Can Walking for 5 Hours Make You Lose Weight?

Exercise is an important part of any weight loss routine. Five hours of walking burns how many calories? Your body burns hundreds of calories during a long walk, but to lose weight safely and keep it off, focus on regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Frequent walks are an effective way to lose weight. Credit: WDnet/iStock/GettyImages

Tips

While walking is a simple, low-impact way to help you burn calories to put your body in a calorie deficit and lose weight, it's not practical to hope to lose a tangible amount of weight after one, five-hour period of exercise. Successful weight loss is usually the result of a decrease in the amount you eat and an increase in the amount you exercise.

Five Hours of Walking Burns How Many Calories

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services only recommends between two and a half and five hours of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week, so walking for five hours in a single session is a little extreme. Regardless, this activity burns plenty of calories.

Read More: How Much Do You Have to Walk to Lose Weight?

The number of calories you burn when walking depends on a variety of factors including your body weight and how fast you walk. Harvard Health Publishing estimates that at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour, a 125-pound individual burns approximately 240 calories per hour, or 1,200 calories in a five-hour period. Calories burned walking 5 kilometers, or approximately 3.1 miles, for a 155-pound individual is approximately 264.

If a 125-pound individual increases her walking speed to four miles per hour, calories burned increases to 270 per hour. At 4.5 miles per hour, the same individual would burn 300 calories in a single hour. A person who weights 155 pounds burns 334 calories per hour at a rate of four miles per hour or 372 calories per hour at a rate of 4.5 four miles per hour.

Warning

When calculating the number of calories you burn during a five-hour walk, remember that you may not be able to keep up the same brisk pace throughout the walk. This will make your rate of calorie burn fluctuate.

Walking for Weight Loss

Burning between 1,000 and 2,000 calories during a five-hour walk can play a role in weight loss, but the lone exercise itself won't quite melt off the pounds. A pound of fat contains roughly 3,500 calories. If you burn 1,872 calories during the walk, for example, the walk burns slightly more than half a pound of fat. And that's assuming you don't eat back all the calories immediately.

Read More: Can Walking Be Enough to Reduce Obesity?

Instead of risking straining your muscles or joints during a long walk, take a more balanced approach and aim to lose one or two pounds per week. You can accomplish this by taking multiple 30- to 60-minute walks during the week.

Tips

Start slowly and gradually increase the length and speed of your walks. If you are walking outdoors, choose a safe location, preferably on well-lit walkways.

Round out your weight loss plan by drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet. Cut calories from your diet by making small changes such as:

  • Use skim milk instead of whole milk
  • Replace chips and french fries with fruit or a salad
  • Choose broth-based soups instead of creamy soups
  • Drink sparkling water instead of soda
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