Get Fit Walking – 6 Facts to Prove it is Easy!
You want to get fit walking, but you don’t know how. We’ve all been there. Online is full of millions of differing information and it is hard to cut through all of it. That’s why we have this helpful guide so you can truly understand how to get fit walking and what walking is doing to your body.
How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?
Generally speaking, walking burns between 280 and 500 calories an hour. But, there is already a stumbling block. Each person has a different reaction to exercise based on your biology and your mentality. We all have that irritating friend who is always fit and healthy even though they have not done exercise since 2018! Various other factors affect the calories you lose while walking, but there are three factors that are in your control:
- How many steps you walk in an hour
- The weight you are carrying
- The speed you walk
If you have more steps while carrying weight and at a high speed, you will see faster return in your calories burnt.
Can I Get Fit Walking?
So, walking does burn calories, but can you do it? Well, yes. Humans have been getting fit walking since we have got rid of the pesky walking on all fours – and we’ve not stopped since. Provided you have the physical ability to walk, you can do it.
It’s free, you can do it anywhere and, often, it is an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine. Just walk instead of taking the car – unless you are travelling large distances – and you’ll notice the difference!
As with anything, the hardest part is beginning. So, making mental changes in your life may help get you into walking. Starting a walking competition with friends, buying a smart watch or step tracker to count your steps or reward yourself with healthy treats when you beat your step total of the last day. Whatever works for you to get you over that initial hump!
After you can elevate your heart rate while walking for at least 30 minutes, you will produce massive improvements to your walking fitness. This will mean walking is much more likely to become habit.
It is hard to start, but when walking becomes habit, you’ll never look back. Not only will you be physically healthier but, being outside is great for your mental health. Getting fit walking really is an amazing thing to do.
Is Walking Hard?
Walking is whatever you make it to be. It could be walking to the kitchen or up some stairs, to completing large hikes in the Himalayas. Consequently, walking really is only as hard as you make it. That is why everyone and anyone should get into walking, it pushes you to be fit at a pace that suits you.
However, to get fit walking, there must be a degree of effort and stress on our bodies so they can do their calorie magic. So, although walking is not HARD, it must be a little challenging to really feel the effects.
But, a little challenge really is important for your mental health, and you quickly enjoy the effort you put in when you begin feeling the results!
It is important to note that you also don’t want to make the walking too hard because then you can overload your body and cause injuries. Small and sustainable improvements is the best way to go, but this does look different for everyone.
If We Haven’t Convinced You Already…
We now know you can get fit walking, it’s easy to get into and it’s not too hard. But, are there any other benefits to sweeten the deal further? Well, first things first, that is a great question. Yes, there are tonnes of other benefits.
- Getting outside is great for your mind and perspective.
- A walk refreshes you and makes you feel more awake – although may not in the moment.
- A brisk walk makes your body release endorphins, so it gives you a free and easy ball of happiness.
- It lowers your cholesterol levels.
- It empties your mind in ways that help fight stress.
- It is a good social thing to do.
There are countless other benefits but, we don’t want to keep you reading this all day – we want you walking!
So, how many calories will you actually burn? This can be calculated easily with a smart watch however, not everyone has access to one – like me… maybe one Christmas though.
If you feel comfortable with maths, here is the formula:
Calories burned per minute walking = (0.035 * body weight in kg) + [ (Velocity in m/s ^2) / (Height in m) ] * (0.029) * (body weight in kg).
Okay, maybe it is best to simply use an online calorie calculator.
While this calculator gives you a rough guide to how many calories you’ve burnt, it is not an exact science. Body mass, exercise intensity, age, body composition, temperature, fitness level, diet and sleep all influence your calories burnt.
For instance, a person in better shape will burn fewer calories than someone who is less fit when they do the same exercise. Moreover, you burn more calories when it is warm outside, so best get walking on those summer days!
How You Can Fit Walking Efficiently?
While you cannot control some factors in burning more calories when walking, as previously mentioned, you can do some tricks to make your exercise more time efficient.
Go Faster to get Fit Walking!
Yeah, it’s obvious, I get it. But there is more to this than meets the eye. If you incorporate intervals of increased ‘walking sprints’ in with slower paces of walking, your body works harder and burns more calories. If you add even three ‘walking sprints’ of a minute in a half hour walk, the calories burnt will increase.
As your fitness improves, you can then ‘walking sprint’ for longer!
Walking up Hills or on Trails!
When you walk on difficult ground, you use different muscles in your legs. This forces your heart rate to increase, and you burn more calories. You also gain more muscle which even improves how many calories you burn while doing nothing!
So, try to find nearby parks or countryside without paths!
Hills are another good way of doing this, although they are a bit more intense. But, hills have the added benefit for improving key muscles you use in walking, which makes your next flat walk even easier!
This is last on the list of a reason; it is the hardest to do. While it is tempting to burn loads of calories by packing a huge rucksack and walking up a hill, this is not advised.
When starting on your walking journey, begin with simple ankle or wrist weights. These are hidden weights that are small and manageable, but your body will notice the difference!
Any additional weight you can add increases the calories burnt in the walk. This can even be your own natural weight (called kinaesthetic exercise). Pumping your arms as you walk is an easy way to increase your heart rate for instance.
If you’re still struggling to get started, a helpful guide may be found here.