How many calories burned walking depends on many variables. Most calculations are based on your weight, the speed you are walking in miles per hour (mph), and is calculated per distance. If you want to go further you can also add in variables such as age and your fitness level. The amount of time is not as important as the speed at which you are walking and the distance.

There are inexpensive pedometers you can purchase that can measure the amount of steps taken, miles per hour, as well as the distance you have walked so you can figure out more closely how many calories you have burned. You may have noticed that most treadmill machines at the gym provide you with calories burned estimates to keep counting calories burned very simple in case you are more motivated to walk at the gym than around your block.

Calories burned walking calculations are typically based on MET (metabolic equivalents of various activities) research and calculations but there are limitations to calculations based solely on this.

Below is a basic chart that estimates calories burned walking per hour based on the MET to help give you an idea of how some basic ranges:

Activity and Pace 130 lbs 155 lbs 190 lbs
Walking, 2.0 mph, slow pace 148 176 216
Walking, 3.0 mph, moderate pace, walking dog 207 246 302
Walking, 3.5 mph, uphill 354 422 518
Walking, 4.0 mph, very brisk pace 236 281 345

Another variable that affects how many calories you burn is how many muscles you are activating while walking. For example, if you are walking uphill or downhill you are activating muscles you might not be stressing as hard as just walking on a flat surface. How active your arms are, such as pumping them more aggressively if you are walking at a faster pace or carrying lightweights, can also affect how many calories you are burning.

Your heart rate is another important aspect to how many calories burned walking. Basically, an increase in heart rate causes the metabolism to speed up to convert more calories into energy. A heart rate monitor can record your average heart rate during walking. Some fitness gurus have specific heart rate targets that are specifically geared for optimizing calorie burning. A common target is 85 percent of your maximum while you are doing a specific activity.

1. Source: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES State of Wisconsin Division of Public Health PPH 40109 (09/05)
2.Ainsworth BE, et al. Compendium of physical activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2000;32(suppl):S498
3. Winning by losing. Jillian Michaels 2005

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