In today's fitness world, many people are concerned about how many calories have been consumed and calories burned. The majority of people are trying to gain an edge in lowering how much is taken in while maximizing how much energy is expended. Walking is a completely underestimated activity when it comes to burning calories.
If weight loss is your primary focus, consider creating weight loss goals as part of your exercise program. These goals will allow you keep your motivation levels high by giving you something to shoot for.
A large factor that determines how many calories are burned while walking is the pace at which one is walking. The model is quite simple: the faster you walk, the more distance is traveled, leading to more calories burned. Observe this list of miles per hour (kilometers per hour) traveled compared to calories burned:
- 1mph (1.6kph) - 120 calories
- 2mph (3.2kph) - 240 calories
- 3mph (4.8kph) - 360 calories
- 4mph (6.4kph) - 480 calories
- 5mph (8.0kph) - 600 calories
*This list approximates calories burned
This list of calories burned also shows something that most people fail to realize: it is not just about speed, but distance.
Distance is key
Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of hours in the day so we must make use of them as best we can. If you only have one hour to exercise a day, and you're walking pace is 3mph, you will burn around 360 calories each walking session. Let's say time is not a constraint and you have as many hours of the day as you wish to exercise but you can only walk at a maximum pace of 2mph. Person A exercises for one hour and burns about 360 calories but Person B exercises for 2 hours traveling at 2mph for 2 hours will burn 480 calories.
While it is true the person who exerted more effort in a shorter period of time may burn more calories per hour, the individual who exercised for 2 hours will burn more calories in the end because they traveled a further distance. If your primary focus is burning calories, the important thing is hitting a certain distance, not aiming for a certain time or speed.