Walking is a generally underrated exercise but it can be an effective addition to any successful weight loss plan. Whether you already have a high level of fitness or not, walking is something that almost everyone can easily slot into their schedule. In fact, even just a brisk 20 minute walk every day can help you achieve the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Alternatively, 30 minutes 5 days a week will achieve the same.
How fast do you need to walk to lose weight?
In order to lose weight, it is advised that you get your heart rate up whilst walking – any walking speed will help you to burn calories, but try and aim for around 5km an hour. At this speed or above, walking is considered ‘moderate exercise’ and has great health benefits for heart and lungs, as well as working the largest muscle groups in your body – the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Working larger muscle groups is what will burn the most calories. Completing more challenging walks with hilly terrain and further distances will burn more calories.
How many calories does walking burn?
The amount of calories burned by walking will be different for everyone according to factors such as weight, age and speed of metabolism. On average, a 5km walk will burn around 210 – 360 calories according to these factors. Burning calories directly translates into weight loss. It is commonly acknowledged that a 3500 calorie deficit (less calories put in than taken out of your body) equates to losing 1 lb of fat, or around 0.5kg. Brisk walking for just 30 minutes every day is equal to 1050 calories a week, which could mean just over half a kilogram of weight loss every month if coupled with healthy eating!