14 Dec 2017
Until someone finds a way to lose weight lying on a pool deck chair, walking will remain the most passive, pleasant and cost-efficient way to burn calories and lose weight.
There are no gym fees involved in walking. There are no sudden intervals of gasping for air. There are no rooms full of potentially odorous people to ruin your walk. It’s just you, the great outdoors and, perhaps, a mobile GPS if you’re inclined to get lost. Oh, and maybe a pace tracker if you want to get scientific and keep right up to speed with your progress.
If you walk with a toddler who constantly falls into gutters, you’ll burn a few calories through stress, but not much more. If you amble to the local shops for bread, your body will still be the same, be that dough or hard crust, when you get back.
Being a fairly passive caper, walking needs to be coupled with distance to get your calories worried. But it can be a slow build and burn depending on your fitness. If you’re a little on the large side, even a 1km walk will burn a hundred calories if you can knock it off in 8 minutes.
You’re 35, you’re female, you’re slim, around 5’5 and you’ve just walked for an hour. You’ve burned about 200 calories.
You’re 35, male, slim, around 5’10 and you’ve just walked for an hour. You’ve burned about 250 calories.
You’re not 35 and you’re now wondering how this equation relates to you. Well, good news, even non-35-year-olds can use the same equation to calculate walking calorie loss.
There are all kinds of walking calorie burn calculators online; a quick and easy way to approximate your results.
Lots of factors influence the calories you burn in your walking program - your weight for a start. Then there’s the speed you walk at - how long does it take you to cover a kilometre? The other big factor is the grade of the terrain – is it a flat walk or up and down?
As an example, an 80 kg man walking 1 kilometre in 8 minutes will burn 76 calories. That’s a cookie you’ve burned off right there.
Want to burn two cookies per kilometre? Three, four? Find hills or stairs. If you’re walking on a treadmill, increase the incline. Walk faster, even in intervals with slower recovery periods. Walk for longer, and longer. Wear a backpack. Make it like piggy-backing your uncle to get pressure on your legs.
As you progress, your speeds and distances will increase. At this point, you might add bursts of light jogging – job two lampposts, walk for three and so on. But don’t rush it and keep yourself motivated by celebrating every milestone like an Olympic medal.
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