How many calories do you burn by walking?
Walking remains the most popular, accessible and enjoyable form of exercise worldwide. In our case, it is also an adventurous and budget conscious way to explore a beautiful city while getting rid of some calories!
No matter where you join us on a walking tour, we thought we would create this post to discuss some of the positive aspects of walking and looking into just how many calories do we burn by walking.
What are the benefits of walking?
The benefits are numerous. The Australian Heart Foundation recommends walking 30 minutes daily and they are not the only ones. There is good proof that by regularly going on walks, you significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, stress, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer. Not bad, right?
Am I going to lose weight if I walk 5 or 10 kilometres per day?
Yes, but only if you are controlling your diet in addition. But your body will thank you in the long run regardless.
How many calories do I burn walking?
There are many factors to consider in answering this question. A decent estimate is that by walking, you burn between 80 and 220 calories in a 30 minute walk.
But why does it vary so much? There are several factors to consider.
Well firstly, how long does it take you to walk one kilometre? By walking more quickly, you will burn more calories. By walking for a longer time or a longer distance, obviously you will use more energy as well. That's the simple part.
Terrain / Incline
Want to burn that piece of cake you had after lunch? Or was it two pieces? Find a hill or some stairs. How flat or up and down your route is will affect the calories burnt. If you go uphill or increase the incline setting on the treadmill, you will use more energy.
The more heavy you are (see, the cake helped), the more calories you burn by walking. In addition, for example, let's say if you are wearing a backpack on a walking tour of Melbourne, your body will use more energy as you are loaded with more more weight.
Fitness / Intensity
Interestingly, some have suggested the less fit you are, the more calories you burn walking (there is no clear cut evidence we are aware of to confirm this however unless related to weight as outlined above). We do know however that the harder you push yourself, the more calories you burn as your muscles and respiratory system adapt to the challenge. Be safe and always consult your doctor prior to starting any exercise program. In addition, if you feel any discomfort during your walk, stop immediately and seek help.
There is some evidence that independent of the other factors, a person's genetics also affects their individual calories burned during physical activity. Having said that, the differences are likely to be small.
Let's get into some very specific questions now. Here are some frequently asked questions about walking and health/fitness we have heard (keep in mind multiple variables as discussed above so these answers are only approximate):
How many calories do I burn per step?
A single step will burn about 0.05 calories.
How many steps to I need to take walking to burn 1 calorie?
For an average human being, a good approximate is that 20 steps taken will burn 1 calorie.
What if I walk 1000 steps, how many calories have I burnt?
One thousand steps will take care of about 50 calories.
How many calories do you burn walking 10000 steps?
10000 steps burns about 500 calories.
How many calories will I burn in one hour of walking?
By walking for an hour or 60 minutes, you will burn between 200 and 375 calories.
If I walk 5km, how many calories have I burnt?
For the majority of us, going on a 5 km walk will burn between 200 to 350 calories.
If I walk 10km, how many calories have I burnt?
Between 400 and 700 calories
Walking vs Running. Will going on a run burn more calories than walking?
Yes, running will burn more calories. About 50-75% more for the same time of the exercise.
1. Australian National Heart Foundation - link
2. Activities page - Melbourne Buddy
3. Determinants of energy expenditure and energy balance. K.R. Westerterp. Link
4. General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity- CDC
Note to always consult a doctor prior to starting any exercise or weight loss program and seek help immediately if you feel unwell during your walk.