If you’re walking for weight loss or to improve your fitness levels, walking an hour a day is a great way to get results.
Most people can cover 3 to 4 miles in an hour of brisk walking. That’s a great way to burn calories, raise your heart rate, and hit the recommended levels of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking An Hour A Day?
Trying to lose weight? I’m sure you’ll want to know the number of calories walking an hour a day will burn.
It depends on a lot of different factors such as your current body weight and composition, fitness level, walking speed, and incline.
A typical person will burn 240 to 350 calories walking an hour a day.
You can get a much better idea using this calories-burned walking calculator. Just set the activity time to 60 minutes, enter your body weight, and select your walking pace to find out how many calories burned.
- A 150-pound person walking at a moderate pace of 3 miles per hour will burn 250 calories.
- Heavier people burn more calories because they’re working harder – a 200-pound person will burn 333 calories walking at the same speed.
To get the best results, try and walk faster. A brisk pace of 3.5 miles per hour or more will burn at least 20% more calories.
Walking An Hour A Day To Lose Weight
Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise for weight loss. You can burn about 80 calories per mile and all you need to get started is a comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers. No special equipment is required.
In the walk vs run debate, running may burn more calories but it’s not a great way to start exercising if you’re seriously unfit or carry a lot of extra weight.
It’s better to walk regularly than to try running a few times, find it too hard, and end up back on the couch!
How Much Weight Can You Lose Walking An Hour A Day?
In simple terms, losing weight is about creating a calorie deficit. Of course weight loss is never REALLY simple – metabolism, age, gender… they all play their part in making weight loss anything but simple.
However, if you create a daily calorie deficit of less than the calories your body needs to fuel your daily energy expenditure, you will lose weight.
The established view based on research dating back to research in 1958 is that one pound of body fat contains 3500 calories.
The research has been refined over the years but 3500 calories is still a good approximation.
If walking an hour a day burns about 250 calories, walking an hour a day for two weeks will burn one pound of fat.
But will it?
Walking for weight loss only works if you don’t replace the calories you burn walking with eating extra food.
I can think of many ways to eat an extra 250 calories a day – 2 small brownies, a very small hamburger, a snickers bar… start treating yourself after your walk and you can kiss goodbye to any weight loss.
The 500-calorie deficit target
A good target for weight loss is one pound a week. That’s a 500-calorie deficit a day.
Creating that calorie deficit just by eating less can work for a few weeks. For longer, you risk hitting a weight loss plateau – where your body switches into starvation mode and starts to survive on fewer calories without burning body fat.
A 500-calorie deficit is a big deal. For women, it can be a quarter of your recommended calorie intake! Keeping that up week after week takes a lot of mental willpower. That’s why most diets fail.
Combine walking with healthy eating
If you walk an hour a day and eat a little less, it’s a lot easier to lose weight.
Exercising helps to maintain or build your muscle mass – so your weight loss will be mainly from body fat and not muscle. Plus walking will burn calories – so you won’t need to be on a restrictive diet.
Just eat a little less of the bad food containing high fats and sugars, and try to eat better – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Start with small changes to your diet until they become regular healthy eating habits.
Related post: Is Diet More Important Than Exercise?
Follow A Walking For Weight Loss Plan
If you haven’t walked regularly for some time, it’s best to get a check-up from your doctor first and follow a walking plan.
Jumping straight into walking an hour a day could be too much. It’s better to start with a 30-minute walk. See how that goes before increasing the distance and time of your walking workout.
You can follow the tips in this guide to walking 2 miles a day or if you’re really up for a challenge – take on the Fat Buster Walking Plan.
It’s a bigger commitment, gradually increasing the amount of walking to 5 miles a day, but it’s a great way to lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks!
Walk Every Day
You don’t have to walk 7 days of the week but it’s good to have a daily routine. Walking every day develops a habit.
Allow time in your diary for your walking routine. It’s an essential part of your day. Give it a high priority!
For maximum weight loss and calories burned, keep your walks challenging.
When you’re walking every day, you’ll start to get fitter.
Make sure it’s still a brisk walk. That’s a brisk pace where you can still talk and walk but it’s a constant effort to maintain the pace.
As your daily walk becomes routine, it’s tempting to do just enough to complete your hour’s walk.
But you’re trying to lose weight – so don’t let your walking slide into an easy walk.
Walk faster for maximum calorie burn, walk up hills or try walking intervals. Look for every opportunity to increase your daily step count – volunteer for errands, and take the stairs instead of the lift.
Related post: Walking For Weight Loss Plan – Fat Busting Workout Schedule
Health Benefits Of Walking
Walking isn’t just about calories burned and maintaining a healthy weight. As a form of exercise, it’s one of the best. This moderate-intensity aerobic exercise will help with everything health-related from your blood pressure to your mental health.
Strong Shapely Legs
Flashing a good calf muscle may not sound like a health benefit, but strong legs will keep you mobile for longer in later life. That’s a big plus for your long-term health.
Walking uses your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core – and you’ll work these muscles harder if you’re walking uphills.
It’s a low-impact exercise but that’s enough to help prevent osteoporosis. Strong legs from walking will help with balance and keep you steady on your feet.
Add some strength training at the end of your workouts to improve your core and leg muscle strength. These bodyweight exercises are great for both walkers and runners.
Increased Aerobic Capacity
Having a greater aerobic capacity means your body can use oxygen more efficiently. It’s a health marker for the reduced risk of heart disease.
Based on research, walking helps improve cardiovascular fitness and markers of cardiovascular risk such as aerobic capacity, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
Walking an hour a day is an easy way to improve your overall health and reduce high blood pressure.
Can Help Reduce Risk Of Chronic Disease
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60 percent of Americans are living with at least one chronic disease – heart disease, stroke, cancer, or diabetes.
Studies show walking can help with hitting weight loss goals for a healthy body mass index (BMI), reducing blood sugar levels, and controlling cholesterol. If your good health isn’t enough reason to start walking an hour a day, I don’t know what is!
Improves Your Mental Health
When we talk about health, it’s easy to overlook the importance of the mind. It’s almost impossible to lose weight if you have a negative self-image and you’re finding life hard.
Walking an hour a day won’t solve all your problems – but it may give you the mental strength to look for solutions.
Studies show that walking is good for your mental health and can even provide respite for long-term conditions.
Walking provides a much-needed mental break from the stresses of day-to-day life. So add a daily walk to your routine for active rest and recovery.
Reasons to Start Walking An Hour A Day
Hopefully, this post has convinced you of the importance of walking an hour a day.
Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your overall health, help you lose weight, and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease.
Find friends to walk with or join a walking group to help with motivation – people who will keep you accountable.
Up the walking intensity to burn more calories and help to shift that unwanted belly fat. Just remember, if you’re walking to lose weight or maintain weight loss, calories burned can be replaced by an unhealthy diet – so aim to eat better to get the best health benefits from walking.