How Much to Walk According to BMI?

How Much to Walk According to BMI?

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or maintain the weight you’ve lost, having a daily walk is always a great idea.

This is because walking has a relatively low impact when compared to running but still burns some calories. So how much to walk according to BMI?

You need to walk enough distance to start the burning of stored body fat, which is around 5 miles a day.

Consistency is also a major factor when it comes to the distance, as you’ll have to walk that distance at least 5 days a week to start seeing good results.

Provided that you maintain a caloric deficit.

In order to reach a healthy BMI, you also need to have a better understanding of its concept and how to properly calculate yours, and that’s what we’re going to tackle in today’s article. Let’s dive right in!

What Exactly Is BMI?

Whether you’ve been trying to lose, gain, or maintain your weight. One of the most common terms that you’re going to hear is BMI and how it has an impact on your body mass and weight loss. So let’s have a quick understanding of what BMI actually is.

The BMI is short for “body mass index”, which is a numerical value that is used to describe or classify your weight category.

In other words, using the body mass index, you can identify whether you’re within a healthy weight range, overweight, or underweight, as well as how far you are from the ideal weight range.

This numerical value depends mainly on your weight and height, especially in metric units, and can be expressed in the unit of kg/m2, although most people don’t use a unit to describe it.

How to Calculate Your BMI?

Body Mass Index Scale with fruits and dumbbells

The BMI formula is originally derived from your weight and height, and the formula goes as the following:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) = Your body weight in kg / the square of your height in meters.

To make the same measurements in imperial units (pounds and inches), the formula is slightly adjusted as the following:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) = (Your body weight in pounds / the square of your height in inches) x 703

After figuring out your number, you’ll compare your number according to the following chart and see where you are standing:

  • If your score is under 18.5, you’re underweight
  • If your score is between 18.5 and 24.9, you’re within a healthy weight range
  • If your score is between 25 and 29.9, you’re overweight
  • If your score is greater than 30, you’re obese

Luckily, you don’t have to find the calculator app and start doing some math, as there are also several online tools that can measure your BMI for free in quick seconds, such as:

In addition to being quick, free, and convenient, the calculator will also compare your current score immediately to save you time and even tell you the ideal weight range you need to be within.

How Much to Walk According to BMI?

As you can see, the distance you need to walk on a daily basis in order to lose weight depends mainly on your current BMI and how far or close you are from the normal weight range.

While the distance you want to walk every day is up to you, walking anywhere between 4 to 6 miles a day (an average of 5 miles) for 5 days a week is usually balanced and quite achievable.

However, weight loss isn’t only depending on the amount of walking you’re going to do, but it also depends on the diet you’re following and whether you’re achieving a state of caloric deficit throughout the day. But more about that in the following section.

What Is the Difference Between BMI and BMR?

How Much to Walk According to BMI: Woman being weighed at clinic

A lot of people confuse BMI and BMR, thinking they’re the same thing when, in fact, they aren’t. BMR stands for “basal metabolic rate”.

This one describes the number of calories that your body burns while performing passive processes, such as breathing, digesting, circulation, tissue regeneration, etc.

The BMR has a variety of different formats to help you calculate it, but there are also many BMR calculators online that can help you figure it out instantly, such as this one.

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume at a given time, which is known as “calorie deficit”. Today, this concept remains the most scientifically backed method for weight gain or loss.

Can You Lose Weight By Walking?

One thing you should know here is that burning fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose weight.

Walking for a long distance every day or doing any kind of physical activity will guarantee that you burn fats.

However, if you burn fewer calories than what you consume, you’ll still end up gaining weight, which is known as a calorie surplus.

In other words, no matter how much distance you’re going to walk, you’ll always need to end up burning more calories than you consumed throughout the day in order to lose weight.

For that reason, it’s very important that you also keep an eye on your diet and what you eat every day so that you’re always consuming fewer calories than what you burn a day.

How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?

Thee women walking in park

The number of calories burnt during any given exercise will vary depending on various factors, such as your metabolic rate, the intensity of such exercise, and your body weight.

When it comes to walking, a popular estimate for the number of calories burnt is 100 calories for every mile that you walk at an average speed.

As for the time, the American Council on Exercise has released a chart that specifies the number of calories burnt for every minute you spend during various exercises, depending on the body weight of the individual.

According to this chart, a 120 pound person will burn around 6.5 calories for every minute while a 180 pound person will burn up to 9.8 calories during the same amount of time.

In other words, the heavier your body is, the more calories you’re going to burn for the same walk because of the larger body mass.

Walking vs. Running: Which One is Better for Weight Loss?

Both running and walking are great for weight loss, but each one of them has its advantages and drawbacks.

For example, when it comes to walking, you’ll end up burning fewer calories for the same distance or time when compared to running.

Yet, walking is a lower impact exercise than running, which makes it a better choice for those with weaker joints or who don’t want to injure themselves.

The low impact of walking also makes it a great choice for commitment, as lower impact exercises mean less stress on your muscles, and therefore, less fatigue.

Since we’re big believers in the proverb “slow but steady wins the race”, walking is actually a great way to lose weight for a person with an obese BMI score because it has a lower impact on the joints and works better in the long run, especially if they’re suffering from heart disease.

The Additional Advantages of Walking

In addition to being a more reliable method for weight loss, in the long run, walking also comes with a wide range of additional benefits, such as:

  • Improves the mental health and well being by relieving stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms
  • Improves circulation and cardiac functions, such as lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol
  • You can wear a wide range of shoes for walking, including dedicated walking, running shoes, and orthopedic shoes if you suffer from diabetes
  • Strengthens various muscle groups, such as glutes, hamstrings, quads
  • You can easily track your mileage and your walking speed by using the weight loss app (many of these apps will also help you count your calories to maintain calories deficit)

Final Thoughts On How Much to Walk According to BMI

With that said, you now have a brief guide with everything you need to know about your body mass index and its impact on your weight loss goal.

As you can see, there’s more than one BMI formula, but you can easily calculate it using free online tools, such as the ones provided by the CDC and NIH.

How Much to Walk According to BMI will vary depending on your BMI score. But coming from experience, commitment is far more important than the number of miles you’re going to go, although 5 miles a day seems like a great average distance.