It’s a question we’ve heard many times – “Can I lose weight by walking one hour a day?”
Walking is a type of exercise we sometimes overlook because it’s almost too obvious to be a form of fitness that can really help with our weight loss goals, but it is.
Back in the days before smart phones, fitbits, computers, even cars…all the way back thousands of years to when humans just lived off the land, the main activity was walking.
You wanted food? You walked. You wanted to spend time with someone miles away? You walked. You wanted to get away from it all? You walked.
Walking was the answer to everything back in those days, and although it sounds almost silly because there’s so many things to do now and ways to get from A to B, but back then it was the only way to get anywhere.
And, not coincidentally, there were a distinct lack of obese people back in those cave-people days.
Fast forward 40 000 years, and humans have evolved, but they are creatures of habit, and that means taking the path of least resistance whenever possible.
That might sound convenient, but there is a huge problem with not doing things that may seem inconvenient, like walking. You’ve heard of the “paleo” diet? Think of this as paleo fitness, of which there are but two components, walking everywhere, and lifting the occasional rock and grunting.
All jesting aside, in this article, we discuss the matter of walking at least 1 hour a day, and how much weight you stand to lose by doing that.
Table Of Contents
- How Many Calories Can Walking For An Hour Burn?
- Great Tips To Walk One Hour Per Day
- Learn To Walk Properly
- Other Tips For Walking To Lose Weight
- Speed of Walking
- Terrain and Slopes
- Types Of Walking Explained – Power and Nordic
- Understanding Power Walking
- Nordic Walking
- Has Anyone Lost Weight Walking 10,000 Steps A Day?
- Summary of Walking For 1 Hour A Day
- Can You Lose Belly Fat By Walking?
- How to Lose 20 Pounds in Two Months by Walking an Hour a Day
- What Not To Do If You Want To Walk Off Weight!
- Ready, Steady, GO!
How Many Calories Can Walking For An Hour Burn?
Many people have asked us this really big question. If they go to the effort of walking for an hour every day, then how many calories can they burn off?
Well you probably know the bottom line is… the more calories you burn, then the more weight you can lose.
Now the amount of weight that you can lose depends on a whole range of factors, and are all connected with the way that you walk, the speed you walk at, the type of ground that you walk over, your posture, and ultimately your diet.
Let’s assume for now that you do not want to change your diet. Then let’s assume that you do want to lose some weight, and are pondering if walking is worth all the effort?
The big question is…. will walking for an hour every day help you lose some weight?
The definite answer to that is a resounding big YES.
Now I know from experience, and I can inform you that walking is great for dealing with stress, making your heart healthier, helping you sleep, and when you get into a nice routine, it becomes a very enjoyable thing to do.
For more information on how much you can burn, scroll down (Other Tips For Walking To Lose Weight) or check out our full post here.
Great Tips To Walk One Hour Per Day
I apologize upfront, but I am going to harp about one thing that is vitally important….. get up off your bottom and go out to the side walk, road or trail.
I hate sounding cheeky but if you are a tomorrow person, or someone who can find a whole range of excuses, then you will never get around to taking those first few steps.
That is the most important thing that you can do.
If you are able to be up and about, most people will already walk much more than an hour a day.
That could be walking to work, walking at work, and walking home. It could also be running after the kids, walking to the store, or any type of normal day to day activity.
The point I am trying to make here, is that this type of walking is something we do because we have to do something, or be somewhere.
A planned walk for an hour is a completely different thing.
This planned hour is where you will get your walking shoes on, go out specifically to walk, and try to burn off calories through focused walking to get results.
Learn To Walk Properly
Try this the next time you are out and about, and honestly you will be quite astonished. Find somewhere where there are a lot of people, and simply watch how they walk.
Around 99% of them will be slouching, their heads buried in a phone screen, shoulders hunched, their arms barely moving and generally, their movements are slow and apathetic.
If they are really overweight, every movement seems like a chore, and they will struggle for a breath.
Most of us have learned to walk by the time we reach our 1st birthday. For most of us, we have learned the art or balance, and we never ever look at it or think about it ever again.
People’s general posture is atrocious, and their walking gait will go on to give them problems with their neck, back and joints.
It probably sounds like I am lecturing you, but that is not what I am trying to do.
The point I am trying to make, is that if you walk properly with a nice straight back, good arm movement and a nice consistent stride, then you will not only lose weight, but feel a million times better.
For most of us, we spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or something similar. We will also carry around heavy bags, and often push our bodies beyond where they were designed to go.
Heels are great for fashionable footwear, but boy, will they have an impact on our feet, and in later life, take its toll on our posture.
There are very few people who walk properly, and if you don’t start, then welcome to the world of joint pain and bad backs.
So if you are going to start walking to lose a few pounds, then why not do it properly?
Other Tips For Walking To Lose Weight
The more you weigh, the more calories you will burn walking for an hour, so all thing being equal, the heavier you start out, the easier it is to lose the pounds.
As an example, a person who weighs 140 pounds (10 stones) will burn around 220 calories when they walk for one hour.
If a person weighs 200 pounds, and walks at the same speed, that person will burn around 320 calories.
So as you can see, that is a significant difference. A good rule of thumb is that for every 3,500 calories you can burn off, you will lose one pound of weight.
Typical results of weight loss when walking are that the average weight lost is about 2 lbs per month.
Speed of Walking
Now any type of walking will be good for you. That should now be a given, but the speed at which you walk will increase the number of calories that you can burn off.
For example, say you walked at around 3 mph, then in an hour you would cover a distance of 3 miles and would burn off around 270 calories.
If you could speed up, and do 4 miles per hour then you would burn off around 400 calories, and cover an extra mile in distance.
In simple terms, the faster you can walk, then the more weight you will lose. I have done a more detailed article on the speed for walking right here.
Terrain and Slopes
If you walk on flat surfaces, that is fine.
However, if you can include some up and down hill movement, what happens is that quite naturally your walking becomes more intense.
We all know walking up a hill takes more energy that going down one, or walking on the flat.
Including gentle slopes in your walking routes will help burn off the extra pound here and there.
Types Of Walking Explained – Power Walking And Nordic Walking
Understanding Power Walking
Have you ever seen those walkers who have their headphones on, arms swinging and their bottoms jiggling as they burn up the road?
Most of us refer to these people as power walkers. These are men and women who have decided to keep fit, stay toned, and really go for some big weight loss.
Good luck to them I say, and they will certainly achieve that.
For the ordinary person not quite willing to commit to that, then walking at 3 or 4 miles an hour still does the trick.
Most of us can walk at 3 mph. That is about 20 minutes to walk a mile. That is what you should try to do, and faster if you can.
Can Nordic Walking Help Me Lose Weight?
You might have heard about Nordic Walking. This is something that anyone who is serious about boosting their weight loss should consider.
One of the main drawbacks to ‘normal’ walking is it does little for upper body strength. But Nordic walking changes all that, exercising both the lower and upper body muscles.
This can lead to a 40% increase in the calories that are burnt – and all without feeling like you did anything more vigorous than walking at your normal pace.
What Is Nordic Walking?
Nordic walking was invented by skiers and uses ski like poles that act as walking sticks.
Because you are walking with poles, you will be concentrating and less likely to slouch, dawdle or do other things which may render your walk less efficient.
Although you can walk with poles out on the high street, you might feel a little self-conscious doing so!
We suggest using Nordic walking to explore the countryside and other demanding terrain – something that using sticks can help make easier.
However, to get started, you might find some company of use; for this reason, we suggest finding a Nordic walking group which is local to you.
Advantages Of Nordic Walking
Other advantages of Nordic walking, include its reduction of stress on the body and its joints.
This is why Nordic walking is considered such a good thing by people who find other types of exercise problematic.
It places far less stress on the hips and knees, so if you experience trouble in these areas, then it could be for you.
Also, as a weight bearing exercise, it is extra beneficial for you all over – improving bone strength and heart health, as well as being good for the lungs and muscle.
Check out these links for more information; https://www.americannordicwalking.com/
Has Anyone Lost Weight Walking 10,000 Steps A Day?
It’s all very well knowing in theory that walking 10,000 steps a day might help you lose weight, but in order to get some real motivation to kick start your fitness regimen, it helps to hear the testimony of some real life people.
So below, we have provided some links to inspirational stories, posted by normal people, who have achieved amazing weight loss simply by following this straightforward activity.
But we will leave you with one quote, of someone’s personal testimony of taking the 10,000 step challenge;
“My best advice would be to start slowly and know your limits. A good pair of walking shoes is essential for anyone who is serious about taking 10,000 steps a day.
There’s no point in risking injury and pain by wearing ill-fitting shoes or boots.”
“And although walking is considered fairly safe to do and low in causing injury to joints, I have personally experienced a pulled tendon, a tear to the calf, runner’s toe and a loose kneecap.”
“This isn’t intended to put anyone off, more for them to learn from my mistakes and limber up slowly, ease yourself into the regimen slowly and wear the right shoes. If something hurts, stop and take note of it.”
Summary of Walking For 1 Hour A Day
Pluck up the courage and get started is the number one priority.
I would recommend a pair of good walking shoes, and also to buy a pedometer to help measure the calories you have burned off.
Set the timer on your watch or phone, and just walk for half an hour, and then half an hour back.
Aim for 3 miles in an hour, and then for 4 miles in an hour.
Try to include some hills or slopes in your various routes.
Then enjoy the results when the pounds start dropping off. Good luck!
Can You Lose Belly Fat By Walking?
“You can’t out run a bad diet,” so the saying goes. But can you out-walk it?
As you may be aware, walking is not the only thing you may have to do, in order to shed a few pounds. So what about actually burning fat?
Many people bypass simple walking in favor of its more dynamic cousins, the gym and running.
Whereas it is true that these activities will burn more calories than walking will, it shouldn’t put you off from increasing your daily steps.
There are many things to commend walking, over the sexier pastimes of running and HIIT training.
It does not require any special equipment (a decent pair of shoes aside) it is safe (compared to other activities) it is free and it is something that you already know how to do!
And as far as shedding fat goes, well anything that burns through calories is going to impact on your flab.
However, whereas we cannot promise you that walking will specifically target your abs – here’s what walking for an hour a day can do to improve your jelly belly!
- It Beats A Chill Pill! – Walking is well known to fight stress. But did you know that when we get stressed, our bodies produce a hormone known as cortisol, which helpfully causes fat to build up on the tummy area? Yes, a flabby stomach can actually be a product of stress – which may be combated by the simple act of walking!
- It Builds Muscle – When you walk it builds your muscles. Although this won’t be as fast or as dramatic as pumping iron, it’s a start.For an added boost, try walking uphill. It particularly helps with your core muscles – these are all the things which help tone your six pack.
- It Stops You Slouching – This might sound like advice from some posh girls’ finishing school, but how you carry yourself really counts when it comes to looking and feeling good (see our earlier points about walking properly). And when you walk it targets your core, your oblique muscles and your rectus abdominus (no sniggering!) But as well as toning your abs, it improves your posture which also improves their appearance as well.
- It’s Sociable – A lot of exercise is fairly solitary. It can be hard to keep a conversation going, whilst you are pumping iron or running hard. However, walking is far more sociable and it is easy to do with others and still hear yourself talk!
So, that’s a fair number of reasons. Hop to it!
How to Lose 20 Pounds in Two Months by Walking an Hour a Day
So, you’re serious about shedding some pounds and have decided that walking is the best way to do it. And you have an ambitious target in mind – around twenty pounds in fact.
Is it possible to shed this amount of weight in a couple of months, by only walking an hour a day? We think so, if you follow this golden advice!
First – Get some decent walking shoes! Although we know we are biased, this really is the number one advice from all the pros out there!
Only wearing sneakers or worse still, a normal pair of shoes is not going to do your feet any favors in the long run – and remember, you are committed to this for the long haul!
A proper pair of walking shoes (walking, not running) will give your feet the protection they need and will also guard against your joints getting a rough ride.
Second – You should follow through the advice on footwear to your outer clothing.
Whilst the good thing about walking is that there’s no need to go overboard with the specialist clothing – and – thank the Gods – it doesn’t involve wearing any spandex (unless, of course, you really want to!) you should still dress for comfort.
Because even though you are ‘only’ walking, it will still entail some physical exertion and that means sweat!
In short, wear cool, loose, breathable fabrics, as much as possible for your walks.
Alternatively, if it is cold, ensure you have layers which will peel off, as needed.
Don’t make the mistake of allowing your muscles to get cold, this may make a strain more likely.
Third – Allow a five minute warm up period, to get your muscles ready for your walk. Don’t overdo it at this point, the idea is to walk at a moderate speed, prior to your more intensive pace later on.
Following on from our previous point, if it is cold, add in extra time for this activity.
For temperatures between 35 and 45 F, add a ten minute warm up into your schedule. For every ten degrees it is lower than this, adjust by an extra five minutes.
Also – Whilst we are on the subject of warm ups, if you are totally unused to exercise, we recommend building up slowly to your walks, perhaps starting off with a gentle route, more slowly and fewer times to begin with.
Fourth – Now you are into the main body of your walk. Whether this is on the treadmill, or outside, you should be hitting your maximum speed – whatever you have decided that should be.
Remember to use your arms, swinging them alongside you as you go. This will propel you further, as will taking longer steps.
Fifth – Now you have hit your stride, you should maintain your speed for the following fifty or so minutes of your walk.
Sixth – As you enter the fifty fifth minute, it is time to slow back down. This final period should act as cooling down time. It should help your breathing get back to what is usual for you and allows blood to circulate into the core muscles.
Seventh – Sixty minutes should be the bare minimum that you walk for. This should be repeated between five and seven days of the week. If you can, try to take more than one walk at least some days.
Eighth – Don’t forget to relax your muscles post workout walk, with a good long stretch. This will help eliminate strains and soreness in the muscles.
Finally – Don’t lose heart if the weight does not come off as quickly as you would like.
It may take longer than two months to achieve your twenty pound weight loss, but, along with sensible eating, you will get there in the end!
What Not To Do If You Want To Walk Off Weight!
Such is life that, unfortunately, walking an hour a day may not always be quite enough to give us the body we desire.
Of course, it is going to help, but in order to get the most from your workout, check out these following tips of what not to do in order to walk of the pounds!
Don’t Be A Bore! – You’re less likely to get bored and give up, if you vary your walks and also, your terrain.
Don’t Be A Stair-Scare! – It’s not just the hourly walks that will help you shed the pounds. It’s the all round effect of changing your habits and walking more every day.Part of this should be opting to take the stairs, rather than ride the elevator. Climbing stairs is a great exercise to add to anyone’s day. The same principle applies to hills too!!
Don’t Park Your…Posterior! – As well as your hourly walks, don’t forget to also get up and move during the day. This is particularly the case for office workers or anyone else who is sedentary, for most of the day.The sad fact is that remaining stationary throughout the day may contribute to a slower metabolism.
This is going to make the pounds harder to shift, even with an hour’s walk daily. So try and get up and walk about, wherever possible.
If you work in an office, you may even consider a desktop treadmill!
Don’t Walk For 5K And Eat For A Marathon! – One of the biggest mistakes new walkers make is thinking that an hour’s exercise lets them eat whatever they want to. It won’t! Unless you are a professional sports player, or really are in training for a marathon, then we regret to inform you that double cheeseburger with extra fries is not your friend.
Don’t Pour The Pounds Down Your Neck! – Even when you have got healthy eating nailed, it can be easy to forget healthy drinking.
And we’re not just talking alcoholic beverages either – although these also add considerable calories to your diet. It can be all to easy to overlook the calories that we drink, but they all add up. Smoothies, sodas, fruit juices, all of these have an alarming amount of calories in them.
To really kick start your weight loss, ditch the full sugar sodas for the diet versions, or switch to mineral water.
Whilst fruit juices are healthy, they are often high in natural sugars, so should be consumed sparingly – try adding them to sparkling water instead. …And let’s not forget that other dark horse, coffee! Although unsweetened black coffee is calorie free, sadly, the same cannot be said for your super-sized triple mocha chocco latte with syrup, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Be careful where you get your morning cuppa from, drinks from “some” -ahem- famous coffee brands can pack up over a whopping thousand calories!!
Ready, Steady, GO!
Hopefully now you’ve been suitably inspired to pick up your walking shoes and hit the open road, all that remains to be said is to ease into it gradually and if it is a long time since you took exercise, take it easy to begin with.
Although it may seem as if all the preparations you make are solely to do with the body, it is actually your mind that needs to get in gear!
Because it is about adopting a lifestyle, where you move more and make room for walking, that really matters – even more than counting your actual steps does!
So, the only other thing to remember is to enjoy yourself and likewise, enjoy the results when the pounds start dropping off – Good luck!