Walking is one of the best things you can do for your general health. It’s so easy and accessible that you can walk several times a day, making it the ideal form of exercise for building basic fitness, fat burning, and weight control. In addition, walking is good for your mental health.
Clock up about 10,000 steps/five miles of walking per day, and you’ll soon discover just how powerful daily walking can be!
However, many people believe they don’t have time to walk, assuming it’s far too time-consuming, especially compared to shorter, more intense workouts like HIIT. That’s probably because they don’t know how long it actually takes to walk a mile.
Use our calculator to find out how long it will take to walk a mile (or any other distance for that matter) to see how easy it is to fit walking into your daily schedule.
How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator
What Is the How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator?
The How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator is an easy-to-use tool for determining how long it will take to walk a predetermined distance at your chosen pace, e.g., one mile, three miles, or even 10k. You can then use this information to plan your walk and ensure you have sufficient time to complete it.
For example, if you want to walk two miles during your lunch break, you can use this calculator to make sure you’re back at work when you’re supposed to be and don’t end up being late.
You can also use this calculator to see how adjusting your walking speed affects the time you’ll need to cover the same distance.
How to Use the How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator
The How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator is very straightforward. Just follow these step-by-step instructions to estimate how long it will take you to walk a predetermined distance.
- Select your walking pace, choosing between slow, casual, brisk, and fast.
- Select the distance you plan on walking, choosing between kilometers, miles, or steps.
- Enter your proposed distance.
- Hit “Calculate” and read off your results.
Interpreting your Results
The How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator result shows how long it will take to cover your inputted distance at your proposed pace, expressed in hours and minutes.
The average speed for walking a mile is 15-20 minutes. However, some people walk faster than others, and your pace will probably vary according to how far you walk. Most people can walk faster over short distances and slower over longer distances.
For example, if you walk two miles at a casual pace, it’ll take you approximately 40 minutes to cover the distance. However, if you pick up your speed and walk at a fast pace, that same distance will only take you about 30 minutes to complete.
Factors Affecting Your Results
Walking speed is highly individual, and people tend to walk at a pace that feels comfortable and natural. What factors determine walking speed? Let’s take a look!
Walking is an aerobic activity, meaning your body produces and utilizes energy in the presence of oxygen. The primary source of fuel during walking is stored body fat. The higher your aerobic fitness, the faster you’ll be able to walk without getting out of breath. People with a good fitness level tend to walk more quickly than those that are less fit.
Muscular strength and endurance
While walking does not require as much strength as lifting heavy weights, you still need sufficient muscle strength to support your body weight on one leg and propel yourself forward.
Deconditioned individuals with below-average levels of strength will not be able to walk as quickly as those with better-developed muscles. This is even more true when walking up steep hills, or uneven terrain, when strength is even more important.
Similarly, low levels of muscular endurance will limit how far you can walk and how long you can maintain a brisk pace.
Muscular strength and endurance tend to peak during your third decade and naturally decrease thereafter. They also tend to decrease with lack of use. However, training at any age can help preserve or restore strength and endurance.
You’ll probably walk slower if your legs are tired. This may because you’ve walked a long way already, and you’re starting to slow down as fatigue sets in, or because of something you did before you started walking, e.g., an intense leg workout.
Regardless of why, you won’t be able to walk as far or as fast as usual if your leg muscles are in need of some extra rest and recovery.
Walking speed tends to decrease with advancing age. This is because of a natural decrease in muscle strength and aerobic fitness. However, you can preserve your walking speed as you get older by doing plenty of walking and strength training. Increased walking speed is linked to longevity and a better quality of life (1).
Height and stride length
Taller people usually have longer legs and, therefore, take longer steps while walking. This allows them to cover the ground faster, and they need to take fewer steps than a shorter person. Stride length is also affected by hip mobility.
While there is nothing you can do about your height or leg length, you can optimize stride length by stretching your hips flexors and adopting a fuller, more purposeful stride.
Mental and emotional state
Your mental and emotional state can have a significant impact on your walking speed. You will probably walk faster if you feel happy, positive, energetic, or motivated. You may also walk faster if you are stressed or in a hurry.
In contrast, if you feel out of sorts, depressed, or sad, you may not walk as fast. You may even dawdle if you aren’t enjoying your walk, or are walking toward something you don’t enjoy, such as a meeting with bank advisor.
Walking while listening to music may help you walk faster. It can lift your mood and walking in time to the beat may raise your tempo. Use music with 125-140 bpm to power you through your walking workouts.
Gait is the term used to describe your walking style. Gait is affected by several factors, including cadence, stride length, arm swing, foot strike, knee/hip/ankle structure and health, balance, and various other factors.
Some people have a very efficient gait that lends itself to fast walking. However, other people’s gaits are less efficient, which makes it more difficult to walk fast.
While some aspects of gait can be modified, some are unmodifiable and are determined by your genetics. Gait also tends to deteriorate with age, e.g., adopting a more shuffling walking style because of reduced strength, mobility, and balance.
The bottom line is that not everyone is built to walk fast.
Weather and terrain
Just because you can walk fast on a flat, smooth path doesn’t mean you’ll be able to match that pace when you’re on a rough trail or heading uphill. Walking on flat surfaces requires much less effort than walking on more demanding terrains, and you’ll probably need to slow down to accommodate the increased difficulty.
You’ll also be able to walk faster on a motorized treadmill than out in the “real world” where wind resistance and inclines slow you down.
In addition, extremes in temperature can affect your walking speed. For example, it’s usually harder to walk fast when it’s very hot. You may be able to walk faster when the weather is cool and may even speed up just to keep warm if it’s cold.
Weather and terrain can have a significant impact on your walking speed and how far you can walk in a given time.
Your shoes can have a big impact on your walking speed. Some shoes are built around a curved sole called a rocker that propels you forward from your heels to the balls of your feet. This gives a slight but beneficial boost so you can walk a little faster.
In contrast, heavier shoes and boots can weigh you down and make it harder and more tiring to walk faster. Walking in high heels can make it impractical if not impossible to walk briskly.
Uncomfortable shoes could also reduce your walking speed, and blisters can make even fit walkers want to go slower or stop.
If you are serious about walking and want to go as far and as fast as possible, consider investing in an appropriate pair of walking shoes. Ideally, they should be light, cushioned, supportive, flexible, and comfortable.
How Long to Walk A Mile Calculator FAQ
1. Is walking good for weight loss?
While walking doesn’t burn as many calories as running, it is still an effective calorie burner. The main advantage of walking for burning calories is that you can do a lot of it and you can walk every day. It’s not overly tiring or stressful, so you can even walk several times a day if you wish.
However, you’ll still need to watch what you eat and reduce your food intake so you’re in a calorie deficit. Walking alone probably won’t lead to significant weight loss or fat burning.
2. How many steps should I walk per day?
The standard prescription for steps per day is 10,000. However, despite being such a common recommendation, there is no scientific reason to adopt this target. In fact, the 10,000-step “rule” only exists because it was adopted by a Japanese pedometer company back in the 1960s.
That said, 10,000 steps are a decent target that should deliver good health and weight control benefits. Having a daily step goal can be motivating and may make it easier to commit to walking every day.
Your step goal can be adjusted according to your fitness and health, but good examples include the following:
- Beginner: 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day.
- Intermediate: 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day.
- Advanced: 15,000 to 20,000 steps per day.
Of course, you don’t have to do the same number of steps each day and may have different goals for different days, depending on what else you have planned. For example, on a non-gym day, you might do 15,000 steps, but only 10,000 steps on the days you do your strength training workouts.
Use a step-counter app or a smartwatch to make tracking your step count much easier.
3. How can I make walking better for fitness and fat loss?
Make walking even more beneficial for fitness and fat loss with the following tips and strategies:
Wear a backpack or a weighted vest – carrying extra weight means your muscles have to work harder, which will, in turn, increase your heart rate and caloric expenditure. Start with about 10% of your body weight and build up gradually from there. This type of workout is called rucking and is a cornerstone of military fitness training.
Head for the hills – walking uphill is significantly more challenging than walking on the flat. Your heart and breathing rate will quickly increase, especially if you push yourself to a brisk pace. Try to include hills in your walks to burn more calories in less time.
Walk with purpose – walking is not just a lower body activity; it also uses your arms. However, your arms aren’t loaded, so you probably won’t feel them working much. Fix this issue by walking purposefully and swinging your arms to increase your speed and momentum. You can make your arms work even harder by carrying light dumbbells or wearing wrist weights if you prefer to keep your hands empty.
Break into the occasional jog – jogging is the pace between walking and running. Jogging burns more calories than walking and will also increase your heart and breathing rate a little more. However, it’s less intense and easier on your joints than running.
You don’t need to jog all the time. Instead, walk until you feel like jogging, and jog until you feel like walking again. This is a form of endurance training called fartlek, which is Swedish for speed play. One way to do this is to follow an undulating path, walking uphill but jogging on flat and downhill sections.
4. What is the average walking speed?
The average walking speed varies by age, with younger people tending to walk faster than older people. However, it takes the typical healthy person 15-20 minutes to walk one mile, which is the equivalent of three to four miles per hour. That said, some people in their 60s may walk as slowly as one mile per hour (2).
The good news is that you can preserve your walking speed by staying active and walking further and more often. Like all fitness attributes, your walking speed is very much a case of use it or lose it. So, keep walking quickly to preserve your walking speed.
5. What is the best time to walk for fitness and fat loss?
It’s something of a myth that there is a best time to exercise. Ultimately, so long as it works for you, whatever time you work out is the best. With walking, you can walk anytime it suits you and fits into your schedule.
- On walking before breakfast
- During your lunch break
- Walk to/from work or school
- After work
- After dinner
- Before bed
- At weekends
- Any journey less than a mile
You don’t even have to limit yourself to one time or the same time each day. Instead, you can spread your walking throughout the day, grabbing little walking breaks whenever the opportunity arises.
10-15 minutes 3-4 times a day adds up to about an hour of walking a day, or seven hours a week. At about 300 calories per hour, that’s a significant increase in your daily caloric expenditure.
Look for ways to walk more steps per day, e.g., by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to see a colleague instead of phoning/emailing them, parking your car further from work and walking the rest of the way, walking with your kids or partner, walking to the coffee shop instead of having a delivery, etc.
- How to Walk for Fitness and Fat Loss
- How Many Miles is 20,000 Steps?
- Sitting vs. Standing Calories Burned Calculator
- 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT) Calculator
- Calories Burned Water Walking Calculator
- Treadmill Calorie Calculator
Knowing how long it will take you to walk a certain distance can be very useful. For example, you may want to check that you have time to walk to a nearby store during your lunch break. You may also find it interesting to see how much time you can save by walking faster.
Walking is arguably the most accessible workout you can do to lose weight and get fit. Besides comfortable shoes, you don’t need any special equipment to walk your way fitter and leaner. You can slot it seamlessly into your daily schedule. Walking is free and a very low-risk activity.
Going for a walk is also good for your mental health. Walking is relaxing, energizing, and a fantastic stress-buster.
So, sit less and walk more – it’s good for every aspect of your health.
“Solvitur ambulando: “When in doubt, walk.” — Christopher McDougall
- Himann JE, Cunningham DA, Rechnitzer PA, Paterson DH. Age-related changes in speed of walking. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988 Apr;20(2):161-6. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198820020-00010. PMID: 3367751. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3367751/
- Schimpl M, Moore C, Lederer C, Neuhaus A, Sambrook J, Danesh J, Ouwehand W, Daumer M. Association between walking speed and age in healthy, free-living individuals using mobile accelerometry–a cross-sectional study. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23299. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023299. Epub 2011 Aug 10. PMID: 21853107; PMCID: PMC3154324. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154324/