Walking Reins King

Google the “benefits of walking” and you get ˜34.5mil results. It’s known as the Philosopher’s Sport, because of it benefits to promote thinking. Walking “is the best way to go more slowly than any other method that has ever been found.” And walking may be your new best friend, if you wish to easily rid yourself some extra body weight.

In a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, leisurely walking proved to outperform power walking in net calorie expenditure. In comparison, power walking (70% of Vo2max) and leisurely walking (40% of Vo2max) both burned the same number of calories per session. Due to increased post workout appetite and craving compensation the participants in the power walking group completely nullified their calorie expenditures. Leisurely walking proved a neutral influence on appetite with little or no compensation eating. (1)

According to this chart by VeryWell, the average person weighing 160 lbs burns 85 calories per mile at a 17 to 24 min/mile pace. And, again, their study also determined faster paces burn about the same number of calories. Body weight, in this study proved the biggest determinant in calories burned by walking. Here are some pictures of what 100 calories looks like. Half a banana is more than the 85 calories a 160 lbs person burns walking per mile. It doesn’t take much to compensate-eat your calories back.

A fascinating study published in February of 2009 showed over a 6 month period, examining 3 exercising groups and one non-exercising control group, the group which exercised half the recommended weekly minutes [NIH recommends roughly 18 Kcals per pound per week (136 minutes of exercise/week)] lost more weight than the recommended weekly exercise group. And surprisingly, the group who exercised +50% the recommended weekly minutes lost less weight than the expected amount according to the calorie expenditure equations. The researchers concluded appetite and energy compensation eating to be the only explanation for the variation in results. (2)

Exercising doesn’t need to be hard, fast, and sweaty to be healthy. Just go out and take a walk. It’s good for you. A 30 minute stroll during your lunch break or after dinner tonight does wonders. Your body will thank you. Rein in your wellness kingdom through walking.

  1. Pomerleau, et al. Effects of exercise intensity on food intake and appetite in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004;80120–1236.

2. Church, et al. Changes in weight, waist circumference and compensatory responses with different doses of exercise among sedentary, overweight postmenopausal women. PLoS ONE. 2009;4(2):e4515