I travel quite a bit around the world, and one thing that really surprised me was how hard it was to gain weight while I travelled. Especially since I would eat so much more food while abroad too (love Italian!)
But it kinda makes sense that I never gained much weight no matter how much I ate, because I did so much walking every day I pretty much always burned up all the food I ate from my explorations.
Walking is one of the best ways to stay active without stressing yourself out with strenuous exercise. Basically anyone can walk, and walking for weight loss is one of the best things you can do your your waistline and overall health.
Now, it’s kinda hard not to walk a lot when you’re exploring exciting new cities, of course. But when you’re back at home and have a job, friends, and a dog to take care of, it’s hard to find time to walk 5 miles a day.
I’m going to share with you my best 10 tips to help you walk walk walk and walk some more so you reach your 5 miles a day as easily as possible!
How does walking burn calories and promote weight loss?
Walking burns calories simply because you are being “active”. Walking is an aerobic exercise that will get your heart pumping a little faster than normal because your walking muscles require more blood. All the bodily functions that go into moving your body from point A to B requires energy, and that energy either comes from your current fat storage in your body or from existing glucose in your blood stream.
Walking is an excellent way to lose weight because it’s a very low impact exercise that most people can do – even those with joint issues.
Also, walking is free. You don’t need a gym membership to lose weight walking!
But overall, moving around as much as you can is how humans evolved. We hunted foods and gathered foods for hundreds of thousands of years. Our bodies need to move around to be healthy. I don’t know a single real downside to walking for promoting health.
So whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to be healthier, walking as much as you can is one of the easiest ways to win at the get fit game!
Why walk 5 miles a day?
Really, you should walk as much as you can. Whether its just 1 mile or 10 miles, as long as you are trying to get as much walking as you can in your day, you’re doing a great job.
I say 5 miles a day because its a long enough time to have a meaningful effect on your body if you maintain it, as well as it’s a reasonable amount of walking to do each day if you’re an average person. Walking 10 miles a day will be harder because it takes a few hours to complete and not everybody can walk for a few hours a day physically.
But if you’re only able to walk a few miles a day, it’s still great and you will still be promoting weight loss and good health overall. If all you did was begin walking everywhere you go, you’ll gain way more steps in your day every day, and that’s just really awesome.
At the end of the day, walking will help you lose fat. If losing fat is a goal of yours, make walking a really important part of your life.
How many calories do you burn walking?
The amount of calories you burn walking will depend on a few factors. They are:
- Your weight
- Your age
- Your walking speed
- If there is an incline or flat walking surface
The faster you walk, the more calories you’ll burn. Also, the heavier you are, and the more incline there is on your walking surface, the more calories you will burn as well.
But for reference, walking at a very casual 2 mph and weighing in at a small 100lbs (think of a tiny girl walking slowly) will burn roughly 60 calories an hour.
If you weighed 160lbs and walked at a 4 mph pace (about an average walking pace), you’d burn roughly 90 calories an hour.
You can use the following resources to help you figure out how many calories you burn walking:
How many calories do you burn walking 5 miles a day?
This also depends on the factors above. But to give you a rough idea, you will burn anywhere from 300-500 calories walking 5 miles at a brisk pace, and having an average body weight. Walking 5 miles at an average pace should take you roughly 1.5 hours to complete.
If you walked 5 miles a day for an entire week, you could reasonably lose between 2000-3000 calories give or take.
There’s a general rule out there that 1 pound contains roughly 3500 calories, so you need to burn 3500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat. While this rule is really really vague and general, and I don’t like it because everyone is different, it does still give us a general guideline on how much activity you need to lose weight.
So, if you walked 5 miles every day, you could reasonably lose about 1 pound a week (while keeping everything else exactly the same). But again, your current weight, activity, and eating habits play an enormous role with how much weight you’ll actually lose walking!
10 Tips To Help You Walk 5 Miles A Day Effortlessly
1. Walk everywhere you go
This is an obvious one, but it’s also one we forget and skip all the time. When I say walk everywhere, I really mean it! Walk in the airport instead of using those moving floor things (lol I don’t know what they’re called). Walk up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator. Go for a walk to grab your lunch at Subway instead of jumping in your car for a few minutes. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood when you’re bored in the evening.
Walk to school, walk to work, walk to the bus stop, walk while you brainstorm ideas for your business. Just get your ass up and move around anywhere!
2. Grab an app that tracks your steps
If you have a smart phone (yes you do), download an app that tracks your steps. Actually, you probably already have one on your phone because phones now have preinstalled apps. Track how many steps you take each day. Set a big goal and reach that goal. 10,000 steps minimum. Watching you rack up the steps will help keep you motivated to walk the hell out of your day!
3. Walk while you’re on the phone
You probably do this anyway, because I dunno… we just need to walk around when we are on the phone! But maybe get outside and go for a real walk! Pacing around the house helps a little bit find space to take longer and bigger strides.
4. Get a dog now
If you don’t have a dog, well, get one! your dog needs to be walked and it’s your responsibility to take care of your dogs health. You don’t even have an excuse not to walk the dog now. Think of the poor puppy! It needs to go pee and exercise. This gives you a chance to get off your ass and get in shape!
5. Buy a dope ass scale to track your progress
Get an accurate scale that will track your progress over time. There is nothing better than watching your results improve over time. It’s literally the most motivating thing in the world. Losing a pound a week is a damn nice feeling.
Scales come in a lot of variety. They aren’t that expensive either. There are regular scales that look pretty damn nice these days, and there are digital bluetooth scales that you can pair with your smartphone and track your weight loss using apps on your phone. That’s pretty dope.
6. Get a job that requires a lot of walking
A few years ago I seriously looked for jobs that required a lot of walking. I know the power of walking a few hours every day on your health. It’s more than just weight loss. It promotes so much goodness in you and you just feel pretty damn awesome in general.
Anyhow, the only real job I found I could do that requires a lot of walking is a postal carrier. But they didn’t have any solid jobs for me at the time. But in any case, if you are in a position where you could make a career change into a job that requires a lot of walking, then do it! Especially if your current job requires you to sit on your ass all day.
7. Get really damn good shoes
Obviously, you want to be comfortable while you walk, or you ain’t gonna wanna walk anywhere! comfortable shoes is mandatory! whether you like flip flops or Berkinstocks, it doesn’t matter. As long as your footwear is comfortable and appropriate, you’ll be able to comfortable lose weight walking.
8. Walk with other people (join a walking group)
There’s something about being a part of a group that has the same interests as you. There are groups for everything, including walking. Find a local walking group in your area. Basically, you guys just meet up and walk around, usually in a park or similar area. And basically you just talk to your new friends and walk.
It might sound a bit weird but it’s totally cool. Everyone is there to improve their health or lose weight walking, so it’s really not weird at all.
9. Multi task walking with leisure activities that usually require no walking
When you’re just chilling listening to music or looking at photos on your phone, or listening to a podcast or shopping for stuff on your iPad, take that outside with you and go for a walk.
10. Buy a bad ass treadmill
I’m a bit guilty for buying stuff I don’t need sometimes, but let’s get real. If I had a dope ass treadmill in my home, I’d easily jump on that baby for at least 30 mins every now and then throughout the week and just walk.
I know we sometimes get lazy and don’t want to go outside or it’s snowing or whatever, but when a treadmill in your home, especially if it’s in front of your TV, you can easily get a lot of steps in your life and burn extra calories. These calories add up to excellent weight loss. Plus, you’re just walking so really, it’s not hard work when you think about it.
Treadmills don’t have to be expensive. Yea they can run up the credit card $2000 or more, but you can easily get one under $1000 and still have a fantastic calorie burning machine.
Bonus tip: Get a gym membership
Find time to go to the gym. You’ll be around other people who are getting fit and losing weight. It’s a motivating environment, and it will encourage you to get off your butt. Plus, you have to pay monthly so you can’t waste that money!
Walking for weight loss
Is walking enough for weight loss? I think it is, as long as you take care of your diet well, you should be able to lose as much weight as you want with just walking.
I say this because you can lose all the weight you want without any exercise at all. Because your diet is the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. You can eat extremely well and lose every single pound you want (usually!)
However, it’s really really REALLY a lot easier when you combine exercise and a healthy diet when trying to lose weight. The combined effect is huge, and it’s the easiest way I know to lose weight. I have tried just dieting and it works… but it’s slower and much harder. Plus I really like food and cheat a lot, which I combat with exercise!
What I like to do is walk everywhere, and I also play sports, and I also work out at the gym (weights). Yea, I spend a lot more time on my heath than most people, because it’s one of my main priorities, but you don’t have to do all of these things to slim down or get in great shape. Do as much as you can. But do give up at least a few of those random nights you spend at your friends house doing nothing :p.
At the end of the day, walking promotes a healthy heart and a healthy heart is always good for you. Walking will help you burn more calories each day too. In the end, you’ll slim down and get that body you’ve always wanted (as long as you take care of the other important weight loss things).