Walking 20 km a day can burn a lot of calories and help you lose weight. The only problem is that it's very time-consuming. Combining walking with a balanced diet and other forms of exercise and diet can lead to faster results.
Walking 20 kilometers per day burns calories and can help you lose weight. You can increase your energy expenditure by carrying a backpack or light dumbbells.
If you're just starting your weight loss journey, you're probably wondering how to get your daily recommended exercise. Going to the gym can be intimidating and expensive, particularly if you don't know how to use much of the equipment. Group exercise classes can be confusing or too intense.
Walking 20 Kilometers a Day
Walking is a form of exercise. It's easy and carries a low risk of injury, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. All you need to do is to put on some comfy clothes and sneakers, get out of your house and go for a walk.
Consider using a phone or smartwatch to track your steps or the distance. You can set specific goals, like walking 20,000 steps a day.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to figure out how many calories you actually burn from walking. A calculator from the University of Rochester Medical Center estimates that a 150-pound person will burn 324 calories in one hour of walking at a 4-mile-per-hour (mph) pace.
Your energy expenditure will change based on how fast you walk and the type of terrain. It also depends on your body weight. If you walk faster or weigh more, the calorie burn increases. Walking longer will help you torch more calories as well.
Read more: How to Start Walking for Exercise
Calories Burned Walking 20 Kilometers
Walking 20 kilometers a day is a big goal, but you can do it in three hours of walking if you stick with a 4-mph pace. This might seem like a lot of time, but you can break it up into sections. Walking for an hour in the morning, another in the afternoon and a third time in the evening will get you to your goal.
In fact, a small study published in the February 2019 edition of the journal Obesity suggests that you may want to break your exercise routine into shorter bouts. After comparing one long-distance walking session with two shorter-distance sessions, researchers concluded that it can be more effective to break the walking — or any other workout — into two sessions to burn more calories.
If you're 150 pounds and hit the 20-kilometer mark walking at 4 mph, you'll burn roughly 972 calories in three hours or less. If you're not feeling up to that much walking, even one hour per day, four to five times per week, can help.
Discover the Benefits of Walking
A June 2019 review published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology has found that Nordic walking, which involves using poles, was helpful for weight loss when performed for at least one hour, four to five times per week. It also improved heart health and blood sugar levels in the subjects.
A separate review, published in February 2017 in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, has found that brisk walking helped people with obesity lose weight. The subjects also gained some muscle mass from walking, which reduced the amount of total weight lost.
Read more: 20 Reasons to Go for a Walk Right Now
You can make walking harder by moving faster or using weights. Carrying a backpack, for example, is one way to carry weight while you walk. Holding light dumbbells by your sides is another.
Walking uphill or on an inclined treadmill is a good way to increase the intensity. Choose a walking route that has some hills to burn more calories during your walk. Every little bit helps you lose more weight.
Consider altering your diet to maximize your results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers some tips for eating healthy to maintain a healthy weight. Fruits and vegetables should be at the top of your list, leading to higher intakes of fiber and other nutrients.
The CDC also recommends eating less of your favorite comfort foods, but you don't have to eliminate them entirely. Instead, swap calorie-laden foods for healthier alternatives. For example, you can bake your food instead of frying it, or use olive oil instead of butter.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight"
- Journal of Physical Activity and Health: "The Influence of Age, Sex and Body Mass Index on the Effectiveness of Brisk Walking for Obesity Management in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"
- Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology: "Nordic Walking Promoted Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese People: A Systematic Review for Future Exercise Prescription"
- Obesity: "Effect of a Long Bout Versus Short Bouts of Walking on Weight Loss During a Weight‐Loss Diet: A Randomized Trial"
- University of Rochester Medical Center: "Calorie Burn Rate Calculator"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Walking: A Step in the Right Direction"