintain your current weight at your current fitness level.

For example, a female weighing 120 pounds, 30 years old and 5 foot 4 inches tall needs to eat 1700 calories per day to maintain her current weight. To lose a pound of weight per week, she has to burn 2400 calories per day.

Calories Burned Walking

So how far and fast does she have to walk to burn the additional 500 calories per day? On average, our example walking 3 mph for an hour burns 200 calories. And because speed is a factor, it makes sense that if she walked at a faster rate, she would have covered a greater distance over the same amount of time and would have burned even more calories. Having walked at 3.5 mph, would have burned an additional 50 calories.

Now before you think you are going to have to walk 2.5 hours per day, don’t forget that household chores also burn calories, so they factor into your 500 calories per day burned. For example, 30 minutes each of daily activities, such as showering, making beds, doing dishes and laundry, burn over 400 calories. Add in your hour walk and you are at 600 calories burned for the day.

Sometimes all it takes is to add in an hour of brisk walking per day – walking with a purpose – to get the extra calorie burn you need to lose weight. As you become more fit, and your basal metabolic rate increases, so will the number of calories burned at the same activity level. So strap on your walking shoes and go for a walk!

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