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HomeHealth & FitnessHow to effectively burn calories while walking: The ultimate guide  

How to effectively burn calories while walking: The ultimate guide  

Ultimate guide on how to burn calories while walking.But how many calories do we really burn, and how can we make the most of those steps?

How to effectively burn calories while walking.There are numerous wearables and online calculators available to determine how many calories are burned while walking. However, research has revealed that they are not entirely accurate.

It’s no secret that walking is beneficial to your health. Many of us are attempting to meet the recommended 10,000 steps per day that our wearable fitness technology encourages us to take.

In fact, according to one study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, most people burn more calories than fitness monitoring tools report.

Researchers discovered that in 97 percent of cases studied, too few calories burned were reported.

Important: Consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.

The Real Deal on Calories Burned

So, how do you determine your calorie-burning potential while walking?

Higher-intensity exercise that raises your heart rate burns more calories in a shorter amount of time.

Walking, on the other hand, is a moderate-intensity form of exercise, not a high-intensity form of exercise done in short bursts like boxing or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Walking at a consistent brisk pace that keeps your heart pumping appears to be the best way to get the most calorie-burning benefits.

However, studies show that changing your pace to vary your intensity and, as a result, your heart rate throughout your walk can increase your metabolic rate by 6% to 20% more than walking at a constant pace for the duration of your walk.

Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health reports that getting in your steps is more important than the overall intensity with which you achieve them when it comes to using walking to increase your life span and overall health.

Take note of your heart rate and how you feel.

Make no mistake: wearable technologies aren’t completely accurate. They can certainly give you an idea of how far you’ve come toward your calorie-burning goals.

Using a fitness tracker to help you recognize when you reach your target heart rate zones can help you maximize your walk’s calorie-burning and health-boosting benefits.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, your target heart rate for moderate-intensity physical activity should be between 64% and 76% of your maximum heart rate.

Because walking is not a high-intensity exercise, you will burn the most calories if you walk at a moderate intensity, which means a brisk but sustainable pace for you.

Subtract your age from 220 to calculate your maximum age-related heart rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For instance, if you are 48 years old, your estimated maximum heart rate is 220 – 48 = 172 beats per minute.

Using our 48-year-old as an example, a moderate-intensity heart rate would be between 110 and 131 beats per minute.

You will feel your breathing rate increase during this type of exercise, but you should still be able to speak in complete sentences.

Based on the research mentioned above, which shows an even greater metabolic boost with varying intensities, you should vary your pace to include short periods of light intensity.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, light-intensity exercise is achieved at a heart rate of 57% to 63%. That equates to about 98 to 108 beats per minute for a 48-year-old, which should feel like a very comfortable pace at which you can easily carry on full conversations.

The fat-burning distinction

Walking is frequently promoted as a great fat-burning exercise, and with reason.
Because the nature of the exercise prevents you from walking at higher intensities, you end up in more moderate- to low-intensity zones, where you burn more fat.

The existence of a “fat-burning zone,” in which you only burn belly fat, is mostly a myth, but there is some truth to the ability to manipulate your heart rate to get your body to preferentially burn fat for fuel.

When you walk at a slower pace with a heart rate in the 57-63 percent range, you are more likely to be burning fat for fuel.

Because you are walking more slowly and with a slower heart rate, you will expend less caloric energy — but the calories you burn may come from fat.

Form is important regardless of your speed.

Most of us learned to walk as toddlers, but as we grew older, many of us developed bad habits that affected our gait.

Make sure you’re walking with good posture, a back-and-forth arm swing, and an even distribution of your weight.

Walking with poor form, like any other form of exercise, can result in chronic pain and even injury.

Walking, when done correctly, is an extremely beneficial form of exercise for total health and wellness that goes beyond caloric burn.

Walking is also arguably the most accessible form of exercise because it does not necessitate any special clothing, equipment, or memberships.

‘Fat can be fit’:Study emphasizing physical fitness over weight loss 

Walking provides all of these benefits and more, whether your goal is fat loss, increased fitness, or simply improving your overall health and wellness.

Video Credit: Leslie Sansone

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