Walking is one of the most natural ways to move and is a universal fitness activity. How do you calculate your energy expenditures for walking and can you increase them?
First, let’s figure out how we burn calories when walking in the first place. No, it’s not about speed or stride length! When you take your first step, you transfer your body weight to your front foot. This decreases the height of your center of gravity from the ground – naturally, because your legs are spread apart, so the straight up distance is less.
When you step with the second foot, you have to raise your center of gravity (the moment your feet are together). And this is where the main caloric expenditure occurs – to overcome the force of gravity! Yes, yes, it’s the same as lifting a barbell, only you lift your own body. This is the moment when calories are consumed; this is where the main energy of the step is spent.
How to calculate calorie consumption while walking?
As we explained above, calorie consumption per kilometer depends on how many kilograms you lift with each step (that is, on your body weight and height). Calorie consumption per kilometer does not depend on speed as such. However, energy consumption per minute or hour is directly related to speed. Indeed, at a higher speed, you will take more steps per minute and cover this very kilometer faster.
To calculate the energy consumption during walking, the following formula is usually used:
Energy expenditure in kcal per minute = (0.035 * your body weight) + (walking speed * 2 / your height) * 0.029 * your body weight
To get the cost for training, all this must be multiplied by the walking time.
In order not to engage in complex calculations, you can use the simplified version: every 2000 steps = 100 kcal .
How many calories are burned walking each day?
We all walk for a certain amount of time and at different speeds. Without counting the number of steps, energy consumption cannot be determined, so you need to use at least an elementary pedometer, an application on your smartphone or a fitness bracelet. Smart devices can count calories themselves. Or use our table.
|1000 steps||50 kcal|
|4000 steps||200 kcal|
|5000 steps||250 kcal|
|7000 steps||350 kcal|
|8000 steps||400 kcal|
|9000 steps||450 kcal|
|10000 steps||500 kcal|
|15000 steps||750 kcal|
Of course, all this is somewhat arbitrary. After all, the height to which you raise your weight in the process of walking also depends on how you walk: along the treadmill, down the street, up the hill. The surface and direction change the length of the step, respectively, its frequency, the degree of bending of the legs.
How many calories are spent walking in different conditions?
The easiest option is a treadmill. Since it rotates under you, you can practically not take your foot forward, which means that you can lower and raise your center of gravity minimally.
“The calorie consumption will be higher if you walk on the street,” says Daniil Lobakin, a candidate for master of sports PRO-expert Sportmaster PRO. – On the treadmill, there is no repulsive moment with the foot from the surface, due to which you can also burn calories. An additional load on the street can be given by uneven terrain – uphills. Nordic walking is more efficient than regular walking because the arms and shoulders work. Due to the fact that while walking you also work with sticks, you make more movements. With normal walking, there is no such additional energy expenditure.”
How many calories does walking 1.5 km or 10 km burn?
As we have already explained, it all depends on your weight and the number of steps. Usually the step length is 50-70 cm (the higher the person, the longer the step will be). Thus, you will definitely burn 100 kcal per 1 km.
The distance of 1 km is good because it can be found everywhere – on the way to study, work, when going to the grocery store. That is, it can be passed several times a day, not particularly noticing and not getting tired.
The 5K distance requires at least an hour of walking and a fairly brisk pace. After all, the average speed of a pedestrian is only 3-4 km / h. On average, such a walk will burn about 400 kcal.
Walking 10 km in one run is within the power of well-trained people. Moving at an average walking pace, you will spend about 3 hours on it and can feel quite exhausted. The result is up to 800 kcal, after which every muscle will be felt!
How to increase calorie consumption while walking?
The easiest option is to walk more or faster to increase the number of steps. But there is another load.
“You can hang weights on your legs or take a backpack with them,” Daniil Lobakin suggests. “Any weight gain will make exercise more difficult and create conditions for more energy expenditure in calories.” With weights, everything is individual. If a muscular man weighing about 90 kg is going to train, you can even choose two-kilogram weights. It is better for girls to start with 0.5 kg.
Also consider how much you will be walking with weights and where. “If you go uphill, half a kilogram is enough,” says Daniil Lobakin. – There are weighting agents and less – 250 g. If you walk on the plain for about half an hour, you can use kilogram ones. Everything here is very individual.” When choosing a weighting agent, it should be borne in mind that we will not walk for 2-3 minutes, according to experience, the average walking time is an hour and a half. There is no upper limit, since this is not an intense run, you can even walk all day, focusing on well-being.
Proper walking technique
To maximize the benefits of walking, keep an eye on your body position.
- Maintain correct posture: do not lower your head, look ahead at 5-10 m, do not slouch.
- Bend your arms at the elbows, as when running, and set the amplitude of the step with them.
- Tighten the abdominal muscles, slightly tighten the buttocks.
- Walk, rolling your feet from heel to toe.
- Slightly accentuate the toe off of the ground in the last phase of the step using the ankle joint.
Sometimes beginners try to master the technique of race walking. Race walking is a rather technically complex sport, it is not easy to master it, explains Daniil Lobakin. – World record – the athlete walked 21 kilometers in 1 hour 28 minutes, I run this distance more slowly. If you want to go in for sports walking, it is better to work with a trainer. The main subtlety of race walking technique is that the hands must work together with the legs. Often during training, people go astray. In addition, race walking should not switch to running – there is a phase of flight in running, and here there should be a constant point of support.
How to walk for health and weight loss?
Walking is available with many health limitations, so it’s no surprise that it’s so popular among healthy lifestyle enthusiasts.
“Walking is usually done for weight loss and cardiovascular training,” says Daniil Lobakin. – Beginners and overweight and aged people walk just in the right heart rate zone, about 130-145 beats per minute. In walking, the main thing is the work of the hands, especially if a person walks with Scandinavian sticks. The left leg goes – the right hand goes, with alternation, you need to focus on this.
If you decide to try Nordic walking, the main thing is to use sticks for it, and not for trekking. They are very similar, but trekking poles have a different grip, which interferes with Nordic walking.
And, of course, do not forget about proper nutrition and calorie restriction – without this, you cannot lose weight even with the most intense workouts. Good walk!