Everyone knows that exercise is key to getting fit and losing weight and walking is a great way to get started.

Ultimately, to lose unwanted weight we need to burn more calories than we consume. Any type of movement will help use up more calories, but higher-intensity activities burn more calories than lower-intensity activities.

“Walking is a great exercise because almost anyone can do it, at any time, without any equipment,” says Wickham. “It is also low intensity, so it is easy on your joints. Long walks can also be used as thinking or meditation time.”

Pata says that the National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends the elliptical for those who are just starting out, de-conditioned, sedentary, or obese.

Now that you know that walking is an effective form of exercise that has mental and physical benefits, here are some tips on how to make the most of a simple walk around the block or neighborhood.

How Much Walking Do You Have to Do to Lose Weight?

How many calories you burn while walking depends on factors such as your fitness level and weight. Pata, who is a master trainer for various fitness brands, explains that people who are less fit and weigh more will burn more calories per minute while walking.

The changes made to the body’s resting metabolic rate from walking over time can help to increase lean body mass, which in turn will increase the amount of energy expended.

To lose weight, you need to figure out your resting metabolic rate and how many calories you’re consuming. You can use an online calculator from the National Academy of Sports Medicine to do this.

If you’re looking to lose weight, Pata recommends starting with two 15-minute walks throughout the day, or one 30-minute walk every day. Over time, this can add up to burning 100-200 calories per day, which can lead to significant weight loss for someone who is obese and previously sedentary.

How much weight can someone lose by walking in a month?

Burning 5,600 calories per month through walking can lead to losing approximately 1.6 pounds, as stated by Pata. The specific amount of calories that a person burns each month varies based on individual factors such as weight, level of fitness, and how much they train.

Although you won’t see results immediately, sticking to a weekly walking routine will help you lose weight over time. If you’re trying to lose weight quickly, however, Dr. Wickham suggests that you shouldn’t rely on walking as your only form of exercise, since it’s a low-intensity activity and burns fewer calories per hour than a high-intensity workout.

“For example, if you only have 30 minutes to exercise and your goal is to burn the most calories during your 30 minutes, walking isn’t the best choice to accomplish this goal,” he says. “You will burn far more calories if you increased the intensity of your exercise with things like jogging, lifting weights, sprinting, a HIIT workout, or some combination of these.”

Tips to Maximize Your Walks for Weight Loss

If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor workout, here are 17 things that will help. From the right pair of sneakers to the right mindset, these tips will help you make the most of your workout.

Perform a Short Mobility Routine Before Your Walk

“Stretching out and activating specific muscles before your walk will help you decrease your chance of pain and injury during and after your walk,” says Wickham. “If you have pain during your walk, this is your body telling you that you really need to start dedicating time to your joint mobility. Everyone should be able to perform a basic life task such as walking without pain.”

Wear a Weighted Vest or Backpack During Your Walks

According to Wickham, making your walks more challenging by adding weight will lead to burning more calories.

Track Your Steps

According to Pata, data tracking can help motivate individuals by providing visual feedback on goal progress and making up for any lost progress during the week.

Add in Short Jogs or Runs During Your Walk

Walk for two minutes and then jog or run for as little as 10 seconds and repeat. This will help increase the intensity of your walking workout and help you lose weight faster.

Bring a Water Bottle on Longer Walks

According to Wickham, it is crucial to stay hydrated for optimal health. Being healthy and hydrated leads to a better weight loss journey. In addition, water will keep your energy up and allow you to exercise more.

Use a Food Tracker

If you’re keeping track of what you eat with a food diary app, make sure to also note how many calories you’re burning by walking. This can help you stay aware of your progress and how it compares to your goals, says Pata. Additionally, it can be motivating to see that you’re able to meet your goals.

Stay Consistent

If you want to maximize the benefits of walking, you need to be consistent with it, whether that means walking once a day or every week. According to Wickham, “Health is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.” So find ways to work walking into your life in a way that you’ll stick with. The more often you walk, the more weight you’ll lose.

Check the Weather

Be sure to check the weather report before heading out for your walk to avoid getting caught in a rainstorm. If rain is expected at your usual walking time, try to reschedule for a time when it should be dry. Always carry a charged phone with you so that you can call for a ride if the weather takes a turn for the worse.


Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after a long walk.

Get the Right Gear

It is better to wear sneakers rather than flip-flops when walking. Sneakers provide better support for your feet and can help prevent injuries. In addition, wearing the right sneakers can improve your stride and make it more comfortable to walk longer distances.

Wear Layers

Wearing layers is a good way to keep yourself comfortable while walking. The first layer should be made of a material that wicks moisture away from your skin. Depending on the weather, you may need a second or third layer to protect yourself from the cold, wind, or rain. If you get too warm, you can tie the extra layer around your waist.

Invest in Reflective Clothing and Accessories

If you frequently walk outside, you should consider wearing reflective workout gear to significantly increase your visibility and keep you safe. Whether you are walking during the day or at night, it can be hard for cars to see pedestrians, so reflective gear and bright colors can make a big difference. You should look for clothing and accessories like hats with reflective accents on both the front and back.

Focus on Form

To improve your walking technique, start by keeping your chin up and shoulders square. Then, engage your core muscles and straighten your back. It is also important to make sure your glutes are engaged with each step. Finally, focus on landing on your heels and rolling forward to push off with your toes.

Pick up the Pace

There are three types of paces for walking: stroll (similar to window shopping, about a 3/4 difficulty on a scale of 10), brisk walk (making an effort here, about a 4/5 difficulty), and power walk (on a mission, about a 5/6 difficulty). Warm up with a stroll, then aim for a brisk pace throughout your walk, and push to a power walk pace every five minutes to get your heart rate up. See how long you can maintain a power walk pace for and then try to increase it by a few seconds every time you go out for your walk. Power walking for weight loss can make a big difference in your overall health.

Set a Goal

How far can you walk in 30 minutes or in 1 hour? Our experts say that you should aim to walk 1.5 miles in 30 minutes, or 3 miles in 1 hour. This is a brisk pace of about 20 minutes per mile. If you can’t commit to walking for a full hour or 30 minutes, do what you can, anything is better than nothing and can contribute to your daily steps tremendously. Our experts say it is also a good idea to set a goal for the number of walks you would like to reach per week and write them down so you can check each walk off as you go and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Walk on an Incline

If you’re walking indoors on a treadmill, you can increase the incline to burn more calories. If you’re walking outside, try to find a hilly area to make the most of your workout. Increasing the incline can make the walk more intense while also reducing impact on your legs and joints.

Opt for Some Reverse Walking

While it may sound silly, walking backwards – or reverse walking – provides a variety of health benefits, such as enhancing body coordination, increasing strength in muscles that aren’t used as heavily, and reducing pain and improving physical function in individuals with knee osteoarthritis, according to a recent study. Try doing a short burst of reverse walking a few times throughout your walk, just be sure to stay aware of your surroundings.

Try Adding Light Weights

Do you want to make your walks more challenging? One way to do that is to walk with weights. This can be a great, low-impact strength-training exercise. It can also help you burn more calories and tone your muscles. You can use a weighted vest, ankle weights, wrist weights, or light dumbbells. Start with a very light weight and a short walking route, so you can see how your body reacts.


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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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