How Many Calories You Really Burn On Your Walk

If you've ever found yourself wondering how many calories you're burning while on a walk, the number might surprise you. Depending on your speed, your weight, and even the weather outside, your caloric burn while walking can vary widely, from 50 calories to nearly 200 calories per mile. 

The average walker's pace is usually between 17 and 24 minutes, and at that comfortable, moderate pace, a 140-pound person will burn 74 calories, while a 200-pound person will burn 106 calories. The larger person burns more because they require more energy to move their body. Increasing your speed will begin to increase your calories burned, though not as much as you might think. A 15-minute mile (which is jogging pace for some people) still only burns 80 calories for a 140-pound person, a six calorie difference from a more casual pace (via Verywell Fit).

This means that it might be difficult to lose weight strictly by walking. You may need to make dietary changes as well, since an hour of walking — roughly three miles — will burn only 222 calories for a 140-pound person.  

How can you make walking more effective?

The good news is that adding in running intervals or different obstacles to your walk can help boost caloric burn. Try to go up stairs or hills more often, or consider adding in quick bouts of running or fast walking throughout your normal walk. You could even add weight with a backpack, or use hiking poles for some upper body work. Just boosting your heart rate a few times in the course of the walk can make a big difference for your overall calories burned (via Verywell Fit).

You should also walk year-round, regardless of how chilly it gets outside. Walking in cold weather can increase your burn as well: One small study found that walking in temperatures between 15 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit burned 34 percent more calories than walking in moderate temperatures (via StatNews). And on the flip side, walking in heat may also boost your basal metabolic rate, leading to a slightly higher caloric burn when it's hot out (via Cosmopolitan).