3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere

Will Owen
by Will Owen
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3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere

Travel Strong LogoWalking? Really? Don’t you have to do some sort of high-intensity workout that leaves you feeling beat up for days to lose fat? Well actually, no.

I could try to convince you that walking is the quickest way of burning fat, but that would be a very long post. And I think getting out and doing it would serve you more than sitting here and readying about it. For anyone who is out of shape, suffers from an injury or some other form of physical limitation, or simply wants to preserve muscle mass while burning fat, walking is an excellent form of exercise.

No, it won’t help you prepare to run a marathon, but walking can build a base level of fitness that will enable you to move onto more strenuous forms of exercise down the line. Best of all, almost anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter where you are, or how old or young you are, you can simply head outside and start walking. And like any form of exercise, walking burns calories and therefore fat.

Here are three simple walking workouts you can do anywhere. I like to head outside and enjoy the fresh air, but if it’s a particularly miserable day you can do them on the treadmill, too.

1. A Nice, Long Walk According to the Mayo Clinic, running is thought to burn around 800 calories an hour, while walking only burns around 350. That’s a big difference, but the fact is you can walk for a lot longer than you can run (unless you’re extremely fit). So while running for an hour might burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, going on a 3 hour hike would actually burn more calories (and therefore fat) overall. And you have the added benefit of reduced chance of injury.

Burning fat really is that simple. Next time you’re not in the mood for a strenuous workout, put on some comfortable shoes, head out into the world, take comfort in the knowledge that you’re getting fitter, healthier, and leaner.

2. Fast & Slow Workout Beyond losing weight, walking can be incredibly beneficial to your health. Think: a reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and better cardiovascular health. But to really tap into these benefits you need to raise the intensity. Here’s how:

  • Walk at a comfortable pace for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Walk quickly for 1 minute.
  • Return to a comfortable pace for 1 minute.
  • Repeat this pattern for a total of 30 minutes.

When this becomes too easy, add difficulty by reducing the periods of walking at a comfortable pace and increasing the time spent walking quickly (up to 5 minutes). You can also add in hills or increase the overall time of the workout.

This slow-fast-slow walking method will help prepare you to move onto more strenuous forms of exercise, such as running.

3. Bodyweight & Walking Intervals Turn your walk into a total-body workout by including bodyweight exercises at intervals.

  • Walk at a comfortable pace for 5-10 minutes.
  • Walk at a moderate (slightly quicker than comfortable) pace for 5 minutes.
  • Perform a bodyweight exercise for 10 reps.
  • Walk at a moderate pace for 5 minutes.
  • Perform a bodyweight exercise for 10 reps.
  • Repeat until you have performed a total of 5 bodyweight exercises.

Not sure which bodyweight moves to incorporate, here’s an article I recently wrote on my 5 favorites. (There are more great suggestions in the comments on that post, too.)

Ready? Set? Walk! Tell us which of these three walking workouts you’ll be trying today!

About the Author

Will Owen
Will Owen

Will Owen is known for helping every one from backpackers to businessmen stay healthy on the road. He has been featured on a number of websites as an expert bridging the gap between travel and fitness. You can stay up to date with him by visiting Travel Strong, or following him on Google+ or Twitter.

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72 responses to “3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere”

  1. Avatar devans00 says:

    I might try the Fast & Slow Workout. I hate carrying things while walking so I doubt I’ll do Bodyweight & Walking Intervals. Carrying my 30+ pound work bag during the weekdays is enough of walking with heavy objects for me.

  2. Avatar dwc61 says:

    Look at the photo, She’s wearing a backpack! Backpacking/Hiking with a 20-25 pound pack off the pavement about doubles the calorie burn according to the fitness tracker.

  3. Avatar Pat says:

    I walk everyday 1 mile. Wonder how to up my game. Maybe leg weights, or carry hand weights and swing my arms. Don’t wish to run and have no hills. Once you start a walking routine…..you crave it and can’t go without it. I love my morning walk.

    • Avatar Bryce824 says:

      Maybe add (10) walking lunges at the 1/4 mile marks using just body weight for a total of 1 mile and 4-sets of 10 lunges. Great for the glutes & thighs 🙂

  4. Avatar Dawn says:

    I HATE to exercise, but have started to walk in place at home while watching TV ( this keeps me from thinking that I am exercising). I started just walking in place for 30 min. I am up to walking for 10, running in place for 5. I do this 3 times. my goal is to increase the running in place to equal times with the walking or maybe even running longer than walking.
    Does walking/running in place work or am I wasting my time?

    • Avatar Bryce824 says:

      Anything that gets your heart rate up is worth it and splitting the walk/run intervals is even better. Mountain climbers (which is basically running in place while in plank or push-up position) is an extremely effective exercise and may be worth adding to your routine: walk/run, walk/climb, walk/run, walk/climb, etc. You might enjoy the challenge as well as the results.

    • Avatar Dave says:

      You are going the right direction. No amount of exercise is a waste of time. Try Leslie Sansone’s “walk at home”. I’ve done it for Six months. D

      • Avatar Anna says:

        I personally use the same walk at home program and can vouch for it! It’s awesome because you can control the intensity of the work out. You can boost it or just take it easy it’s up to you!

    • Avatar Laura says:

      My mom lost 50 lbs walking around the house! She has heart problems and was afraid to go outside and walk so she walked around the house. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! So proud of her! You too Dawn!

    • Avatar kevin says:

      Or you could jump rope with or without the rope.

  5. Avatar missamandalambert says:

    Definitely going to try this!!

  6. Avatar disqus_ydvA21c8OL says:

    Use the energy to accomplish a task. Walk to the grocery store and carry the groceries back. It’s a simple way to make this workout more meaningful.

  7. Avatar Legion says:

    I love walking because it is so “low-gear” and it’s a great way to explore the city and spend time outdoors. I’ve tried the “Slow Fast” walking technique and love it ~ I made a playlist where I vary the “beats per minute” of the songs between slow, medium and fast. It’s fun to walk to the beat of the music and I really like how the variation in tempos makes me walk longer, further and more intensely. I do feel I get a better walking workout this way. Great article, I’ll try to incorporate the other techniques as well. Thanks!

  8. Avatar Chase says:

    Regarding point 1, walking is great, however, with me it all comes down to time. I personally prefer an hour jog and have 2 hours of free time. A 3 hour walk is nice, but….it’s 3 hours!

  9. Avatar PhyllisK says:

    Walking is such great exercise. I have Type 1 diabetes, and I know from experience, just 30 minute walk does wonders. For mood; glucose levels and a break in the day if I can squeeze it in at lunch.

  10. […] 3 Walking Workouts To Help You Burn Fat Anywhere | Hello Healthy […]

  11. […] 3 Walking Workouts via Hello Healthy. You guys know I’m a huge proponent of walking as a form of exercise! And if you mix up the speed and incline, it can be an awesome workout! […]

  12. Avatar Lyn says:

    I have just bought a treadmill, I am 67 years old, I am hoping to increase my fitness and lose some weight. I will use the second technique I think to get me started!

  13. Avatar Carrie says:

    I try to walk an hour a day, once or twice a week I walk 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Doing this alone (+ eating better) I have lost 93 pounds in 15 months!!

  14. Avatar Adrian Cartwright says:

    Finding time to exercise is difficult as a parent and self employed person, so I’ve combined commuting and exercise… I recently moved my illustration studio from home to offices in the city centre. 3.5 miles away ( about 5k ). Walking is a great idea, especially when it take 30 minutes to commute by car, and then I’ve done 1 hour’s fat burning exercise each way. No parking, or stress in traffic. Give it a go. think of it a bit like an adventure, as you’ll see new things on the way.

    • Avatar Will Owen says:

      That’s a great way to incorporate exercise into your day-to-day. Good thinking!

    • Avatar IBikeNYC says:

      I’m in the habit of varying which streets / avenues I walk along and then which sides of each of those. It’s a different scene every time!

      Also do this when biking.

      LOVE your Victorian-Era (?) Teachers’ College!

  15. Avatar Jackie says:

    Just recently me and my husband have started walking. It took us about three week to work up to a mile and a half. But now I’m sitting here in bed with two torn tendons in the left ft, right sprained ankle and shin splints. I’m not horribly over weight but I am by about 40 pounds. Is there away I can walk without hurting my self? I did switch shoes to a more higher quality walking shoe. I feel as though I have been defeated by my body when trying to get out an movie. My mind is set to just walk. But my body says round is a shape! Lol what can I do as I’m waiting to heal up?

    • Avatar guest says:

      I went through the same thing when I started walking. To a certain extent you just have to burn through it until everything gets stronger. While you’re injured try to slow down – stroll if you have to. Work on building the habit as opposed to any kind of intensity. Eventually you’ll heal up and be glad you kept at it as your stamina will be better. Hopefully! This is what happened for me. I’m still struggling to get those 10k steps each day I tell ya.

      • Avatar Jackie says:

        Thanks for the advise

        • Avatar Will Owen says:

          Hey Jackie. I think the above advice is great, but if your issue is weight I would advise you make good nutrition your priority. Walking will certainly help you lose weight, but taking control of your diet will lead to the most dramatic results. Use the MFP app to work out your calorie requirements, and stick to it by eating real, nutritious food like fruit, meat, fish and veggies.

    • Avatar Dan says:

      I am no expert but when I started walking/running I had similar issues. What worked for me is to “learn” how to walk and run. I watched videos about walking and running which led me to change the way I was letting my feet contact the surface on which I was walking/running. Shin splints (for me) were caused by my heel contacting the ground first then slapping the rest of my foot down to the ground. This made the muscles on the front of my leg stretch quickly sort of like stretching a rubber band too quickly. So I changed the way my foot hits the ground so either the ball of my foot was contacting the floor first or my foot was landing flat. I have not had shin splints since. It takes concentration to change your form, you have probably been walking the same way forever and changing it will take some time.

      I have never had the torn tendon issues you are having but I would venture to say it may be from trying to go too fast too soon. I know when I run faster than I should I get sore tendons so I would take it easy and start slow. I walk with my wife and I have been walking longer than she has so I slow down when she is with me. If your husband walks faster than you ask him to slow down.

      • Avatar Jackie says:

        Thank you for your input. I think your right I do walk/run with my heal hitting first. I will try these suggestions.

  16. Avatar Cindy says:

    First, thanks for obtainable goals! I am trying to walk everyday. May 12th I shattered my wrist and I am still trying to get my walks in. The cast is off, a splint replacing it, now therapy. Lots of swelling, of course this is normal…so, I will combine 1 and 2…I will keep moving…I like the lunge suggestion…no weight with my hand yet.

  17. Avatar Suly says:

    I work right on the beach, so I’m thinking of doing 30 to 45 mins. walks down the beach at lunch time. Will that help, if I do it every day, Monday thru Friday? Also, does it makes a difference if I’m bare-footed? Great Article by the way! =)

    • Avatar LoveToWalk says:

      I think the sand in general (any surface that isn’t flat) is going to help build muscle because you’re working a little harder, regardless of having shoes on or not! You should try it! And since you’re at such a beautiful spot that should help relieve stress I’d think!

  18. Avatar Cass says:

    I am new to whole exercise thing. How does exercise help with diabetes 2?

  19. Avatar Joyce says:

    I am 71 years old and love the Slow/Fast walking that you suggested. Anyone of any age can do this plus great way to walk your dog! Thanks for the tips that even the older generation can do! Keep them coming!

  20. Avatar Natalie says:

    Weighing in at 69kgs in March 2013, I discovered two things in my quest for post-baby weight loss, after trying and failing many times: MFP and daily walking. By accounting for each morsel I put in my body (via MFP), and walking 30-45 minutes per day, I had lost 16kgs in 4 months – by the end of June I was 53kgs! One year later, I have maintained my weight purely from walking virtually each day, as well as eating healthy food without sticking to a calorie controlled diet. So very glad that walking is part of my life!

  21. Avatar Grace says:

    I have been weights exercising upper and lower body.. Have changed up the program a few times..for about 30-40 minutes a day..I also do walking and up to 5-6 km /day 5 days/week. I have been working up to this for 15 months.. I have lost about 90 lbs.. The last couple of months my weight has been yo-yo ing.getting kinda discouraged.. Any suggestions…Grace

    • Avatar Will Owen says:

      It sounds like you’ve made incredible progress through purely exercising, but when weight loss stagnates it’s usually down to your diet. Focus on eating well, and eating 200 calories less than maintenance each day and you should be back on track 🙂

  22. Avatar Elaine says:

    My husband and I retired one year ago. Joined a gym. Fell into a comfortable routine of using the treadmill at a 3.5 mile per hour pace for a distance of 2 miles 3 times per week. Added 40 minutes of strength training afterwards. When spring arrived, added walking outdoors on the days we didn’t go to the gym. Began to do 10 mile hikes in our area on weekends. Next week we will be in England on a six day inn to inn hiking holiday. Total distance is about 75 miles. Being active retirees is our goal! Weigh loss has been a happy bonus!

    • Avatar Will Owen says:

      That’s great Elaine! I think a) having a routine and b) having somebody to exercise with are both really important to an individual’s success when it comes to weight loss. Keep it up!

  23. Avatar Marg says:

    I bought a ‘FITBIT’. It has become an obsession. Set my goal at 10,000 steps per day. Now I do not go to bed at night if I have not met my daily goal. Only missed it twice in the lat 3 months. Usually, I get up early and walk 4 k before work. you meet the same people every morning.. the walkers, the runners, the dog walkers. It gets you in a good mood for the day.

    • Avatar Will Owen says:

      I’ve heard a lot of great things about the FITBIT. It sounds like it’s a great way of monitoring your progress which provides a huge motivation boost to most people, myself included!

  24. Avatar Diane says:

    Has anyone tried walking sticks? What benefits do they give you?

    • Avatar Mark Deterding says:

      I have hip issues, just a matter of time before replacement, and walking sticks make a huge difference. They definitely take the pressure off the hip when used correctly. I always use them when hiking over rough terrain and elevation, but I can tell you they will help on a normal walk in the park as well.

    • Avatar Neets says:

      I got hiking poles on the recommendation of my physiotherapist when my knees were bad. They really helped a lot because they acted like shock absorbers, taking away some of the impact. Do get some instruction on how to use them properly. The brand I have is Leki – I would really recommend them – they are supposed to be among the best. I’ve been doing a lot of exercises to strengthen my knees and the muscles around them and haven’t needed to use the poles for months.

      • Avatar judymari says:

        I used walking sticks after shattering my leg, multiple surgeries and being on crutches so long. it gave me more confidence to walk outside, away from the house further, that I wouldn’t fall. Got them off Ebay. I felt kinda silly but the result was well worth it. I think the use of them will come pretty naturally.

  25. Avatar Timotea says:

    I have the worst hayfever in the world, so poking my nose outside in summer is misery for me. Any suggestions?

  26. Avatar Wendy says:

    Hi, I had a total left hip replacement over a year ago…I always walked my whole life and walked before and after to help keep muscle before and strengthen afterwards. I walk 8 miles a day .weather and work permitting ofcourse and I’m stuck at 17 minutes per mile, I would like to be 15 minutes per mile…but it’s hard ! But I make it my time. I walk, enjoy outdoors, ( indoor walking track at the local rec complex in the winter ) great for clearing head and also burn fat, keep fit and be healthy ! Don’t give up people…do a little everyday and you will get there !

    • Avatar SooRob says:

      Interesting to hear you are doing well Wendy. I am limping now with my arthritic hip and have gone from a hill walker to struggling to walk one mile hence the weight is piling on, but to lose the weight I need to exercise, after a mile walk to the gym or pool Its too painful to exercise, vicious circle. No car and being an outdoor person is really getting me down.

  27. Avatar Vinnie says:

    Who has time for a three hour hike?

  28. Avatar David K. Sylvester says:

    My first attempt at losing weight using MyFitness Pal helped me drop 27 pounds in about 4 months. Then I got into the holiday season and over about 2 years gained back the weight. I just started again 5 weeks ago and the secret both times for me was cutting back to about 1600 – 1700 calories a day, watching my meals and WALKING. I am up to 3 miles and doing it 3 times a week and I am down 10 pounds in 5 weeks. Yes it takes determination to throw yourself out the door to walk, but afterwards, I feel better and I am so glad to be taking off the weight again. I also remind myself that it is consistency that will work and not to get discouraged if I don’t drop of the weight fast. It takes time and time will win the race…so to speak.

  29. Avatar Kevin says:

    Walking long distances can be time consuming so I bought weight vest that holds up to 40lbs.. Walk for an hour at that weight and I burn about 900 calories.

  30. Avatar SydneyMichelle1127 says:

    So, I recently decided to reclaim my body. I’m 24 and weigh 255 at 5’8″. I’m eating so much healthier. I’ve cut out all refined carbohydrates and refined sugar, which are my weakness. I’m exercising 30 minutes, morning and evening (first time in 5 years). 20 mins of walking briskly with my pup and 10 of fitstar immediately after (I’ve never been able to actually feel the ache of certain muscles before and it’s kind of awesome, btw). I’m eating 3 meals a day and a snack. MFP says I’m not eating enough calories in the slightest. Out of the ~1,700 I’m supposed to be eating a day, my leftover calorie total when I go to bed is ~1,000. So, how is it that I’m eating 4 times a day, only getting an hour of exercise, most of which is literally walking, and when I go to bed, I can’t sleep, I’m still hungry, I’m getting migraines, and my body aches really bad even hours after I exercise?

  31. Avatar Rosie says:

    Hi Will. I am 71 years old and have PTTD. I have been walking 1 hour per day with the aid of nordic poles on uneven trails up hill and down hill with my dog. Lately I am finding this a huge struggle to the point where I am inclined to give it up altogether. Do you have any suggestions for me ?

  32. Avatar Coach Levi says:

    I don’t want to walk just anywhere. I want to go to the stunning location in the photograph! I’d walk all day if that was outside my door.

  33. Avatar Lamar Lambert says:

    2015 goal is.1000 miles. 650 miles to.far. Down 25 lbs. Burned 100,000 calories. Longest fitness effort of my life.

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