A walk outside in the fresh air is one of the simplest and best things you can do for your health. It may sound like no big deal to go for a walk, but this run-of-the-mill activity has so many benefits for your emotional and physical well-being. After all, walking is a mindfulness exercise in and of itself. While many people equate any form of exercise with just burning calories, there are many other things to consider. Yes, walking burns calories, but it also strengthens your muscles, builds stamina, is essential for heart health, and pumps up those feel-good endorphins. Walking can also help you work up to a more intense workout routine, so if you have dreams of running that marathon, guess what? You can start with a walk every day and build your stamina.Getting yourself outside in the sunlight and fresh air also has a positive impact on your mental health. Research has proven that sunlight increases serotonin and has a marked effect on mood. That boost of serotonin also lowers your chances of seasonal affective disorder. When you combine those aspects with the physical benefits of walking, you have yourself a great reason to get out and move. Plus, bringing your kids along for your walks will help them use up some of their own energy and help them create healthy habits for exercise.If you’re curious about the calorie expenditure of leisurely or brisk walks, we went ahead and calculated calories burned while walking. Peek them below and read more about the health benefits of walking. It’s truly the king of all physical activities.
How many calories do I burn walking?
There are a lot of ways to answer this question because it depends on a few different factors. It depends on your own physical health, how fast you’re walking, if you’re walking uphill, how long you walk, etc. You might burn anywhere from 10 calories in a walk to a few hundred — the best way to track this is to use a fitness tracker.
What’s important to remember when it comes to calories burned from walking is that you are burning calories because you’re moving. A 15-minute easy walk will probably only burn 15 to 50 calories, but there are other health benefits to a daily walk.
For a more comprehensive breakdown, we went ahead and calculated the calories a woman of average weight (per the CDC) burns during a leisurely walk compared to a brisk one.
Calories Burned Walking 2 Miles Per Hour
- 15 Minute Walk — 45 Calories
- 30 Minute Walk — 90 Calories
- 45 Minute Walk — 135 Calories
- 60 Minute Walk — 180 Calories
- 120 Minute Walk — 360 Calories
Calories Burned Walking 3.5 Miles Per Hour
- 15 Minute Walk — 70 Calories
- 30 Minute Walk — 138 Calories
- 45 Minute Walk — 207 Calories
- 60 Minute Walk — 276 Calories
- 120 Minute Walk — 533 Calories
Calories Burned Walking 5 Miles Per Hour
- 15 Minute Walk — 133 Calories
- 30 Minute Walk — 267 Calories
- 45 Minute Walk — 400 Calories
- 60 Minute Walk — 533 Calories
- 120 Minute Walk — 1,067 Calories
What are the health benefits of walking?
Sure, you can burn calories walking, but there’s a lot more getting up and moving will do for your health, especially if you’re trying to get yourself into a more active routine. According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking can help improve circulation, especially. It brings your heart rate up and can help lower blood pressure and, in turn, lower your risk of heart disease. Walking also helps keep your muscles and joints healthy. When you use your joints and muscles — like when you get up and walk — you build muscle and keep joints lubricated. The cartilage in your joints actually benefits from movement, so a walk every day will keep you in good physical condition.
Plus, if you want to be more active, starting with a simple walk is a great way to build up to a more rigorous workout routine. You have to start somewhere — you don’t want to dive into a workout routine that’s too hard, because you run the risk of hurting yourself — and walking is the spot to go for. A brisk walk for 15 to 30 minutes a day every day will build a foundation for a bigger workout routine later. You’ll build up stamina for the exercise that’ll pay off down the line.
But you don’t have to be working toward anything if you go outside for a walk. A walk around the block every day and do nothing more is still so beneficial for your health. Plus, the fresh air is always a bonus, as is getting away from work or other stressors.
How can I increase my calorie burn while walking?
Walking is a great way to burn calories, but you can up the ante and get a greater workout by adding a few elements.
- Set your walking route on a hill or incline.
- Speed walk. If you can’t do it for the entire workout, do it in intervals.
- Add some weight to your walks. You can either wear a weighted jacket or even your backpack.
- Do small bursts of jogging throughout your walk.
- Take your kid along for the walk. Whether you’re carrying them or pushing them in a stroller, the extra weight will add to your workout.
- Add in a few exercises along your route. Every 10 or 15 minutes do 10 push-ups, squats, or lunges. Set a timer to keep you on track.
- Join a walking group. Sometimes exercising with others can challenge and motivate you to increase your speed.
- Cardio doesn’t just mean moving your legs. Make sure your arms are involved too.
- Add some upbeat music to your walk. When you walk without any tunes, you’re more likely to focus on your breathing — and while that’s essential it can cause you to move at the same pace. Listening to various beats and tunes can keep you from thinking about how tired you are and help you walk faster. This will help you burn even more calories!
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