Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
While walking should be enjoyed for its own sake there are many benefits which accrue from walking - keeping our bodies fit and healthy, relieving stress and breathing in fresh air. One of the positive side effects of regular walking is weight maintenance or coupled with a calorie controlled diet, weight loss.
On average we need 2000 calories per day for normal daily activity. This will vary depending on age, gender and level of activity. Active people need more calories. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle you will need less. Men need more daily calories than women. You can easily keep count of the calories you are consuming by reading food labels. Keep a food diary in which you write down everything you eat per day.
It will take 20 steps to walk off one calorie. You will walk on average 100 steps per minute. With those two figures it is relatively easy to compute how many minutes it will take to walk off any amount of calories.
To lose one pound per week you need to consume 3500 calories less per week, or 500 less per day. It takes 20 steps to walk off one calorie so if you do not want to reduce your calorie intake you need to walk 10,000 steps per day to lose that 500 calories.
That is approximately 1 hr 40 minutes.
If you are walking at a slow pace, approximately 2 mph you will burn off approximately 80 calories per mile if you weigh 140 lbs. If you weigh less you will burn less and if you weigh more you will burn more. Walking slower burns more calories as it takes you longer time to do the same distance.
Here is a short list of some of the popular snacks which we sometimes eat without thinking of their calorific value.
58g Chocolate Caramel Bar 284 calories
To walk off the effects of this indulgence will take you about 56 minutes!
Medium Apple 72calories
To use up these calories will take you 14 minutes
Medium Orange 62 calories
To use up these calories will take you 12 minutes.
It is easy to see which snack you should choose if you are interested in losing weight!
To calculate the time needed to walk off the calories of any given food multiply the calories by 20 and divide by 100 and the answer you get is the number of minutes walking required.
If you are not up to the maths or just canít be bothered there is an easier way. Buy a pedometer that does the calorie counting. It is heartening after your walk to realize that you have burned up so many calories and this will motivate you to continue walking. Remember too, that every step counts helping you to reach 10,000 steps per day.
Here is a link to a pedometer which will do all the maths for you, and is easy to program.
Enjoy your walking and watch those calories!