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Walking (cont.)

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How many calories will I burn walking?

A 150-pound man burns 100 calories per mile; a 200-pund man burns 133 calories per mile; and a 250-pound man burns 166 calories per mile. You burn virtually the same number of calories whether you run or walk a mile; you just get there faster if you run. See below for a chart of calories burned during walking at different speeds and body weight.

What's a good average walking speed?

  • A good average walking speed is 3 to 4 miles per hour (mph) and depends on your leg length and how quickly you can move your legs.
  • You may need to start at a slower pace if you're out of shape, but you will build up quickly if you walk regularly.
  • Once you exceed 4 mph, it gets tricky because you don't know if you should walk or run. Proper speed-walking technique will help at fast speeds.
  • Treadmill and outdoor walking yield the same benefits. Set the elevation to 1% to mimic outdoor walking.

How much walking should I do?

There are two exercise recommendations in the United States.

  1. The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes or more of accumulated moderate intensity physical activity on five or more days per week to improve health and fitness. "Accumulated" means you can do it in shorter bouts throughout the day (for example, 10- or 15-minute intervals throughout the day), and "moderate intensity" means you feel warm and slightly out of breath when you do it. Walking counts!

Here are some suggestions to incorporate walking into your day and accumulate 30 minutes. Think about your day and how you can increase walking.

  • Get off the bus before your destination (you may even save time this way).
  • Park your car farther from the store.
  • Take a walk at lunch instead of having your food delivered.
  • Walk for errands instead of driving short distances.
  • Get rid of your riding lawnmower!
  • Keep your walking shoes handy. Leave a pair at your office for quick 10-minute stress-reducing walks.
  1. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 20-60 minutes of continuous activity, three to five times a week, at 60%-90% of maximum heart rate, and two to three days of resistance training. Walking counts!
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/7/2014


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