How Does Walking Help You Lose Weight?

Walking involves moving the major muscles of your body. Walking briskly elevates your heart rate and, in doing so, becomes an ‘aerobic’ activity or exercise. Aerobic exercise burns calories while toning muscles.

The more frequent and intense the exercise, the more calories you burn while engaging in the activity. Exercising and following a reduced calorie diet creates a calorie deficit which is necessary for weight loss. A calorie deficit occurs when you expend more calories than you require for weight maintenance.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, to lose 1 lb of fatty tissue in one week you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you consume or about 500 fewer calories daily. For best results, refer to an online calorie calculator or plug your age, weight and height into either the Harris-Benedict or Mifflin St-Jeor equations to estimate your total calorie requirements for weight maintenance.

Theoretically, you must create a calorie deficit of 500 calories daily, through diet, exercise or a combination of the two, to lose 1 lb per week.  Use the physical activity calorie calculator to accurately estimate, based upon your weight, speed and duration, how many calories you will burn walking.  According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), an individual that weighs 150 lbs burns approximately 283 calories walking at a brisk pace or about 4 miles per hour (mph) for 50 minutes.  If that same person cuts approximately 220 calories from their diet, he/she can lose 1 lb per week.

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