Walking is often recommended as the simplest form of exercise that has significant health benefits. One study suggests that walking not only improves cardiovascular health but can also reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. In addition, this study claims that regular walking can reduce the risk of stroke, decrease high blood pressure, and lead to weight loss.
There are several reasons why walking is often recommended including numerous physical and mental health benefits. Walking is a low-impact physical activity which makes it ideal for beginners, people who are overweight, or elderly individuals. Walking is also accessible to most people regardless of their income. Aside from a pair of shoes, walking does not require investing in any fitness equipment or joining a gym.
In this Walking to Lose Weight – Ultimate Guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about the benefits of walking and how to maximize your weight loss with this exercise.
What is RMR or RRE and Why Is It Important In Weight-Loss?
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the energy requirements need to sustain your vital life functions of everyday life at rest. This is also referred to as Resting Energy Expendurite (REE). Both of these terms are directly related to your metabolism. To determine your RMR/RRE, use the below equation derived by Harris-Benedict:
RMR for Men
Harris-Benedict (Men): 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) – (6.755 x age in years)
1 kg = 2.2 pounds
1 inch = 2.54 cm
Nick is a 6’2″- 180-pound man. He would weigh 81.6 kg and measure (74 inches x 2.54 cm) 187.96 cm
66.5 + (13.75 x 81.6 kg) + (5.003 x 187.96 cm) – (6.755 x 42 years) = 1,845 calories for sustaining vital life function
RMR For Women
Harris-Benedict (Women): 655 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.85 x height in cm) – (4.676 x age in years)
RMR/REE are estimates only
RMR/REE can have a +/- 200 calorie deviation from the above calculation. It’s still a good start to know roughly how many calories your body actually needs to maintain your current weight and vital functions of life.
Anything above your RMR/REE is considered extra calories and you need to participate in physical activity to burn off any extra calories consumed beyond this level.
How Many Daily Miles of Walking to Lose Weight?
The main thing to remember when trying to lose weight is that you need to burn more calories than you consume. Your ideal goal is to try to create a negative calorie deficit with a positive energy surplus (Restricting calories and exercising more).
The number of calories burned while walking depends on a number of factors including your weight, the intensity of the exercise, and how long you walk. People who weigh more will burn more calories and those who walk faster or walk uphill will also burn more calories. The longer distance you walk, the faster you will lose weight.
Keeping all of these factors in mind, on average, an individual will burn about 100 calories for every mile walked. Since you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight, you will need to walk 35 miles to lose one pound. If you walk 2.5 miles a day, you would lose a pound every two weeks.
Online calculator to determine your RMR.
So using the example above, nick has an estimated RMR of 1,845 calories to maintain life.
Let’s say that he eats around 2,500 calories per day.
using this formula (Calories Consumed – RMR – TEAP (physical activity + NEAT) )
Positive Energy Balance (Gaining Weight)
Example 1 – weight gained
If he does zero to little exercise a day he is in a calorie surplus of (2,500 – 1,845 – 0) = 655 calories not burned. This is a positive energy balance that must be avoided when losing weight.
Negative Energy Balance (Losing Weight)
Example 1 – weight lost
If he engages in running for 45 minutes (500 calories approx) and then walks an extra 3 miles (NEAT) he is in a negative energy balance (2,500 – 1,845 – (500+300) = 145 calories burned
In order to lose weight, you must reach an overall negative energy balance either daily or weekly. If you continually hit a positive energy balance daily, you will slowly gain weight over time.
Energy Balance = Homeostasis (Maintaining Weight)
When you reach homeostasis the number of calories you consume equals the number of calories you expend. This is when you are in a state of maintaining your weight (neither positive energy nor negative energy)
What is NEAT?
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) refers to any activity that you take part in that is not done solely for exercise or sports purposes. Cleaning the house, walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or standing are examples of NEAT. All of these activities can contribute to weight loss and increased health benefits.
One of the obstacles that many people have with weight loss is finding time to dedicate to an exercise routine. With NEAT, you can incorporate exercise into the activities that you would be doing on a daily basis anyway. For example, walking while you are talking on the phone instead of sitting at your desk will use up energy, as will riding your bike to work instead of driving.
Is Walking Considered a NEAT Activity?
Some walking would be considered a NEAT activity, for example, walking the dog, walking to the store, or going for a leisurely walk after dinner. Walking that is done at a moderate to vigorous intensity and done solely for the benefits of exercising would not be considered NEAT. Whether the walking you do is considered NEAT or not, it will still contribute to your physical health and weight loss.
Related: Is Blending Food Bad For Me?
How Much Walking Should You Do To Lose Weight?
As long as you are burning more calories than you are consuming, any amount of walking can help you lose weight. It is important when starting a walking routine that you don’t overdo it. If you do too much too soon, you can lose your enthusiasm and even get injured.
Let’s say that you’re hoping to lose one pound a week. At five miles a day, you would burn about 500 calories per day which would get you to your goal. However, that distance isn’t feasible for everyone, especially when starting out. If you walked half that distance every day, you would still burn 3500 calories in two weeks, the equivalent of one pound in weight loss.
Does Walking 10,000 Steps Help Lose Weight?
While the distance will vary depending on a person’s stride length, on average a person walking 10,000 steps will cover five miles. Walking 10,000 steps per day will help you lose weight since this is the equivalent of burning 3500 calories a week.
Not everyone will have the time or stamina to walk 10,000 steps all at once. You can break this up into shorter intervals, for example, 5,000 steps in the morning and 5,000 steps in the evening. Many people choose to walk during their lunch break to get in some of their steps as well.
How Does Walking Help You Lose Weight?
Walking can help with weight loss because it burns calories. Any type of physical activity that you do will use up energy. When you use up more energy than you take in through food, you will lose weight. Losing weight is easiest when you combine physical activity like walking with a decrease in the number of calories you consume.
The more intense your physical activity the more weight you will lose. You can increase the intensity of your walk by going faster, walking a greater distance, or going uphill. Like any other exercise, walking can take time before you see visible results. Be patient and keep up a consistent effort to see weight loss.
Health Benefits of Walking
In addition to losing weight, there are several other physical health benefits of walking. Regular walking can help prevent certain types of cancer and can also lower your blood pressure. Walking can also lower your risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or pulmonary embolism.
You can build strength, stamina, and endurance by participating in walking on a regular basis. Walking also contributes to bone density, strengthening them so that you have less chance of osteoporosis and fractures later in life. Your immune system also benefits from walking, helping you fend off colds and other illnesses.
Mental Benefits of Walking
Walking not only offers physical health benefits but it also improves your mental well-being. Daily walking can help people fall asleep easier, not wake up during the night, and feel well-rested in the morning. Regular walks can also contribute to an increased ability to focus and concentrate on tasks.
Many individuals find that their symptoms of depression or anxiety are lessened when they participate in daily walks. This is especially true for those who walk outdoors instead of inside on a treadmill. The combination of physical activity and exposure to the natural world is very beneficial for mental health.
Walking can help build confidence and self-esteem. By participating in this activity regularly, many walkers feel better about their body and their capabilities. Setting a goal for walking can also increase confidence. For example, aiming to walk a certain number of miles each week or walking for half an hour every morning.
For people who struggle with feeling isolated, walking can be a great way to enjoy the company of a friend or neighbor. Most people find that they can maintain a conversation while walking at a moderate pace. Having someone to walk with can decrease feelings of loneliness and improve overall well-being.
Benefits of Walking Compared to Running
Walking is a great alternative to running because it is easier on your joints, ligaments, and bones. Running puts twice the amount of force on your body with every step as compared to walking. Runners are much more likely to experience injuries because of this. They also trip and fall more often, another cause of injuries to runners, especially in the winter.
Walking offers many of the same benefits that running does including increased cardiovascular health, weight loss, lower risk of stroke and diabetes, and decreased blood pressure. An added benefit of walking is that it doesn’t require any special equipment, only a comfortable pair of shoes.
Related: Is Walking Better Than Running?
Is Walking 5 Miles a Day Enough to Lose Weight?
On average, a person who walks 5 miles a day will burn enough calories to lose one pound a week. Walking less than 5 miles a day can still contribute to the same amount of weight loss if you decrease your calorie intake further. If you increase the distance walked, you can lose more than one pound a week.
Will Walking a Mile a Day Help Lose Weight?
Any type of physical exercise contributes to weight loss so long as your caloric intake is less than the number of calories you burn. Walking one mile a day will burn 100 calories. It takes 3500 calories burned to lose one pound, so you would lose a pound every 35 days. You can speed up this process by walking further or decreasing the number of calories you consume.
Will Walking Every Day Help You Lose Weight?
Walking every day can be a great way to lose weight. You can start at a distance that seems reasonable and increase the distance and intensity later. Another way to increase the number of calories you burn while walking is to walk uphill. This requires more effort and will help you lose weight faster. You can find a hilly area outside to walk or increase the incline on a treadmill.
How Long Should I Walk a Day to Lose Weight?
You can choose how long you walk each day based on how quickly you want to lose weight and how much time you have available for walking. The average person will need to walk 5 miles a day to lose one pound a week. This can take about an hour and 40 minutes to complete, so you may choose to break this into smaller intervals.
How Much Should You Walk to Lose Weight?
|Number of Miles||Calories Burned|
|1 mile||100 calories|
|2 miles||200 calories|
|3 miles||300 calories|
|4 miles||400 calories|
|5 miles||500 calories|
How Many Kilo-calories Need to be Burned to Lose 1 pound of Weight?
When people refer to calories this has the same meaning as the term kilo-calorie; they are interchangeable. To lose one pound of weight, you need to burn 3500 calories.
What is the Best Way to Walk to Lose Weight?
The factors that increase the amount of weight loss are speed, distance, and incline. The faster you walk, the more calories you burn. The further distance you walk and the steeper an incline, the more weight loss. Combining all three of these by walking quickly uphill for a long distance will burn the most calories.
Do I Need to Eat Anything for Energy Before I go on a Walk?
Depending on how long you will be walking, you may want to eat something before you begin. Another option is to take food with you to have if you get hungry while walking. Don’t eat anything too heavy before walking as this may cause you to have cramps. Good choices before walking are smoothies, toast, peanut butter, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Is Walking Alone Enough to Lose Weight, or Do You Need to Be Mindful of What You Eat?
While you can lose weight by walking, it is more impactful if you also pay attention to what you are eating. Weight loss is most effectively achieved with a combination of diet and exercise. Many people find that it is a lot easier to cut calories from their diet than to consistently burn calories through exercise.
For example, to burn 500 calories by walking, you would need to walk for an hour and 40 minutes. Alternatively, you could cut 500 calories from your day by skipping that bagel with cream cheese or not having a bag of chips while watching television.
If you want to lose weight, incorporating walking into your daily routine is a great start. Remember that the intensity and duration of the walk will impact how many calories you burn. The more effort you put in, the greater results you will see. Combining a regular walking routine with healthy eating habits will increase your weight loss.
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