Whether you’re setting off on a family walk with the kids, a romantic stroll with your partner, or a challenging hike on your own, make the most of it. Walking can be an easy way to tone, lose weight and improve your overall fitness. Learn how to burn more calories walking with our latest Oodles of Advice article.
How many calories does walking burn?
How many calories you burn walking depends on a variety of factors, including speed, duration and weight, as well as the difficulty of the terrain you’re tackling. It’s no surprise that the number of calories burnt walking at a slow pace is lower than that burnt by a brisk stroll. But did you know that your weight can affect the number of calories burnt too?
According to Change 4 Life, a brisk walk burns the same number of calories as a run of the same distance – good news if you’re not a fan of jogging but still want to enjoy the benefits of some outdoor exercise.
To work out the number of calories you’ll burn on your next stroll or hike, try using a calorie calculator. This will indicate by your weight, your speed and equally as important, your duration, how many calories you can burn by walking – although it’s still an estimate, this is a more accurate measure.
Can I lose weight by walking?
Can walking help you lose weight? In short, yes – weight loss through walking is possible! By adopting the right technique and setting yourself challenging goals, walking can help you to tone up, burn fat and improve your overall fitness level. In short, it’s an effective whole-body workout. In fact, if you’re a keen walker and go for regular walks, you may have already noticed the difference in your body.
Try to build up a routine of walking for 30 minutes five days a week, and remember to pick up the pace to maximise weight loss.
Burn More Calories Walking
How can I burn more calories by walking? We’ve highlighted the correct techniques, walking posture and equipment to use to get the true benefits out of your walk.
- Stand straight: A correct walking posture will allow your back muscles and glutes to work together more powerfully creating a push-off effect. A good rule to keep yourself standing upright is to keep your ears and shoulders aligned over your hips.
- Show your soles: Understanding the correct position of your foot is also a great way to burn more calories walking. When you reach the ball of your foot, show people behind you the sole of your shoe on every stride. This is a great walking technique that gets the calf muscles, hamstrings and glute muscles involved. The more muscles you use, the more calories burnt by walking.
- Use your arms: This not only increases your walking speed, but also turns your stroll into a whole-body workout, resulting in more calories used. Vigorously pump your arms bent at the elbow to 90 degrees. Swinging your arms from the shoulder can be an effective way of pulling yourself forward and engaging more muscle groups on your walk.
- Wear the right footwear: You need power from your push-off; this means your shoe needs to have flexibility and support for the front of your foot. Invest in a pair of walking boots that successfully support your feet and ankles.
Increasing your speed is a great way to burn more calories walking, taking shorter but faster steps. Perhaps invest in a heart-rate monitor. This way, you can see if your heart rate is going down, which will motivate you to speed up and maintain a consistent pace. Using your arms is very important in speed walking – they will help you go faster, keep your balance and they also will become more toned as a result of the extra movement.
If speed walking sounds too tiring, why not try interval walking instead? To try this technique, walk as fast as possible for 60 seconds and then move to a more moderated speed for five minutes. This is a great way to keep you from feeling tired and achy but still get the cardio benefits of a fast walk.
Your secret weapon for burning more calories walking? Try incline walking. Tackle those hills and use every part of your body engaging every muscle to pull you up. This different technique will engage your muscles, especially your quads and glutes, providing a more challenging workout.
Don’t have hills near you? The treadmill at your local gym can help you out. Set the incline and speed to a realistic level and be sure not to use the handrails – keep your arms moving just like you would if walking in the country. This type of incline walking is a proven method of burning calories while walking.
Pole walking not only helps your speed and technique, but it can benefit your walking posture. On average, 20 per cent more calories are burnt when pole walking. Giving you more support, increasing your speed and enhancing your safety, walking poles are a popular choice for any family walk. Find out how to use walking poles successfully and the benefits pole walking can have on your health.
Something a little different…
Nordic walking: if you’re up for a challenge, why not try Nordic walking? A full body workout, this next level variation of pole walking is performed walking across country with specially designed walking poles which resemble ski sticks. Toning upper and lower body simultaneously, Nordic walking uses 90% of the skeletal muscles whilst burning up to 46% more calories than normal walking. It’s important to remember that you can’t Nordic walk with ordinary walking poles – the difference is in the strap and handle. Nordic walking originated from cross-country skiing, resulting in the design of the pole to resemble a ski pole planted at an angle rather than in front of the walker, requiring a push through the strap to move forward.
What To Take On A Walk
As well as your walking poles, what to take on a walk can vary depending on the location. However, wherever you and the family are going, you can be sure you’ll need a trusty rucksack to pop in all the supplies you’ll need for the day. Food and water for the whole family is a must – energy bars are a good way to help you keep going for longer, with a well-earned pit stop to prevent fatigue. Remember to pack extra layers of clothing if the weather takes a turn, and you can also pop your waterproof jacket into your backpack if the sun comes out.