How many calories do you burn Walking?

Walking burns an average of 257 calories per hour for someone who weighs 180 pounds. Calorie burn also depends on the type and intensity of your activity, as well as your body weight.

While many people may think of walking as a monotonous way to get to work or get from place to place, walking carries many different benefits from a health standpoint. Read on to find out all the benefits of walking and how many calories you can expect to burn while participating in walking activities.

Since the pandemic started and gyms began to close, many people simply wanted to get outside and experience some fresh air during the lockdown. This prompted many people around the world to start walking as a way to bond with family as well as get some needed exercise.

Along with the social benefits that come with walking, it is also a great way to burn a lot of calories with a low-impact exercise. Read on to find out exactly how many calories you can expect to burn while walking.

Use our Calorie Calculator below to determine how many calories you burn with Walking or other activities.

Calories burned with Walking (weight: 180 lbs)

MET 15 mins. 30 mins. 45 mins. 60 mins.
Nordic Walking 5.9 126 253 379 506
Walking 3 64 129 193 257
Walking (fast) 3.6 77 154 231 309
Walking 3 mph 2.5 54 107 161 214
Walking 4 mph 3.6 77 154 231 309
Walking slow 2.8 60 120 180 240

How To Use The Calculator

Using our calculator to find out how many calories you’ll burn by walking is a very easy process. To calculate the number of calories that you will burn, simply input your weight and the time that you walked for or plan to walk for.

Then you will select the specific type of walking that you plan to do. For example, walking your dog will have a different level of intensity than walking while descending a staircase.

How do we calculate how many calories Walking burns?

For the calorie burn calculation, the MET value (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) of Walking is used.

Walking has a MET of 3.

We multiply the MET value with your bodyweight in KGs. The result is multiplied by 0.0175 and the duration of the activity you performed in minutes.

For example:

  • Your body weighs: 180 lbs
  • Durition: 60 minutes
  • MET value of Walking: 3

Here’s how to calculate the calories burned during 60 minutes of Step Aerobic:
(180 / 2.20462) * 3 * 0.0175 * 60 minutes = 257

The walking calorie calculator uses MET (metabolic equivalent of task) values to determine the number of calories that doing various types of walking will yield. The MET value is determined by a convention of 3.5 mL of oxygen per kilogram of each minute while doing the specific activity [1].

The walking calculator will adjust according to your weight and the level of intensity of the walking activity and also the duration of walking and the distance. It’s important to understand that there are many different types of walking that can be done, and each different type of walking activity will burn a different amount of calories.

What is MET?

Using MET to determine your body’s energy expenditure is what this calculator is made to do. The MET value is the number that determines the energy it takes to perform various activities, different styles, and methods of practicing walking for exercise. The MET value is the ratio that shows the relationship between your active metabolic rate to the resting metabolic rate.

The active metabolic rate (AMR) determines the calories that you will burn throughout the day, while the resting metabolic rate (RMR) measures the number of calories that you are burning when your body is at rest and not actively digesting or performing any exercises.

Activities that have a MET value of 1 burn as many calories as your RMR, while activities with a MET of 5 will burn 5 times as many calories as your RMR. This means that you expend 5 times as much energy as the activity with only 1 MET.

Formula

The formula that our soccer calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (MET  x  bodyweight in Kg  x  3.5) ÷ 200.

Examples

An individual weighing 175 pounds will burn approximately 252 calories from walking their dog on a flat surface for a period of one hour. This activity has a MET of 3, which means that it burns 3 times as many calories as your resting metabolic rate.

This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while walking a dog will look like for a 175-pound individual:

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.3 x   3   x   5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 2 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 252 calories per hour

What about walking at a race pace? Race walking has become increasingly popular and more people can continue to do it since it is a low-impact exercise.

Walking at a race pace has a MET value of 6.5, which means that this activity burns 6.5 times more calories than you would be doing an activity with a MET value of 1.

Here is what the formula would look like if you were to walk at a race pace for a period of 1 hour if you weight about 175 pounds.

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79. 3 x   5  x   3.5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 9 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 540 calories per hour

In addition to race walking, there are even more intense ways that you can practice walking. For example, someone weighing 175 pounds and walking at 5 mph uphill with a 3% grade will burn about 816 calories per hour. The formula for this intensity of walking looks like this:

  • Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x   MET   x   5) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79. 3 x   8  x   3.5 ) ÷ 200
  • Calories burned (per minute) = 6 calories x   60
  • Calories burned (per hour) = 816 calories per hour

What is Walking?

In the most simple terms, walking is the act of putting one foot in front of the other, having only one foot leaving the ground at a time, with periods of both feet being on the ground as well.

Walking can be enjoyed recreationally or also through competitive sport. Competitive walking events are becoming very popular as it’s a low-impact exercise that almost anyone can do, with certain exceptions.

Whether intentional or not, walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise across the globe. There is essentially zero equipment that is required to walk for exercise. Other than maybe shoes and clothing, there is no expensive equipment that is needed to get great exercise through walking.

Walking also allows for a diverse experience that can be scenic while doing hikes through nature paths or also along beaches, bridges, and throughout towns and cities.

We all learn to walk at a very young age, and you might have never thought of all the health benefits that simply putting one foot in front of the other can provide.

Health Benefits of Walking

The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans has shown that adults with chronic health conditions get at least 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise each week [2]. Walking is one of the recommended activities that meet this requirement of moderate exercise.

Since walking is a recommended exercise by many health agencies and sources, there are some benefits that have been scientifically proven as health benefits to walking.

For example, walking has been linked to improving high blood pressure and body mass index [3] among individuals who went on a walking plan. Other benefits of walking that have been proven include lowering the risk of diabetes, stroke, and early death [4].

Although we’ve listed the top health benefits from walking, there are plenty of others including:

  • Improved muscle endurance
  • Increased energy
  • Strengthening immune system
  • Improving balance and coordination
  • Reducing stress and tension [5]

As you can see, walking regularly has benefits that go beyond improving your physical health. Be sure to get a pair of sturdy walking shoes before you get started. There are also plenty of apps out there that can help you find walking paths and hiking trails in your area!

Different Ways To Walk

As we mentioned before, there are plenty of different ways that you can walk and for different purposes. Some walking styles and walking objectives include:

  • Hiking
  • Walking tours
  • Dog walking

Hiking is generally considered a long walk that is done outdoors through various paths in nature. There are many different hiking paths in many different areas in the world, all varying in difficulty and distance.

Hiking tends to be very popular in places like National Parks and areas that have designated walking paths and hiking trails. Hiking can be done leisurely or with rigorous exercise. Many hiking paths also have a destination at the end of the path, such as seeing a waterfall or a great view atop a mountain.

Walking tours are conducted in a variety of ways in many different places across the world. For example, many cities have walking paths through historic districts or popular sights to see in the city or area. These walking tours typically have a tour guide who directs the group and also offers relevant information on the things that you see during the tour.

Walking tours can be great exercise for a family while also seeing many popular sights in various cities or places.

Dog walking is the act of walking with a dog and can be done by an owner with their pet or also as a business that the dog walker takes part in. With the increase in the popularity of pet ownership, the demand for dog walking has increased in recent years.

Even if you don’t plan on starting a dog walking business, walking with your dog will provide the same benefits listed above as well as getting your furry friend the exercise that they need.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What happens when you start walking every day?

Even if you can walk for just 20-30 minutes per day, you will still get all the benefits that we’ve listed, such as more energy, stress relief, a strengthened immune system, and much more. Committing yourself to a daily walking routine will ensure that you stay active and burn plenty of calories through walking.

Is it better to walk faster or longer?

There are benefits to walking both faster and longer. However, prioritizing either one is hard to do. If you walk faster, you will burn more calories per hour, but if you walk longer, you will burn more calories over a period of time.

It is important to find a balance between speed and distance to get the most out of your walking routine.

Is it OK to walk every day?

Unlike strength training and cross country running, walking is perfectly safe and recommended to do every day. Walking is a very low-impact exercise, which means that you can walk for long periods of time without feeling any major stress on your bones and joints.

The Bottom Line

Walking for exercise, competition, or leisure purposes will all provide many of the benefits that we’ve gone over in this article. In addition to the physical benefits that have been proven by scientific studies, walking every day will have a positive effect on your mental health as well.

Getting started walking is very easy to do. We recommend getting a quality pair of walking shoes with plenty of support to minimize any impact that walking will have on your legs.

 

References:

  • Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
  • US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington (DC): US Government Printing Office; 2018.
  • Omura JD, Ussery EN, Loustalot F, Fulton JE, Carlson SA. Peer Reviewed: Walking as an Opportunity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2019;16.
  • Tanasescu M, Leitzmann MF, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. Exercise type and intensity in relation to coronary heart disease in men. JAMA. 2002 Oct 23;288(16):1994-2000.
  • Why is walking the most popular form of exercise? American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/walking/why-is-walking-the-most-popular-form-of-exercise. Accessed March 2, 2021.
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