Top tips to help you burn calories & get healthier by walking

Burn Calories & Get Healthier by Walking

Walking might be one of the easiest forms of exercise when it comes to helping you lose weight – it’s low impact, can be done by anyone, and doesn’t require a gym membership. But there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re getting the most out of your walk. 

So, whether you want to shift some pounds, get healthier physically and mentally, or improve your fitness levels, we’ve gathered some top tips to help you along the way… 

Pick up the pace

The key to burning calories whilst walking is to walk at a brisk speed – about 3 miles per hour. With a smartwatch or fitness tracker on your phone, you can monitor your speed.

Or you can do a simple test – at a brisk walking pace, you should be able to say the words but not sing a song. 

So, how many calories does walking burn? It depends on a few factors, including your weight and the elevation during your walk.

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But in general, you can burn anywhere between 100-200 calories per 30-minute walk. With a walk every day, you could be looking at a 500-1000 calorie weekly deficit by simply going for a walk on your lunch break. 

Integrate walking more often

An easy way to get more walking into your week is to integrate it into your daily habits. So, if you usually have a 10-minute drive to work, try switching the car for trainers and walking instead.

Or, if you work in an office, take the time to walk somewhere different to sit and eat your lunch instead of having a sandwich at your desk. 

If you are working from home, pick a time of day that would suit you the best. You might find you get a burst of energy after a morning walk or that wandering with the family after your evening meal helps you digest. 

Set realistic goals 

If you’re new to getting fit or are embarking on a weight loss journey, it’s important to set realistic goals and stick to them to avoid injury or putting too much pressure on your body.

Even walking just 10 minutes a day can strengthen your muscles and help to get your metabolism moving. 

An overweight individual burns more calories as there is more weight being carried. But don’t be discouraged when the amount of calories burned on the same walk reduces as the weeks go by

– it just means you’re getting fitter, losing weight and have developed a healthy habit. That’s the time when you should start reassessing your goals and setting new targets.

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If you set goals that are impossible to reach, you won’t feel accomplished in the end. That sense of accomplishment is essential when it comes to cementing a habit, so start small and work your way up. 

Choose your route 

Planning a route ahead of time can prevent anxiety when it comes to exercising and helps you to visualise the distance you’ll be walking.

Variety is important too, so plan some different routes around your local area that vary in terrain and distance.

You could also schedule your route around errands like going to the shops or dropping into your local cafe for a snack. These all help you to integrate walking as a habit into your life. 

Track your steps

Whether it’s with a dedicated pedometer or fitness watch, on your phone or in a journal, tracking your steps can help you to see your progress and keep you motivated.

Health trackers also take the guesswork out of exercising as they monitor your steps, distance, heart rate and length of stride.

You can build and improve on your walking efforts day to day and incrementally up the anti to help you boost weight loss and achieve your fitness goals. 

Pick a podcast or soundtrack 

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast or music whilst cleaning or working, you’ll know it helps the time to fly by.

The same goes for walking. Having something to help focus your mind on will distract you from the exercise and help to keep you motivated.

Podcasts are great due to their length and attention required – if you’re listening to a 45 min podcast, chances are you’ll end up wanting to keep walking so you can listen to the whole thing.

There are plenty of great playlists on popular music streaming services that are curated to motivate you and get the adrenaline pumping, too. 

Get lost in nature 

Another good way to help keep your mind occupied whilst you exercise is to pick an area to walk in that’s rich in nature.

This could be your local park or forest, following a trail walk or a public footpath somewhere beautiful. 

On the 21st of March 2022, it’s the International Day of Forests hosted by the United Nations to celebrate and raise awareness of all types of forests.

So, why not see if there are any events in your local area, or get a group of walkers together for a good cause?

Boost your mood 

Not only are there many physical benefits to regular walking such as reducing your chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but there are also a wealth of mental health benefits too:

  • Boosting your self-esteem
  • Managing symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Reducing your chance of getting depression
  • Improving fatigue and concentration issues
  • Reducing stress 

Mental health and fitness often go hand in hand, as keeping fit can keep your brain occupied whilst helping to manage symptoms and giving you a sense of accomplishment.

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Now you know how to burn calories whilst walking, boosting your mental and physical health alike. So get your trainers on, grab your water bottle and get walking – you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time at all.