... food and drink, calories and nutrition

Walking: a natural and healthy exercise to burn off calories

When you've finally got your calorie intake under control in your weight loss diet you will want to find ways of burning off as much energy as you can. Any training exercise such as running, bicycling, aerobics or other vigorous activity you undertake will help you to lose weight, though in general your body may not yet be ready for any exercise as strenuous as playing sports, climbing or even stationary running.

Swimming would be an ideal aerobic activity in these circumstances, with the drawback that you may be restricted to certain times and you would have to get into the water! The most convenient moderate exercise form is walking, and finding ways to do it often will help burn more calories, as well as contribute to your overall fitness and medical health and help you continue to lose weight as an adjunct to your diet.

So walking to the store will mean calories burned. Or, if you must drive, plan to park as far from the entrance as you can: this will mean the loss of more energy as you walk there. Walking with the kids to school will burn off some. Or even better, some moderate hiking just to enjoy the fresh air and the scenery, perhaps also carrying some weight such as a rucksack (containing some water, of course!). Any of these and other moderate on-foot exercise activities will do much to burn more.

So, how many calories are we actually talking?
In general it depends on your body weight, health and fitness level and how fast you walk. Assuming your weight is 200 pounds, the information revealed by our calories-burned calculator page shows, for example, that walking for 1 hour at a reasonable pace on the level will burn around 360 calories. 2 miles could take more than 30 minutes, so we could calculate perhaps 100-plus burned per mile.

This compares with around 580 burned running the same distance, according to the calculator - but of course you could keep your walking up for much longer than you could your running.

How to get the most weight-loss benefit from walking as an exercise?
Quite simply, make walking a habit. It's a most natural exercise with no significant negative health aspects - unlike running or similar training activities, which can put extra load on joints and spine unless you take a great deal of care over how you actually move. Instituting a daily regimen will mean that you are regularly burning a significant amount of energy. Each calorie you can burn is one less you have to worry about in your diet!