Walking can burn a surprisingly high number of calories. But, to lose weight, walking 10,000 steps a day alone isn’t going to cut it. Here’s how to up your calorie burn while walking and transform it into your go-to fat burning routine.
Reviewed by: Tim Pittorino, BHSC
Put the power in power walking
The key is to:
- Walk fast
- Get your heart rate up
- Break a sweat
Power walking requires your legs to move and your heart to pump faster, thereby burning more energy. Research has also found that power walking vs moderate-pace walking will result is a greater visceral fat loss.
Aim for a pace of 6km/h (or more!) to really fire up that heart rate.
Walk for an hour every day
When it comes to weight loss, consistency is everything. Walking for an hour every day (even if it’s just 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there) will help you reach your weight loss goals.
A 70kg female can burn around 300 calories on a brisk 1-hour walk. If this is completed 7 days a week, suddenly you’ve burned 2100 calories. And this feels so much easier than forcing yourself to burn that at the gym!
The number of steps is important
Studies have shown that 12,000 steps a day are necessary for weight maintenance. However, to lose weight, this number needs to sit up around 15,000. I promise this number isn’t as out of reach as it may seem! The secret is combining both planned and incidental exercise. Here’s how:
- Get a pedometer
- Take the stairs to work
- Get off the bus a stop early
- Park further away from your destination
- Go for a 5-minute walk every hour at work
Look for an incline
Walking uphill will burn more calories while toning your calves, quads and glutes – plus adding more inclines over time will maintain muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. This can be done on a treadmill or outside – each have their benefits, but we’ve always found walking outside to be easier, more-motivating and, bonus, it feels quicker too!
When it comes to your calorie burn while walking, really upping the ante requires weights. Hand or ankle weights, or even a weighted backpack, will get your muscles working harder and your heart rate pumping faster, and are great ways to fast-tracking your fitness. For hand and ankle weights, swing your arms for added movement and to burn more calories. However, it is important that you ease into this and don’t overload on the first day. You have to walk back with the weights too and the risk of injury increases if you are not engaged properly!
Walking is an amazing way to stay fit, lose weight and add years to your life – through very minimal effort! Alongside any other exercise you may do, a minimum of 10,000 steps a day is recommended in order to keep your cardiovascular system working and combat our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
For more expert tips on how to up your calorie burn while walking, or to learn more about our 12WBT workout programs, visit our fitness page here.