If you're overweight or obese, burning 500 extra calories a day walking can help you shed about 1 pound per week. Even if you don't have weight to lose, expending 500 calories daily walking will help you stay in shape, reduce disease risks, tone up and prevent future weight gain. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults participate in 150 to 300 minutes of cardiovascular exercise – such as walking – each week to maximize health benefits.
The amount of time it takes you to expend 500 calories walking is based on your walking speed and your body weight. The more you weigh, the more calories you'll burn participating in the same workout as a smaller person. If you weigh 125 pounds, you'd need to walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour for about 111 minutes to burn 500 calories, note Harvard Health Publications. You could also burn 500 calories walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour for 125 minutes.
Weighing 155 pounds means it will take you less time to burn 500 calories walking than a 125-pound person – assuming you're walking at the same pace. Individuals weighing 155 pounds burn 500 calories walking 4 miles per hour for 90 minutes, or walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour for about 100 minutes, according to Harvard Health Publications. Boosting your walking speed up to 4.5 miles per hour means you'll expend 500 calories in just 81 minutes.
People who weigh 185 pounds will burn 500 calories in a shorter amount of time than 125-pound and 155-pound individuals – as long as they walk at the same pace. Harvard Health Publications reports that people weighing 185 pounds burn 500 calories in 75 minutes walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour, and expend the same number of calories walking 3.5 miles per hour for about 85 minutes.
Walking vs. Other Exercises
Although walking is easy on your joints and an excellent cardiovascular workout, walking burns significantly fewer calories than jogging or swimming. While a 155-pound person expends 500 calories walking 4 miles per hour for 90 minutes, the same 155-pound individual burns 500 calories in just 45 minutes jogging at a pace of 5.2 miles per hour – and expends 500 calories in as little as 40 minutes swimming the breaststroke, reports Harvard Medical School. Therefore, swimming – which is also easy on your joints -- is a higher calorie-burning alternative to walking.