HOW MANY CALORIES DOES WALKING BURN PER MILE?

Do you want to know how many calories you burn walking one mile, two miles, or more? How much does your walking speed matter?

Your weight and the distance you walk are the biggest factors in how many calories you burn while walking. A rule of thumb is that about 100 calories per mile are burned for an 180-pound person and 65 calories per mile are burned for a 120-pound person. Your walking speed matters less.

Use these charts to learn how many calories you are burning on your walk, depending on your weight and pace for various distances from one mile to the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

First, take a look at the calories you would burn per mile at a typical walking pace you’d enjoy while taking a healthy walk or walking your dog. This pace is the natural one you’d assume when just going for a walk without attempting to walk fast.

The 13.1-mile distance is for a half marathon. The 26.2-mile distance is for the marathon.

Do you walk for a specific time, such a 15 minutes or 30 minutes, rather than for a specific distance? Use this chart of walking calories burned by minutes walked and walking pace.

If you use a pedometer, see how to estimate your calories burned by pedometer step counts.

A mile is an average of 2,000 steps.

CALORIES BURNED PER MILE AT FASTER WALKING SPEEDS

Now let’s take your walking speed up to brisk walking paces of 4 mph and more. You will burn more calories per mile as you increase your speed, but the biggest factor will still be how much you weigh. One benefit of walking faster is that you can walk farther in the same amount of time, so you benefit from burning more calories by walking more miles in the same number of minutes.

HOW TO BURN MORE CALORIES WHILE WALKING

Not enough? Here’s how to burn more calories while walking. The biggest factor in how many calories you burn per mile of walking is your weight rather than your speed. According to the research that produced these numbers, at a walking pace speed makes only a minor difference.

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You will burn more calories by walking more miles. Going faster can make a difference because you’ll cover more distance in the same amount of time. If you only have 15 minutes or 30 minutes for walking, then going faster is a good strategy.

Running and racewalking burn more calories per mile. In the case of running, you have a lifting component as both feet are off the ground and that makes a difference. In general, running burns more calories per mile than walking, so if you can add some bursts of running to your workout you can burn more calories. With racewalking, you use more muscles during a stride.

Adding hills, stairs, or treadmill incline to your walking workout will burn more calories and add intensity to your workout. You can also burn more calories walking by using fitness walking poles, adding an upper body component to your walking workout.

ARE YOU BURNING ENOUGH CALORIES TO LOSE WEIGHT?

To lose weight, you need to increase your activity to burn more calories each day and/or eat fewer calories each day. You can use this weight loss calculator to see what your calorie goal should be depending on how physically active you are.

A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. To lose one pound a week, you will need to burn about 500 more calories per day than you eat. You can do this by increasing your calorie-burning activity or by eating fewer calories—or both. It is easier to achieve it with combining increased activity and eating less. Exercising enough each day to burn 300 to 400 calories is a good goal for the exercise portion of your weight loss plan.

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A WORD FROM VERYWELL

The key to burning more calories with physical activity is finding one you will enjoy and do consistently. While you may think the numbers look small, they will add up. If you enjoy walking with your dog or it is convenient to walk on your work breaks, you are more likely to do it and keep doing it.

Don’t put off going for a pleasant walk thinking you’ll be hitting the gym later, only to find that “later” never comes. Find ways to add walking throughout your day. Ten minutes of brisk walking at a time, three times per day, or a single 30-minute walkper day is the amount of exercise recommended for a healthy, active life.

Sources:

Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, et al. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43(8):1575-1581. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31821ece12.

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Health.gov. https://health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/.

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