Walking burns calories, tones your heart and counteracts muscle loss.
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Despite advertisements that claim you need the latest weight-loss secret to shed pounds, the true process is simpler: Use more calories than you ingest and you'll lose weight. Reverse the process, and soon you'll notice your waistline expanding. Walking regularly as you do your daily activities is an effective way of keeping your weight in check. Keep track of how many calories you burn walking during your daily life with a formula explained by David Alan Krupp, Ph.D., a professor of Biological and Marine Sciences at the University of Hawaii's Windward Community College.1.
Weigh yourself and divide the result by 2.2 to convert it from pounds to kilograms.2.
Figure out how many calories you burn at rest by solving a simple equation in which your age is measured in years and your weight in kilograms. If you are a female between the ages of 10 and 18, multiply 12.2 by your weight and add 746 to the total. Between the ages of 18 and 30, multiply 14.7 by your weight and add 496 to the result. If you are a woman aged 30 to 60, multiply your weight by 8.7 and increase the total by 829. If you are older than 60, multiply your weight by 10.5 and add 596. The numbers change for males. Between the ages of 10 and 18, multiply your weight by 17.5 and add 651 to the total. If you are between 18 and 30 years, multiply 15.3 by your weight and increase the result by 679. If your age ranges from 30 to 60, multiply your weight by 11.6 and add 879. If you are a male older than 60, multiply 13.5 by your weight and add 487 to the total. Thus, if you are a 19-year-old female who weighs 68 kilos, for example, multiply 14.7 by 68. Add 496 to the result. The total, 1495.6, is the number of calories your body burns at rest. Note your number on a piece of paper.
Choose the category that best describes how physically active you are when you walk. If you are extremely active, your walk level is comparable to going for a 14-mile run daily. If you are very active, you walk at the level of a full-time athlete. If you are moderately active, you walk at a moderate level, expending energy comparable to working as a construction worker or farmer. If you are lightly active, your walking places little physical demand on your body. It's comparable to light housekeeping. Note your walk level next to the calories you burn at rest.4.
Identify your walk type based on your gender and the intensity level of your walking. This is your activity factor. If you are an extremely active woman, your activity factor is 1.2. If you are very active, your number is 0.9. A rating of 0.6 indicates you are moderately active and 0.5 that you are lightly active. If you are a man and you see yourself as an extremely active walker, your activity factor is 1.4. It is 1.1 if you are very active and 0.7 if you walk in moderation. A 0.6 activity factor shows you're lightly active. Take note of your number.
Multiply your activity factor by the calories you burn at rest. If you are a moderate walker, using the example in step 2, multiply 1495.6 by 0.6. The result, 897.36, is an estimate of how many calories you burn when you walk around during the day. Here, it is worth noting that while this formula gives you a general guideline on the calories burned as you walk around during the day, your weight and metabolism, as well as the intensity and length of your walking, influence the actual number of calories you use walking around all day. Because you move faster to walk 5 miles in 30 minutes than you do to cover the same distance in one hour, for example, you burn more calories going at a quicker speed. Likewise, you use more caloric energy to walk 10 miles than half that distance.
- In step 2, you calculated the calories your body burns at rest while simply performing its basic functions to stay alive, such as digesting and breathing. The result you got excludes calories burned as you walk around in your daily life. To find out how many calories you burn on a typical day that includes periods of rest and activity, add the number from step 2 to the calories you use while walking during daily activities, from step 5. Increase the total by 10 percent to get an estimate of how many calories you burn in a 24-hour period. Note that besides your daily walking around, informal physical activity -- gardening, vacuuming, mopping -- also burns calories and influences the actual caloric energy you expend. Walking for exercise also burns additional calories that can be added to your daily caloric burn. The amount of calories you burn walking for exercise depends on your weight, the speed of your walk and how long you walk. For example, a 130-pound walker will burn 195 calories walking 3.0 mph for 1 hour, while a 180-pound walker will burn 270 calories walking 3.0 mph for 1 hour.