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How Walking Can Help You Burn Calories and Lose Weight

Learn how to lose fat in the easiest way possible.

Walking is a simple and accessible form of exercise that has been a part of human life for centuries. From daily commutes to leisurely strolls, walking is an activity that comes naturally to us. But did you know that it can also be a powerful tool for burning calories and losing weight?

One of the primary reasons why walking is an excellent choice for weight loss is its accessibility. Unlike other intense forms of exercise that may require special equipment or gym memberships, walking can be done anytime, anywhere, without any additional cost.

Whether it’s a walk around the neighbourhood, a hike in the park, or even a brisk walk during your lunch break, you have the freedom to incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Beyond its convenience, walking offers numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being. Not only does it contribute to weight loss, but it also improves cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, enhances mental well-being, and reduces the risk of various chronic conditions.

When it comes to weight loss, walking helps create a calorie deficit, which is essential for shedding those extra pounds. When you engage in any physical activity, your body expends energy in the form of calories. The number of calories burned during walking depends on various factors, such as your walking pace, intensity, and body weight.

Calculating the exact number of calories burned during walking can be tricky, but there are formulas and metabolic equivalent of task (MET) values that can provide estimates. By maintaining a consistent walking routine and tracking your calorie expenditure, you can better understand the impact of walking on your weight loss journey.

In addition to burning calories, walking also promotes weight loss by increasing your metabolic rate. Regular physical activity, such as walking, boosts your metabolism, which means your body continues to burn calories even after you’ve finished walking. This effect can be particularly beneficial for those looking to lose weight and maintain a healthy body composition.

Furthermore, walking is a low-impact exercise, which means it puts less stress on your joints compared to higher-impact activities like running or jumping. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals with joint pain or those who are just starting their fitness journey. Walking allows you to gradually build endurance and strength without placing excessive strain on your body.

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As you embark on your weight loss journey, incorporating walking into your routine can be an effective strategy. It’s important to set realistic goals, establish a consistent walking routine, and gradually increase the intensity or duration of your walks over time. By combining walking with other healthy habits like a balanced diet and strength training exercises, you can optimize your weight loss efforts and achieve long-term success.

In this article, we will delve deeper into the various ways walking can help you burn calories and lose weight. We will explore the science behind walking and weight loss, offer practical tips for incorporating walking into your daily routine, and highlight the additional benefits that walking brings to your overall health and well-being. So put on your walking shoes and get ready to take strides towards a healthier, fitter you.

I. Walking and Calorie Burning:

When it comes to burning calories during walking, two primary factors come into play: walking pace and intensity, as well as body weight.

Walking Pace and Intensity:

The pace at which you walk plays a significant role in the number of calories you burn. Walking at a faster pace or engaging in brisk walking generally requires more energy and results in a higher calorie expenditure compared to a leisurely stroll. Intensity can be increased by incorporating intervals of faster walking or including uphill sections during your walk.

Body Weight and Its Impact on Calorie Burn:

Your body weight influences the number of calories burned during physical activity. Generally, individuals with higher body weights tend to burn more calories while walking than those with lower body weights. This is because it takes more energy to move a heavier body mass.

Calculating Calorie Burn During Walking:

To get a rough estimate of the number of calories burned during walking, you can use metabolic equivalent of task (MET) values and calorie formulas. These calculations provide a general idea of the energy expenditure associated with different activities, including walking.

MET Values and Calorie Formulas:

MET values represent the energy cost of an activity relative to the energy expended at rest. Walking typically has a MET value of around 3 to 6, depending on the pace and intensity. To calculate the approximate calorie burn during walking, you can multiply your body weight (in kilograms) by the MET value and the duration of your walk (in hours). The resulting number will give you an estimation of the calories burned.

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn:

It’s important to note that individual factors can influence the number of calories burned during walking. Some of these factors include:

  • Age: Metabolism tends to slow down with age, which may affect calorie burn to some extent.
  • Fitness Level: Individuals who are more physically fit may have a higher metabolic rate and, therefore, burn more calories during exercise.
  • Terrain and Surface: Walking on uneven terrain or uphill requires more effort and, consequently, burns more calories than walking on a flat surface.
  • Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions, such as hot or cold temperatures, can increase calorie burn as your body works harder to maintain its core temperature.
  • Body Composition: Muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so individuals with a higher muscle-to-fat ratio may burn more calories during walking.
  • Walking Technique: Maintaining proper walking form and engaging the core muscles can slightly increase calorie expenditure.

While calculating calorie burn during walking provides a helpful estimate, it’s important to remember that these values may vary from person to person. The most effective way to monitor calorie burn during walking is by using a fitness tracker or smartwatch that accounts for individual factors and provides a more accurate measurement.

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By considering these factors and understanding the basic principles of calorie expenditure during walking, you can make informed decisions about your walking routine and tailor it to your weight loss goals. In the next section, we will explore how walking can be incorporated into a weight loss plan for optimal results.

II. Walking for Weight Loss:

Caloric Deficit and Weight Loss:

To achieve weight loss, one fundamental concept to understand is the caloric deficit. A caloric deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. When you consistently maintain a caloric deficit, your body turns to stored fat as an energy source, leading to weight loss over time.

Role of Walking in Creating a Caloric Deficit:

Walking can play a crucial role in creating a caloric deficit. By engaging in regular walking sessions, you increase your overall energy expenditure and contribute to the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss. Walking is a moderate-intensity exercise that burns calories, and when combined with a healthy diet, it can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Incorporating Walking into Your Weight Loss Routine:

To effectively incorporate walking into your weight loss routine, consider the following steps:

Setting Goals and Establishing a Walking Routine:

Start by setting realistic goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). Determine how many days per week you plan to walk and the duration of each session. Gradually increase your walking time and distance as your fitness level improves.

It’s also essential to establish a consistent walking routine. Choose a time of day that works best for you and try to stick to it. Whether it’s early morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening, consistency is key to making walking a habit.

Progression and Increasing Walking Intensity:

As you build stamina and endurance, gradually increase the intensity of your walks. This can be done by incorporating interval training, where you alternate between periods of brisk walking and moderate-paced walking. Interval training helps to elevate your heart rate and boost calorie burn during your walks.

Additionally, consider incorporating hills or inclines into your walking routes. Walking uphill requires more effort, engaging different muscle groups and increasing the intensity of your workout.

Combining Walking with Other Strategies:

To maximize weight loss efforts, it’s beneficial to combine walking with other strategies:

Strength Training and Its Impact on Weight Loss:

Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine alongside walking. Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolic rate. With more muscle, your body continues to burn calories even at rest. Include exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and resistance training using weights or resistance bands.

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Incorporating Interval Training During Walks:

Apart from interval training mentioned earlier, consider incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) during your walks. Intermittently increase your pace to a vigorous level for a short duration, followed by a recovery period of walking at a moderate pace. This method helps to increase calorie burn and improve cardiovascular fitness.

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Monitoring and Adjusting Your Walking Program:

Regularly monitor your progress by using a fitness tracker or pedometer to track the number of steps taken, distance covered, and calories burned during your walks. This information allows you to adjust your walking program as needed, making it more challenging or increasing the duration or intensity to continue progressing towards your weight loss goals.

Remember, consistency and dedication are key when using walking as a tool for weight loss. By combining walking with other strategies and maintaining a caloric deficit, you can achieve sustainable and long-term weight loss results. In the next section, we will explore additional benefits that walking provides beyond weight loss.

III. Additional Benefits of Walking:

Cardiovascular Health:

Engaging in regular walking offers numerous benefits for cardiovascular health. Some of the key advantages include:

Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels:

Walking helps to improve blood circulation and strengthen the heart muscle, leading to a reduction in blood pressure. It also aids in increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol, while reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol. This balance promotes a healthier cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke:

Regular walking can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It helps to improve overall cardiovascular fitness, maintain healthy blood vessels, and prevent the buildup of plaque in arteries. By reducing these risk factors, walking contributes to a healthier heart and lowers the chances of cardiovascular complications.

Mental Well-Being and Stress Reduction:

In addition to its physical benefits, walking also has a positive impact on mental well-being and stress reduction. Some of the advantages include:

Boosting Mood and Reducing Anxiety:

Walking stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals in the brain that promote feelings of happiness and well-being. Regular walking has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance overall mental health. It provides a simple yet effective way to uplift your spirits and boost your mental outlook.

Promoting Better Sleep and Relaxation:

Engaging in physical activity like walking has been associated with better sleep quality and duration. Regular walking helps to regulate sleep patterns, improve sleep efficiency, and promote relaxation. Walking outdoors, particularly in natural environments, can further enhance the calming effects, providing a rejuvenating experience for both the body and mind.

Sustainability and Long-Term Adherence:

One of the significant advantages of walking is its sustainability and the potential for long-term adherence to an active lifestyle. Consider the following aspects:

Walking as a Lifelong Activity:

Unlike more intense forms of exercise that may have limitations or require specific conditions, walking is a low-impact activity that can be sustained throughout life. Regardless of age or fitness level, walking remains a viable and accessible exercise option. It can be adapted to accommodate various needs and can be enjoyed in different settings, whether it’s on a treadmill, in a park, or exploring new places while traveling.

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The Social Aspect of Walking Groups and Communities:

Walking can be a social activity, providing an opportunity to connect with others and form walking groups or join walking communities. Walking with others not only adds a social element but also provides motivation, accountability, and support. Sharing the experience with like-minded individuals can make walking more enjoyable and help maintain long-term adherence to regular physical activity.

By incorporating walking into your lifestyle, you not only reap the benefits of weight loss but also improve your cardiovascular health, enhance mental well-being, and promote long-term sustainability. Walking offers a holistic approach to overall health and can be a lifelong activity that brings joy and positive outcomes. In the next section, we will provide practical tips for successful walking and weight loss.

IV. Tips for Successful Walking and Weight Loss:

Proper Walking Technique and Form:

To maximize the benefits of walking and ensure a safe and effective workout, it’s important to pay attention to proper walking technique and form. Consider the following tips:

Maintaining an Upright Posture and Swinging Arms:

Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and back straight while walking. Engage your core muscles to maintain stability and proper alignment. Let your arms swing naturally at your sides, which helps to increase overall calorie burn and enhance balance.

Choosing Suitable Footwear and Clothing:

Wear comfortable, supportive shoes that fit well and provide adequate cushioning. Opt for moisture-wicking clothing to keep you cool and dry during walks. Dress appropriately for the weather and consider layers that can be adjusted as needed.

Motivation and Accountability:

Staying motivated and accountable can significantly contribute to the success of your walking and weight loss journey. Here are some strategies to help you stay on track:

Tracking Progress with a Pedometer or Fitness App:

Use a pedometer or a fitness app on your smartphone to track the number of steps, distance covered, and calories burned during your walks. This allows you to monitor your progress, set goals, and stay motivated as you see your achievements.

Joining Walking Challenges or Events:

Participating in walking challenges or events can provide a sense of community and friendly competition. Look for virtual or local walking challenges, join walking groups, or participate in charity walks. These opportunities can add excitement and keep you engaged in your walking routine.

Safety Considerations:

Prioritizing safety during your walks ensures a positive and secure experience. Take the following precautions:

Staying Hydrated and Protecting Yourself from the Elements:

Carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated, especially during longer or more intense walks. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. In colder weather, dress in layers to stay warm and protect yourself from wind or rain.

Being Aware of Surroundings and Choosing Safe Routes:

Pay attention to your surroundings and choose well-lit and safe routes for walking. Avoid areas with heavy traffic or uneven terrain that could pose risks. If walking alone, inform someone about your planned route and expected return time.

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable walking experience while effectively working towards your weight loss goals. Remember to listen to your body, start gradually, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your walks as your fitness level improves. Walking can be a lifelong habit that supports both physical and mental well-being.


Walking is a versatile and accessible form of exercise that offers numerous benefits for weight loss and overall health. By understanding the principles of calorie burning, incorporating walking into your weight loss routine, and combining it with other strategies, you can create a caloric deficit and work towards your weight loss goals.

Beyond weight loss, walking provides additional advantages such as improved cardiovascular health, enhanced mental well-being, and long-term sustainability. It can be enjoyed throughout life and can be a social activity that connects you with others who share the same passion for walking.

By following proper walking technique, staying motivated and accountable, and prioritizing safety, you can ensure a successful and fulfilling walking experience. Remember, consistency is key, and gradual progression will help you reach your goals while minimizing the risk of injury.

So, whether you prefer brisk walks in nature, joining walking groups, or tracking your progress with a fitness app, walking is a powerful tool for weight loss and overall well-being. Lace up your shoes, step outside, and embark on your walking journey today. Embrace the benefits, enjoy the process, and celebrate the positive changes walking can bring to your life.

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