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While walking is perhaps the most natural movement for us, it can still be difficult for someone to walk enough during the day. You take a car or bus to and from work, sit in the office all day, and in the evening you’d rather stretch your feet up on the table while watching your favourite show than take a short walk. It can be even more challenging for those who work from home and all their steps are made up of “travelling” between bed, computer, fridge and toilet. If you didn’t have your smartwatch, you might not even notice at the end of the day that you’ve only walked 2,000 steps. In today’s article, through the benefits of walking, we will try to get you to step more during the day, and we will also reveal how easy it is to lose weight just by going for a walk from time to time.
7 reasons why you should walk more
1. You will meet exercise recommendations
As recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization), each person should devote a minimum of 150 minutes per week to moderate-intensity activities or 75 minutes to high-intensity activities. These two types can, of course, be combined. However, if you go for an hour-long walk 3 times a week, your minimum exercise recommendation is fulfilled. 
2. You’ll improve your health
However, walking also has many positive effects on our health. It promotes proper cardiovascular function, immunity, affects cholesterol levels, blood pressure and slows the development of osteoporosis. According to the results of other studies, regular activity may even reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer.   
3. You will lose weight more easily
Every extra calorie you burn during the day counts. Walking can be a great way to naturally move more during the day without feeling fundamentally exhausted. If you get off a few stops early every day and take a 30-minute walk, the energy will add up over time and the kilos will shed easily. How to lose weight just by walking is discussed in more detail in the article.
4. You will clear your head
Do you feel mentally tired after a full day? Try to leave all the technology that is draining your mind at home, and go for a walk outside, ideally in the forest. Staying in the fresh air coupled with listening to the sounds of nature is a great way to consolidate your mental health. According to the results of a study aimed at young people with a sedentary lifestyle, there was an improvement in sleep when an hour of walking daily was undertaken. It has even been scientifically confirmed that people living in cities within 300 metres of greenery in the form of a park and the like are happier and generally more satisfied.  
5. You’ll improve your physical condition
Physical activity generally has a positive effect on your fitness level. If you walk regularly at a faster pace, you may soon feel yourself improving. You’ll be less breathless, you’ll walk a longer distance without a problem, and even the bus you recently missed by the skin of your teeth, you will now be able to catch up to it. Likewise, it is good to get used to walking upstairs, which will not give you any problem over time, and you’ll walk without any pauses.
6. You will get Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important in the body for example for proper immune and muscle function. Our body can make it on its own thanks to the UVB rays that fall on our skin, but in the winter and autumn months there may be its deficit. Spring is already the ideal time to slowly and surely shed layers of clothing and expose to more sunlight. In order to get enough vitamin D in the body, you need to spend time in the sun and not just indoors. 
If you feel that your vitamin D level is insufficient, you can increase it with nutritional supplements.
7. Effective use of your time
If we haven’t convinced you of the advantages of walking in the preceding points, and you still insist that you don’t want to waste time on this activity, how about linking it to a favourite activity? It can be perfectly combined with listening to music, podcasts, phone calls or a business meeting. Instead of sitting with your friends over coffee or with your partner on the couch, go for a walk around your neighbourhood. You will explore new places, spend time with your loved ones, and do something positive for your health.
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How many calories can you burn by walking for an hour?
There is a big difference between the different walk types, and so the amount of calories you burn will fundamentally vary. Fitness condition, terrain slope, walking speed, weight, body composition, age and a variety of other factors play a role. To give you a better idea, we list in the table how many calories are approximately burnt by an average 65 kg female and 80 kg male with the different types of walking. In order to calculate the indicative output related to your weight, you can also find the MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) value in the table. This unit expresses the energy that you expend by a specific activity in relation to lying still. For example, if the MET value for activity is 4, it means that a person burns 4 times more calories than if they were just lying still for the same amount of time.
How to calculate MET: If an 80 kg person lay down for an hour (MET 1), they would burn 80 kcal. If the same person did an hour of sports that has a MET 10, they’d burn 800 kcal. 
How many calories can you burn with each walk type?
|Walk type||MET||How many kcal will a 65kg female burn|
How many kcal will a 80kg male burn
|Walking at home||2||130||160|
|Walking the dog||3||195||240|
|Walking up to 3 km/h||2||130||160|
|Walking at 4 km/h on a flat, solid surface||3||195||240|
|Walking at 4 km/h downhill on a solid surface||3.3||215||264|
|Walking at 5.5 km/h on a solid surface||4.3||280||344|
|Walking at 6.5 km/h on a solid surface||5||325||400|
|Walking at 7 km/h on a solid surface||7||455||560|
|Walking at 4.5 – 5.5 km/h uphill with a slope of 1 – 5%||5.3||345||424|
|Walking at 4.5 – 5.5 km/h uphill with a slope of 6 – 15%||8||520||640|
|Slow walk up the stairs||4||260||320|
|Fast walk up the stairs||8.8||572||704|
|Nordic walking at a speed of 5.5 – 6.5 km/h||4.8||312||384|
|Nordic walking at a speed of 8 km/h||9.5||618||760|
|Walking backwards at 5.5 km/h||6||390||480|
|Walking on crutches||5||325||400|
6 tips for burning as many calories as possible while walking
1. Use weighted vest
To give you a better idea, when walking at 7 km/h on a solidsurface, a 65 kg woman with a 15 kg vest burns 105 kcal moreand an 80 kg man with a 20 kg vest burns 140 kcal more than without it.
2. Try using walking poles
Nordic walking is not only popular among older people. Thanks to the poles, you will practically connect the whole body whilst walking, which can help you better overcome the terrain or maintain a higher speed. An honest hour of intense Nordic walking with the right technique can be similar to a full-body workout.
If this type of movement is new to you, rest assured that the next day your hands and back may hurt similarly as after a training workout. We would also like to point out to beginners that Nordic walking poles are not the same as tracking poles, so beware of what you are buying. 
3. Walk uphill
If you regularly include walking uphill, ideally at a higher intensity, you can burn more calories, plus you will quickly feel physical improvement. So avoid the stereotype of walking on a flat surface and head out into a proper mountain terrain. You’ll know that feeling when you climb a big hill is irreplaceable.
4. Skip the elevator and take the stairs
Like hills, the stairs are a good option to intensify walking. And between you and me, ladies, it’s a great way to tone your butt. Therefore, say goodbye to elevators and escalators permanently. And beware, the heavy groceries you have to carry up to the fifth floor do not excuse you. Think of it as a way to put even more into your body and burn more calories.
5. Increase your speed
As you can see in the table, speed matters. Therefore, try to increase it so that every walk presents a new challenge for you.
This example speaks volumes: If an 80 kg man goes for a walk, where he walks three kilometres in an hour, he’ll burn 160 kcal. But if he picks up the pace and does 7 km in an hour, he’ll burn 560 kcal. And that’s quite a difference, isn’t it?
6. Walk longer routes
If you’re still in a phase where you can’t increase your intensity, try extending at least the distance you’ve walked. Don’t worry,it’s not necessary to add several kilometres immediately. However, if you go for a walk 3 times a week and add 300 metres each time, within a month, your original route will be approximately 3.5 km longer. Various apps can also motivate you to extend your distance, by which you can heckle your friends about who has the most steps. If you make a bet, your motivation will be even higher.
However, you can create a step challenge for yourself and check off the fulfilled goal every evening. For example, active weekends can help with a sufficient number of steps, when you go for a walk in more distant surroundings.
To give you an idea: In an hour of hiking, an 80 kg man can burn approximately 480 kcal. With a proper hike of seven hours, this can easily burn 3360 kcal, which is energy hidden in less than half a kilogram of fat. Hiking can thus simplify the weight loss process considerably.
How to lose a kilogram of fat by walking?
You may be starting to think that adding extra steps to your day might not be a bad idea at all. To further motivate you, let’s see how walking can help us lose a kilogram of fat. For better clarification we use our average 65 kg female (Misha) and 80 kg male (Martin).
1. Incorporate 3 walks a week into your schedule
Misha and Martin decided to include an extra 3 walks lasting an hour into their day because they would like to lose some weight, preferably without much restriction. They are no stranger to movement, so they will walk at a brisk pace of 6.5 km/h (MET 5).
How long does it take to burn a kilogram of fat that holds approximately 7700 kcal?
- With one walk, Misha burns about 325 kcal, which is 975 kcal per week. A kilogram of fat would burn like this in less than two months.
- With one walk, Martin burns about 400 kcal, which is 1200 kcal per week. A kilogram of fat would burn like this in one and a half months.
2. Walk up the stairs for 20 minutes every day
If Misha and Martin decided that a one-hour walk did not suit them, they could try to include 20 minutes of fast stair walking each day (MET 8.8).
How long does it take to burn a kilogram of fat that holds approximately 7700 kcal?
- In 20 minutes of fast walking up the stairs, Misha would burn 191 kcal. If she did this activity for 20 minutes every day, she would burn a kilogram of fat in less than six weeks.
- In 20 minutes of fast walking up the stairs, Martin would burn 235 kcal. If he did this activity for 20 minutes every day, he would burn a kilogram of fat in less than five weeks.
You may feel that a month or two is a long time to lose a kilogram of fat. However, take into account that in this case walking (whether up the stairs or as a classic walk) serves more as an additional activity to the caloric deficit and training, which can greatly simplify and speed up the whole process.
No one can make excuses for not finding 20 minutes every day on the way home from work or being unable to find stairs in their neighbourhood. If you want to learn more ways you can lose a kilogram of fat, read our article How To Lose a Kilogram of Fat and How Much Energy is Actually Hidden In It?
If you want to learn more about how to calculate your calorie intake and individual macronutrients, you should not miss the article: How To Calculate Energy Intake and Macronutrients for Weight Loss or Muscle Gain.
What should you remember?
Walking is a great way to naturally incorporate more exercise into your day, increase caloric output and facilitate weight loss. If you want to see results as soon as possible, take up walking regularly, ideally several times a week, or consider it as an additional activity to normal strength training and caloric deficit. At the same time, try to combine different intensities, terrains and walking speeds, or use a weight vest so that this activity does not become boring for you and always presents new challenges. And if you’re bored with walking, try connecting it with your favourite activities, such as talking to friends, listening to music or podcasts. You will see that you will definitely find your path.
How are you guys doing with walking? Do you have a set number of daily steps, or do you prefer other activities? Share your opinion with us, and if you liked the article, don’t forget to share it with your friends. Maybe they’ll be your next walking partner.
 Centers for disease control and prevention Atlanta – Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight – https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html
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 Friedenreich, Orenstein – Physical Activity and Cancer Prevention: Etiologic Evidence and Biological Mechanisms – https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/132.11.3456S
 Feifei Wang, Szilvia Boros – The effect of daily walking exercise on sleep quality in healthy young adults – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11332-020-00702-x#Sec2
 David C Nieman a kol. – Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults – https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/12/987?sid=fe62a8c5-430b-4506-b854-20b62e8a5e9e
 Lesley E Rhodes a kol. – Recommended summer sunlight exposure levels can produce sufficient (> or =20 ng ml(-1)) but not the proposed optimal (> or =32 ng ml(-1)) 25(OH)D levels at UK latitudes – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20072137/
 Compendium of physical activities – https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/Activity-Categories/walking
 Marcus Tschentscher MSc a kol. – Health Benefits of Nordic Walking: A Systematic Review – https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.043
 Neuroscience News – Green space is good for your mental health: The nearer the better! – – https://neurosciencenews.com/green-space-mental-health-14757