Walking an extra 5 miles a week is a great way to help you burn more calories on a daily basis. When it comes to losing weight, your best bet is to manage your caloric intake so that you are consuming fewer calories a day than you burn off through your metabolism and exercise. By walking an extra 5 miles each week, you can help your body reach a calorie deficit that, over time, will help you burn off some of those unwanted pounds.
How It Works
Simply put, weight loss is a number’s game. For each pound that you want to lose, you will need to burn off enough calories to achieve a deficit of 3,500. In other words, you will need to manage your diet alongside your exercise schedule. Walking an extra 5 miles each week can only help you lose weight if you’re burning off more calories than you put on with foods and beverages. To determine how much weight you can lose with those extra 5 miles, you will need to compare your caloric intake with your basal metabolic rate.
Calories and Your Metabolism
You don’t have to use exercise to burn off every single calorie you consume. Your metabolism automatically uses up a certain amount of energy each day, but this amount gradually decreases as you age. For example, a 25-year old man who is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds can expect to burn 2,056 calories without exerting any effort, according to the BMI Calculator website. If he consumes 2,500 calories a day, his metabolism will automatically consume all but 444 of those calories. To prevent weight gain, he must burn off the remaining calories with exercise.
Calories Burned by Walking
An average adult walking at a speed of 2 mph can expect to burn anywhere between 204 and 305 calories depending on body weight, according to MayoClinic.com. Using the above example, the person would have to walk between 4 and 5 miles miles every single day to burn the necessary 444 calories and prevent weight gain. If you’re determined to only walk 5 miles a week, you will most likely have to manage your diet so that your metabolism burns off all of the calories you consume each day. After that, you can start to count the number of pounds you expect to lose by the amount of calories you burn on a weekly basis. For example, if you walk for a total of 2 1/2 hours each week and cover a distance 2 miles each hour, you can expect to burn between 510 and 760 calories per week. At a rate of 1 pound per 3,500 deficit calories, it will take you five to seven weeks to burn each pound of fat. Naturally, the quicker the pace of your walk, the more calories you are likely to burn. For example, if you were to jog at a rate of 5 mph, you could expect to burn between 606 and 905 calories, depending on your body weight.
For best results, stick to walking routes that are safe, well-lit and free of obstacles such as rocks or tree roots. If you live in a hilly area, your weekly walk can double for a strength-training exercise for toning your legs and thighs. It’s generally a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure your preferred walking route is safe for your current level of physical fitness. Before walking, take a few moments to stretch out your hamstrings to prevent cramping during your walk.