If you’re an active person, chances are you’re burning calories on a regular basis. But have you ever wondered how far you’d have to walk – or equivalent exercise – to cancel out all those calories burned? Are you curious about how far your body has to travel to eliminate all the energy expended by running, cycling, trekking or any other form of physical activity? Well, your answer is here!
In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into exploring the exact number of miles (km) you’ll need to cover to eliminate the number of calories consumed and expended during exercise.
Even if you try to eat healthier, gourmet foods are often more on display in supermarkets and stores during the holidays, making it hard to give up our favorite foods and drinks.
On Christmas Day alone, people may have consumed around 6,000 calories, most of which comes from Christmas dinner. But spending time with friends, Christmas parties at work and New Year’s Eve celebrations are all opportunities to overeat in the days and even weeks before and after Christmas. It is therefore not surprising that the average adult gains between 0.5 and 1 kg during the Christmas holidays.
Regardless of age or fitness level, a dedicated walking program paired with a good diet can be a great way to lose weight. To do well and reach your goals, you need to make sure that you are walking enough at the right intensity and that you are now paying attention to your diet.
Find out how and what you need to know:
WALKING TIME AND WEIGHT LOSS.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), people should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day or 150 minutes per week. While this can help put you on the right track for cardiovascular fitness and combat other health issues, if you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll probably want to do a little more. Any extra time you spend exercising adds to your overall calorie burn and fitness level.
Not all rides are equal. It’s important to keep your heart rate up to a moderate intensity level while you walk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate-intensity exercise is defined as activity that elevates heart rate to 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.
If you decide to increase the intensity – either by adding resistance training in the form of weights or by including short periods of running – exercise at a high activity level (70-85% of your maximum heart rate) requires halving the duration of your walk to achieve the same benefits. In other words, a 60-minute moderate-intensity walk is equivalent to a 30-minute high-intensity walk/run.
The most accurate way to measure intensity level is with a heart rate monitor, but you can also factor in perceived exertion. On a scale of 0 to 10 (0 is sitting, 10 is the hardest possible effort), moderate intensity is 5-6, and vigorous-intensity activity is 7.
HOW DOES WALKING COMPARE TO RUNNING?
Walking may provide the same health benefits as running (with a lower risk of injury). However, when it comes to losing weight, duration is key for people who prefer to walk. According to the American Council of Exercise (ACE), a 68 kg runner burns 340 calories in a 5 km run at an average speed of 10 minutes (for a 30 minute run). This equates to about 11.3 calories per minute. On the other hand, a 68 kg person walking and exercising at a moderate pace of 5 km per hour burns 224 calories (for 60 minutes total). That’s an average of 3.7 calories per minute.
While this shows that running is indeed a more effective activity for burning calories, if you walk longer you can make up the difference. In the example above, you would need to walk for about an hour and 30 minutes, or almost 6.5 km, to burn as many calories as running for 5 km.
Calculating and recording your daily steps, mileage, time, and exercise intensity are important when trying to lose weight. But the last part of the equation – nutrition – is just as crucial. Logging your food intake as well as your workouts can help you get a more accurate picture of the amount and types of food you eat. This will help you make informed decisions about portion sizes and where you can cut excess calories to find a healthy deficit that will allow you to lose weight and keep it off.