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It takes more energy to move more weight.
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Excess weight may mean you are at a greater risk for health issues such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Although it may not seem like a benefit, your excess weight helps you burn more calories when walking. Walking is one of the simplest calorie-burning exercises which you can do on a daily basis to aid in weight loss and improve your health.
Your body uses oxygen to convert fat to fuel during exercise. When you are able to breathe and carry on a conversation while walking, you are exercising at a level that burns calories, mostly from your storage of fat. The higher your oxygen consumption, or the heavier you are breathing, the higher number of calories you use. Calories are usually measured by how many are burned for a length of time or over a specified distance. For example, you may burn five calories each minute while walking, or 75 calories for each mile you walk.
All in the Timing
Your actual number of calories burned may be slightly higher or lower with regard to estimates, depending on your genes. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 180-pound person burns 9.7 calories each walking minute. For the same duration a 120-pound person burns 6.5 calories, a 140-pound person burns 7.6 calories and those weighing 160 pounds burn 8.7 calories. The average exercise session is 30 minutes. The 180-pound person expends 291 calories while the 120-pound person uses 195. And so, the more you weigh the more calories you will burn when walking when comparing to someone who weighs less.
Go The Distance
Another way to estimate calories is to determine how many are burned over a certain distance. A person carrying more body mass burns more calories in one mile than a person carrying less body weight. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that a person who weighs 190 pounds burns approximately 94 calories walking for 1 mile at a 3 mph pace. For the same distance and pace, a 130-pound person burns approximately 64 calories and a 150-pound person burns 74 calories.
You may think that those who weigh more burn more calories because they have more to lose; while this is a common thought, there is a more accurate reason for the calorie-burning differences. Your body requires more energy to move the higher amount of weight. For example, if you were asked to carry 300 lbs. up a flight of stairs you would burn more calories than if you were asked to carry 150 lbs. As you lose weight, expect to increase your exercise intensity, frequency or duration to maintain your calorie-burning benefits and continue to reach your weight loss goals.