How many calories does walking burn per kilometre, mile, hour, or step? There’s a simple calculator we can use to figure that out. All we need to know is how much you weigh and how much you’re walking.
Here’s the walking calorie calculator:
Walking Calorie Calculator
The calorie calculator is based on a few different common heuristics. None of them are perfectly precise. They can’t be. There’s genetic variation in metabolism, pace, and walking efficiency. But these estimates will get you into the right neighbourhood.
How the Calculator Works
The calculator is rooted in metabolic equivalents (METs). Sitting quietly has a MET value of 1. Walking has a MET value of 3–5, depending on how fast your pace is. That means walking burns 3–5 times more calories than sitting.
To figure out how many extra calories walking burns, we can estimate how many calories it burns overall and then subtract the cost of sitting:
Extra Calories Burned = (METs – 1) × body weight in kg × duration in hours.
For example, let’s imagine you weigh as much as the average American man (200 pounds):
- How many calories does walking burn per hour? Walking at a brisk pace has a MET value of 5, so if you go out walking for exercise, you can burn around 363 extra calories per hour.
- How many calories does walking burn per mile? Most people can cover about 4 miles per hour when walking briskly. We can convert that into hours and plug it into the calorie formula above. Walking burns around 90 extra calories per mile.
- How many calories does walking burn per step? Most people take about 2250 steps per mile. So, if you take 8,000 steps per day at a relaxed pace, you’ll burn around 346 extra calories.
- How many calories does walking burn per minute? If you go on a brisk 30-minute walk every morning, you’ll accumulate 210 minutes of walking every week, burning an extra 1,270 calories.
Compared to other forms of cardiovascular exercise, walking burns a modest number of calories per hour. However, it’s also the simplest and easiest form of cardio, so it isn’t difficult to do quite a lot of it, significantly increasing your caloric needs.
Exercise can be tiring. Most people compensate for the extra calories they burn by becoming less active throughout the day. You’ll spend more time sitting instead of standing. You’ll lie on the couch instead of sitting on it. In the end, you’ll regain some of the calories you burned.
Still, if you’re trying to bulk up, you may already be horrified by how many calories it takes to gain weight. Walking throws coal into that metabolic furnace. For many skinny people, that heat can be hard to bear. Fortunately, walking also speeds up and smooths out digestion, so you shouldn’t have much trouble eating those calories back. High-calorie smoothies are great for that. There’s even a type of food designed to be eaten while you’re out walking: trail mix.
Alright, that’s it for now. We’ve got a bigger article on walking coming soon.
If you have any questions, drop them below.