How Many Calories Do I Burn Walking – Increase Your Burn Rate

Walking is a great low impact form of physical activity. Some of the benefits of walking include building your legs, endurance while strengthening your muscles and ligaments.

After a long walk through the timber I have this nagging question? Have I burned enough calories to have an ice cream cone?

There are various tools that will help you answer this question.



  • Activity Trackers 
    • There are many activity trackers in the marketplace. These trackers have apps that can give you and estimate of calories burned. My wife and I have two different brands of activity trackers. On our most recent walk my tracker had a significant different calorie burn rate than my wife’s. What’s up with that?
  • Walking Burn Rate Calculators
  • Burn Rate Charts
    • In the remainder of this article I will explain how burn rate is calculated and how you can increase your rate with a chart or two.


What affects my calorie burn rate

Many of the calculators use a formula based on the minutes of walking, your weight and the intensity (how fast) of walking.


How do I increase my burn rate!

As you can see there are two things that you have immediate control over which will affect your burn rate.

Increasing how fast you are walking will increase the energy you burn. See the chart below for a the different levels of walking

MetsHow Fast I Walk
2.5 per hour2 mph, level slow pace on a firm surface
3.0 per hour2.5 mph on a firm surface
3.5 per hour3 mph, level, moderate pace, firm surface
4.0 per hour3.5 - 4 mph, level, brisk, firm surface
4.5 per hour4.5 mph, level, firm surface, very very brisk
6.5 per hourRace walking

The MET rate in simplified terms means the amount of energy you burn in relation to your weight. So a MET of 1.0 means that you are sitting quietly.


The other factor that you can control is the amount of time you walk. By increasing the amount of time you walk the amount of calories you burn will be increased. See the chart below for the calorie burn rate per minute.

MET Equivalent for How Fast You Walked

2 MPH2.5 MPH3 MPH3.5 -
4.5 MPHRace Walking


How to calculate the calories using the table above!

Take weight in kilograms multiplied by the factor that corresponds to the level of activity of walking = calories burned.

1 pound = 2.2 Kilograms approximately

Example: A person who weighs 150 pounds walks for thirty minutes at 3 mph (a moderate pace).

(150/2.2) * 2.0 = number of calories burned

68 * 2.0 = 136 (Estimated Calories Burned)

NOTE: Due to rounding throughout the calculation this result may be slightly different that calculators than use a greater degree of precision


Will adding weights to my walk increase my burn rate

There is a fine balance to adding weights. It is believed that additional weight will increase your burn rate approximately 5 percent. This increase burn rate has to be balanced with the increased risk of injury.

You will have to use your own judgement. On long walks, I often wear a backpack with water bottles and a snack or two. The increased weight seems to be worth the risk in that situation.

How do you increase your burn rate?

I would enjoy hearing from others about your experiences with activity trackers, burn rate calculators. How do you increase your burn rate?

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4 thoughts on “How Many Calories Do I Burn Walking – Increase Your Burn Rate”

  1. My husband and I both have the Samsung galaxy gear watches that tell us how many miles and calories we burned. It’s very good.

    However, your website is great for others who need to do a quick calculation. I will bookmark your website to tell my friends about it.

    • Glad to here your Samsung watches are working well. I have a Fitbit HR and my wife has an inexpensive generic fitness tracker. When we are on a walk together the calories are miles apart.

  2. Thank you for this post. I increase my burn rate by either choosing a hilly route for my walk, or wearing ankle rates on my ankles. I’ve heard using nordic poles can influence this too but I’ve never tried. Kendra


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