Walking several miles a day, five days a week takes considerable time, but the payoff can be huge if you make it a lifetime habit. Walking five miles a day has many benefits including high calorie burn and weight loss.
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You lose one pound when you burn 3,500 calories and you can burn up to 444 calories per hour depending on your body weight and how fast you walk. At this rate, you can lose approximately one pound per week assuming your diet remains unchanged.
Calorie Burn From Walking
Walking five miles can be a time consuming activity, but the calories burned makes it worth it. Your calorie burn is higher the faster you walk and the more you weigh. For example, if you walk at three and a half miles per hour, a 125-pound person will burn approximately 240 calories per hour and a 185-pound person will burn 356 calories per hour, advises Harvard Health Publishing. At this rate, you can complete five miles in about one hour and 26 minutes.
If you increase your pace to four and a half miles per hour, you can complete five miles in just over an hour. At this pace, a 125-pound person will burn 300 calories and a 185-pound person will burn 444 calories per hour.
While it can be tempting to walk as quickly as possible to complete your five miles and benefit from the additional calorie burn, you should start your exercise program slowly. This helps you to avoid injury and overly sore muscles that can derail your progress.
Weight Loss Formula
In order to lose one pound of body weight, you must burn or consume 3,500 calories less than your body needs. For healthy weight loss, aim to lose one to two pounds per week, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can lose up to one pound per week by walking five miles per day, depending on your body weight and the speed at which you walk.
If you want to lose weight but cannot commit to the time to walk five miles daily, you can still achieve your weight loss goals. In addition to walking five miles a day a couple of days per week, make adjustments to your diet to consume fewer calories and maintain your one to two pounds of weight loss each week.
You can do this by making some simple changes in your diet. Focus on eating lean meats and proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Substitute high fat milk, yogurt and cheese for low- or no-fat options. Make healthy choices when you go out to eat. For example, order a side salad instead of french fries or chips.
Walking Five Miles a Day: Benefits
In addition to burning calories and helping you achieve your weight loss goals, walking five miles a day offers many benefits. Walking, especially at a faster pace, has a good cardiovascular benefit and improves your heart health and decreases your risk for a cardiovascular event, advises Harvard Health Publishing.
This includes improving your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and decreasing the risk of diabetes and obesity. Regular exercise also improves your mental health and helps to decrease stress and depression and may help protect you against developing dementia.
While running burns more calories and may arguably be a better cardio exercise, it also places a lot of pressure and strain on your joints each time your foot lands. When you walk, one foot is solidly placed on the ground at all times, so each footfall causes far less impact on your joints. Walking is also a very practical means of transportation and a good way to get where you are going while getting all the benefits of exercise.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Participant Guide: Burn More Calories Than You Take In"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Walking: Your Steps to Health"
- Harvard Heart Letter: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Fifteen-year Longitudinal Trends in Walking Patterns