If you've started walking more, you're probably wondering how many extra calories you're burning per day. You can use a steps-to-miles calculator or a steps-to-calories burned calculator to give you a ballpark figure; however there might be other factors to consider as well.
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Read more: How Many Steps Per Day to Lose Weight?
Steps-to-Calories Burned Calculator
Everyone's body is different and therefore the way it stores fat and burns calories is also different. The Mayo Clinic explains that the number of calories you burn when you exercise depends on a lot of factors, including the type of exercise, level of intensity and individual factors like weight.
As a general guideline, the Cleveland Clinic notes that 2,000 steps are roughly equivalent to 1 mile, based on an average walking stride of 2.5 feet. Walking 1 mile can help you burn around 100 calories. However, the actual number of calories you burn depends on factors like your speed and intensity.
Take speed for instance. You will probably burn more calories if you run 1 mile than if you take a leisurely 1-mile stroll. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, running burns more than double the calories per hour than walking does. Intensity also plays a role. Walking 500 steps with weights or walking on an incline can be more intense and will burn more calories than walking without weights or on a flat surface.
Individual factors like your height, weight, gender, age and body-fat percentage can also play a role in how many calories you burn when you exercise, states the American Council on Exercise. Two people who do exactly the same exercise at the same intensity and for the same duration may not necessarily burn the same number of calories.
The Cleveland Clinic says that you can use a tracking device like a pedometer, fitness band or smartphone app to track how many steps you've walked. Some of these devices are also equipped with steps-to-calories burned calculators. A calculator may or may not be able to tell you exactly how many calories you've burned; however some ask you to input information like your age, gender, height and weight so that they can give you a more accurate estimate.
Stepping in the Right Direction
Walking has several health benefits. In fact, a June 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health notes that walking is the most commonly reported physical activity among American adults.
The fact that it's free and doesn't require any special equipment or training only helps its popularity. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that while some people cannot do certain exercises, most people can walk, including people with disabilities. Apart from being easy, walking also has a low risk of injury, making it a relatively safe form of exercise.
According to the NIH, walking regularly can help lower your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. It can also boost your mood, strengthen your muscles and bones and help you lose weight. A November 2015 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology found that walking regularly can also help you live longer.
Read more: 20 Reasons to Go for a Walk Right Now
- Mayo Clinic: “Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in One Hour”
- Cleveland Clinic: “Exercise and Walking: Step to It!”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight”
- American Council on Exercise: “Resting Metabolic Rate: Best Ways to Measure It — And Raise It, Too”
- Journal of Physical Activity & Health: “Walking for Transportation and Leisure Among U.S. Adults — National Health Interview Survey 2010”
- National Institutes of Health: “The Benefits of Walking”
- Journal of Epidemiology: “Health Benefits of Daily Walking on Mortality Among Younger-Elderly Men With or Without Major Critical Diseases in the New Integrated Suburban Seniority Investigation Project: A Prospective Cohort Study”
- National Institutes of Health: “Walking: A Step in the Right Direction”