Walking is one of the easiest and most common forms of exercise you can do. Although it is not physically strenuous in small doses, it can have significant benefits to health and well being. But exactly how many calories do you burn by walking? In order to answer this question, we will subdivide into categories according to weight and pace.
To begin with, walking at a medium pace, such as on a busy street, burns about 240 calories per hour if you weigh 150 pounds. At 175 pounds you will burn closer to 280 kcal/hour. At 200 pounds, you can expect to burn around 320 calories/hour.
We can then use these values to answer common questions such as, how many calories do you burn by walking a mile?
For a 150 pound person, one mile of walking will burn close to 80 kcal for every mile walked at a medium pace. A 175 person will burn just above 90 calories, and a 200 pounder (that’s a whole lot of meat!) will expend around 100 calories from walking a mile. Well done so far. If you walk a mile you’ve earned a medium to large size banana.
Walking may seem like a very simple and mundane activity, but there is actually a lot of bio-mechanical precision that goes into keeping you upright and balanced. You can read more about the science of walking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking
So how many calories do you burn by walking 2 miles? That’s easily answered using the above. At 150 pounds, you will burn 160 calories during your 2-mile walk at a medium pace. For a 175 person, this becomes 180 calories. If you weigh 200 pounds, 2 miles of walking will yield 200 calories of effort. This is now reaching a significant amount, and you can equate your 2 mile walk with a tall to grande latte, depending on your weight.
However, there is some evidence emerging that walking is not as effective an exercise as was assumed. The study claims that walking alone will not give you the health benefits associated with more strenuous cardiovascular exercise such as swimming and cycling: See this article on the BBC for more in depth information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5371116.stm
Other common questions submitted by our readers pertain to the time spent walking and the related calorific expenditure. To answer these, we will take the two extremes of walking at a very slow pace (2 mph) and a very fast pace (5 mph).
How many calories do you burn by walking for 30 minutes? At a slow pace a 150 pound person will burn 70 calories in this time. At a fast pace the same person will burn 270 kcal. This huge increase goes to show that picking up the pace, even by 10-20% could be the difference in your walking workout. At 175 pounds you can expect to burn 80 calories and 320 calories for a slow and fast 30 minute walk. At 200 pounds, these values lie closer to 90 kcal and 365 kcal.
How many calories do you burn by walking for 45 minutes? A slow walking 150 pound person will use 105 kcal. The same 150 pound person will increase his effort to 305 calories at a fast pace. At 175 pounds, a slow and fast pace give 120 kcal and 480 kcal, respectively. Our 200 pound man will burn 135 and 550 calories for a slow and fast 45 minute walk.
How many calories do you burn by walking for 1 hour? Slow and fast paces will give 140 kcal and 540 kcal for a human weighing 150 pounds, 160 calories and 640 calories for 175 pounds, and 180 calories and 730 calories at 200 pounds.