How many calories does walking burn?

Written by paul bright
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How many calories does walking burn?
Walking is a good way to burn calories. (walking image by astoria from Fotolia.com)

Walking is generally regarded by doctors as a good way to get exercise. A basic walk is part of everyday life, so it does not require extra effort or set-up compared with, say, doing aerobics. At most, you'll probably need a good pair of walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.

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Changing Conditions

The amount of calories burnt from walking depends on speed and terrain. Imagine walking from your car to your workplace in perfect weather conditions and on level ground. If you were a 68kg. person of average build, you would burn about 136 calories per hour with this type of walking. But make that walk uphill in the snow (much like a story your grandpa probably told you), and the rate can jump to over 400 calories an hour.

As another example, imagine you're helping a neighbour move his couch up a few flights of stairs. Your load would probably be 22.7 to 34kg., unless he has one of those pull-out couches with a heavy metal frame inside. Going up those stairs, you could burn 544 calories per hour. A pregnant woman carrying an extra 6.8kg. (baby plus the baby fat) can burn 238 calories per hour while walking on level ground or downhill. Walking the dog burns 200 calories per hour for the average person.

Walking Speed

Walking speed is an important factor in determining the amount of calories burnt. The average walking stroll is less than 2 mph, which burns 136 calories per hour. Turn it into a speed-walking pace of 3.5 mph and your burn rate goes up to 238. At 5 mph (you might as well call this a jog), a person can burn up to 544 calories per hour.

If you decide to step up your walking and turn it into an adventure by backpacking, you are sure to burn more calories. The average amount would be 476 per hour. That rate factors in terrain changes and the weight of a backpack. Carry a heavier load and go uphill both ways (again, like your grandpa told you), and you could increase that amount.

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