Walking can be a sport, a form of workout, or a way to move around. Find out how many calories you burn while doing these things.
Your exact results can vary but the average person will burn around 103 to 178 calories while walking at 3 mph for 30 minutes.
One of the fun facts about walking is that your body weight will influence your calorie-burning results a lot.
The 103 calories burned while walking for 30 minutes is the estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person. On the other end, 178 calories are the estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.
That aside, this article will also go over what details influence your results a lot, in-depth estimations for different speeds, distances, and even steps, how to burn more calories while walking, and more.
Biggest factors in calories burned with walking
Something important to note is that you should not take the calorie-burning estimations for walking too precisely. There are many hard-to-measure details that will influence your actual results a lot.
At the same time, you can still get somewhat better estimations by looking at a few important things. These things will also help you figure out how to burn more calories while walking.
A few examples of factors that influence how many calories you burn with walking include:
- Weight: Your body needs energy (calories) to function and move around. These processes tend to burn more calories for heavier individuals.
- Walking speed: Faster movements tend to require more energy. That means your walking speed will influence how many calories you burn per minute.
- Body composition: The human body can consist of different ratios of tissues. An amount of body fat will tend to burn fewer calories while walking than the same weight in muscle mass.
- Slope: Just moving your body forward requires less energy than moving your body forward and upward. Walking on steeper slopes will generally burn more calories.
- Walking surface: Walking on flat surfaces like asphalt tends to require just a bit less energy than walking on a forest road with bumps.
Charts of walking calorie-burning estimations
If you want to keep things simple, you can look at a cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention that mentions you burn around 3.5-7 calories per minute of walking (1).
That being said, most people will be interested in more detailed estimations for their weight, speed, number of steps, etc. For this, you can use MET values.
MET values are numbers that estimate (or measure if there are studies) how physically intense certain workouts and activities are.
You can then get calorie-burning estimations by inserting the MET in this formula:
METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
Some examples of METs for walking are an MET of 3.5 at a moderate pace of about 3 mph, an MET of 4 for brisk walking at about 3.5 mph, and an MET of 4.5 for very brisk walking at about 4.5 mph (2).
The calorie-burning charts for time intervals, distance, and steps below will use the MET for walking at a moderate pace of about 3 mph.
After that, you can also find a comparison of the number of calories burned with different walking speeds.
Again, remember that these are all very rough estimations. In reality, your results can vary a good amount.
Calories burned with walking per time interval
Many people will prefer knowing how many calories they burn per minute(s) of walking since time is relatively convenient to measure.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|3 calories||52 calories||103 calories||155 calories||207 calories|
|4 calories||64 calories||128 calories||192 calories||256 calories|
|5 calories||76 calories||153 calories||229 calories||306 calories|
|6 calories||89 calories||178 calories||267 calories||356 calories|
Calories burned with walking per distance
You may also want to know how much walking you have to do to lose weight or at least have a specific route or trail you want to follow.
|69 calories||138 calories||207 calories||276 calories||345 calories|
|85 calories||171 calories||256 calories||342 calories||427 calories|
|102 calories||204 calories||306 calories||408 calories||510 calories|
|119 calories||237 calories||356 calories||474 calories||593 calories|
Calories burned with walking per amounts of steps
With the rising popularity of step counters, many people are also interested in how many steps they need to achieve certain goals.
|100 Steps||1,000 Steps||2,000 Steps||10,000 Steps||15,000 Steps|
|3 calories||31 calories||63 calories||313 calories||470 calories|
|4 calories||39 calories||78 calories||388 calories||583 calories|
|5 calories||46 calories||93 calories||464 calories||695 calories|
|5 calories||54 calories||108 calories||539 calories||808 calories|
Calories burned walking at different speeds
You may also wonder whether picking up the pace is really worth it in terms of calorie burning. The estimations below are for walking at different speeds for 30 minutes.
(3 mph/4.8 kmh)
(3.5 mph/5.6 kmh)
(4 mph/6.4 kmh)
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||103 calories||118 calories||133 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||128 calories||146 calories||165 calories|
|185 Pounds (84 kg)||153 calories||175 calories||197 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||178 calories||203 calories||229 calories|
Ways to burn more calories while walking
As you can see from the last chart with different walking speeds, how many calories you burn with this activity is not always the same.
This can be good news in the sense that you can get more results per minute of walking by making a few modifications.
First of all, walking faster will typically burn more calories per minute.
Secondly, you can make it so your body has to move more weight in healthy ways.
One way to do this is by walking with weights like a weighted vest or heavy backpack.
Additionally, you can build some muscle mass with resistance training exercises. A benefit of these workouts is that they will burn calories too.
Thirdly, you can walk on a more challenging surface, for example uphill.
The MET estimation for walking 3.5 mph on a flat surface is 4 whereas the MET estimation for walking 3.5 mph uphill is 6 (2).
In calories burned, that would mean that a 155-pound (70 kg) individual walking 3.5 mph for 15 minutes would burn around 73 calories on a flat surface vs 110 calories uphill. That’s a relatively big difference.
How long does it take to see results from walking?
Hitting your calorie-burning goals for the day feels nice but you likely also want to know whether walking can help you lose weight and to what extent.
If that is the case, you want to keep in mind that your habits in areas like nutrition will influence your weight loss results from walking a lot.
That being said, to get a rough idea of the effects of walking, you can temporarily assume all the extra calories you burn come from fat (even though this will likely not be the case).
A 185-pound (84 kg) person will burn around 714 calories or 0.2 pounds (0.09 kg) of body fat by walking for 20 minutes a day for a week.
If the same person keeps up this walking habit for 30 days, they will burn an extra 3060 calories or about 0.87 pounds (0.38 kg) of body fat.
Keep in mind that as this person (and you) lose weight, walking will start to burn fewer calories per minute.
Is walking good for burning calories?
From a per-minute perspective, walking is not that good for burning calories compared to many exercise options.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that walking is relatively soft on your body and that you can do it for long amounts of time.
These benefits of walking can be helpful for people who are new to exercise and/or are not able to do these intenser workouts.
In simpler words, walking can be good for burning calories if your body is not able to deal with more effective workouts (yet).
People who are in a situation like that, can try to walk faster, uphill, and potentially with weights to see more results.
If you are able to do these other more intense exercise options, they can burn a lot more calories per minute than walking.