Walking can help you ‘burn maximum calories’ – how to get the most out of your daily steps

Colson Smith discusses motivation behind weight loss

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Exercising is a crucial part of keeping healthy and it can reduce the risk of developing several diseases. The NHS recommends adults partake in regular activity, which can have immediate and long-term benefits.

One exercise which is great for weight loss is walking, and it can help to create a larger calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit is needed if weight loss is your goal and it means burning more calories than the body is consuming.

Walking for just one mile approximately burns 100 calories, and on average should only take up to 20 minutes.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, David Wiener, Training Specialist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, explained the benefits of walking.

He said: “Walking is a brilliant exercise for weight loss, for starters it is low impact so can be done by anyone regardless of age or fitness level! 

“If weight loss is your goal, you should aim to walk as much as possible throughout the day, getting steps in whenever and wherever you can to burn maximum calories, boost your energy levels, burn fat and enhance your metabolism.”

Tips to maximise walking throughout the day include taking the stairs instead of an escalator and walking to the shops instead of driving.

The expert added: “As well as walking throughout the day, there are also benefits of going on longer, faster walks which will increase your heart rate and burn more calories. 

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“As for time of day, there are research-based benefits to walking at any time of the day. 

“If you choose to walk in the morning, it is more likely you’ll form a new, lasting habit.”

According to Healthline, walking in the morning can also boost your energy as well as improving your mood for the rest of the day.

What’s more, walking in the morning could also help to improve sleep quality and assist you in making healthier choices throughout the day.

David went on: “There’s also research to show a reduced attraction to photos of food following a brisk 45-minute walk and further studies have found that morning aerobic activity such as walking can improve endurance capacity in comparison to evening aerobic exercise, also raising your heart rate and metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day. 

“In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, and this will obviously vary from person to person. 

“If you want to lose weight from walking, I would recommend walking between 8,000 and 12,000 steps per day. This can easily be achieved by aiming to increase the number of steps you take daily by around 20 percent. 

“The number of calories you can burn walking will again vary from person to person. On average a person can burn between 90 and 350 calories on a 30-minute walk, but this will depend greatly on the speed, intensity and incline.”

To help burn “maximum number calories”, the expert advises alternating the pace of your walking.

He explained: “It is advised to alternate the pace, and turn your walk into a HIIT workout (i.e. alternating walking at a steady pace, with walking fast/ at a steep incline/on a challenging terrain). Research consistently shows that HIIT training is beneficial for weight loss, and this type of workout can be achieved on a walk. 

“To make your walks more challenging and, in turn, burn more calories, you can add ankle weights, a backpack or increase the incline. Walking different and more challenging routes can help to make walking more fun and more difficult. 

“It’s also the perfect exercise to do with a friend or in a group, making it social and more fun, ensuring it will be an activity you can stick to. Walking with a friend or in a group will also make you more accountable and less likely to skip a workout which will aid your weight loss efforts. 

“Creating a walking play list that you want to listen to can also entice you out for walks and including a mix of tracks with different tempos and beats can help you to change the intensity and speed of your workout to burn maximum calories.”

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