How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking a Mile?

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JANUARY 27, 2024

Phot Credit: wundervisuals / Getty Images

You can adjust your pace, distance, and degree of incline

Medically reviewed by Allison Herries, RDN

Walking is a physical activity that has many benefits. If you need to lose weight, walking can help you burn calories, especially when you also make healthy changes in your diet.

Several factors affect how many calories you burn per mile of walking—including your weight and walking pace. For example, a person weighing 160 pounds can expect to burn 85 calories by walking 1 mile at a moderate pace.

This article will show you how to estimate the number of calories you can burn by walking, how to increase the calories you burn when you walk, and how to incorporate walking into a healthy lifestyle.

Calories Burned While Walking a Mile

The number of calories you can expect to burn while walking depends on your weight and other factors, such as your pace.

Moderate Pace

A moderate walking pace is about 2.8 to 3.2 miles per hour (mph), which means that in 20 minutes, you would walk about 1 mile. At this pace, you would walk about 3 miles in an hour. A moderate walking pace is typical if you’re on a steady, uninterrupted walk with your dog or a friend.

Brisk Pace

You can increase the calories you burn while walking if you speed up your pace a little. A brisk walk of 3.5 mph means walking a mile every 17 minutes and covering 3.5 miles in an hour.

This pace would be expected if you walk while listening to fast-paced music or need to get somewhere. As with a moderate-paced walk, your weight impacts the calories you burn.

Weight in Pounds Moderate Walking Pace  Brisk Walking Pace
100  53 calories  57 calories
120  64 calories  68 calories
140  74 calories  80 calories
160  85 calories 91 calories
180 96 calories 102 calories
200 106 calories 114 calories
220 117 calories 125 calories
250 133 calories 142 calories
275 146 calories 156 calories
300 160 calories 171 calories

How Many Exercise Calories Should You Burn Each Day to Lose Weight?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults generally should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week for overall health and to maintain weight.

To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. You consume calories through eating and drinking. You burn calories through exercise and your basal metabolism (the processes your body uses to maintain function, like digesting food, breathing, and circulating blood).

A pound of weight loss or weight gain is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. So, you would need to burn about 500 calories per day more than you eat for a week in order to lose about 1 pound in a week. You can achieve that by exercising more, eating fewer calories, or a combination of these two strategies.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Consuming 1,200 to 1,500 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.
  • Consuming 1,500 to 1,800 calories each day is suitable for men and also for heavier women and people who exercise regularly.

However, it’s important to check with a healthcare provider before you start on a weight loss plan. You might have specific restrictions or recommendations based on your own health.

Keep in mind that losing weight too quickly can lead to nutrient deficiencies or health complications. Look for ways to build a healthy lifestyle you can stick with.

Calories Burned Walking 10,000 Steps

How many calories are burned walking 10,000 steps? There are about 2,000 steps in a mile—which means that if you walk 10,000 steps per day, you would walk about 5 miles. If you weigh 180 pounds, that means you would burn about 480 calories by walking 10,000 steps at moderate intensity.

 How Can You Increase Your Calories Burned Walking?

You can increase the number of calories that you burn while walking in a few different ways, such as:

  • Add hills or increase the degree of incline: You could incorporate walking in hilly areas rather than in flat areas, or you could set your treadmill to a higher degree of incline while you’re walking.
  • Walk farther: If you want to walk farther or for a longer period of time, you can build up to longer walks gradually, or you could walk a few times per day to increase your total walking time and total distance.
  • Increase your pace: If you want to increase your walking pace, you can do that incrementally. One way is to add short intervals of walking as fast as you can for 15 to 30 seconds, then walking at your usual pace for a few minutes, and repeating.

Adding or carrying weight to increase your calories per mile can put additional strain on your feet and joints, so doing so is not a general recommendation.

Moderate-Intensity Physical Activities

Brisk walking is one of many moderate-intensity physical activities. You can combine different options and select the ones you enjoy.

Some moderate-intensity exercises to consider include:

  • Water resistance exercises
  • Walking in a pool
  • Stretching
  • A general light weight-lifting workout, such as with leg lifts
  • Casual cycling
  • Gardening and light yard work

The most important advice for staying healthy is to stay active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

How Can You Track Walking Distance and Calories?

You can track your calories and exercise in many practical ways. Many people like to approximate how much they’ve exercised and how many calories they’ve eaten, while some people prefer to track everything with precision.

Various helpful devices and phone apps can count daily steps, record workouts, and estimate calories burned. Or, you can decide in advance that you will work out for a set amount of time or that you’ll walk a certain distance, with or without a tracking device.

To know how many calories you’re consuming, you could count your calories and nutrients by entering information about your meals and snacks into an app. Some people like to follow a preselected meal plan to have a calorie and nutrient count in advance.

You can use any method that feels right for you—planning ahead, tracking as you go, approximation, or a detailed count.

Here are some helpful guidelines:

  • A medium-sized banana has about 105 calories.
  • A grilled cheese sandwich has about 281 calories.
  • A 12-ounce soft drink has about 136 calories.

Summary

Walking can be good exercise to burn calories. The number of calories you burn per mile depends on your weight and walking speed.

You can incorporate walking into a weight loss plan. You can track how much you walk, how far you walk, how long you spend walking, and how fast you walk. You could also just walk at a regular, steady pace while increasing your time, distance, or pace a little bit every day.

It’s always recommended to aim for a steady weight loss plan that utilizes lifestyle adjustments that are realistic, healthy, and that you can maintain for the long run.

A Note on Gender and Sex Terminology

Verywell Health acknowledges that sex and gender are related concepts, but they are not the same, as follows:

  • Sex refers to biology, which includes chromosomal makeup, hormones, and anatomy. People are most often assigned male or female at birth based on their external anatomy; some people do not fit into that sex binary and are intersex.
  • Gender describes a person’s internal sense of self as a woman, man, nonbinary person, or another gender, and the associated social and cultural ideas about roles, behaviors, expressions, and characteristics.

Research studies and health authorities sometimes don’t use the terminology in this way. For example, terms that describe gender (“woman,” “man”) may be used when terms for sex (“female,” “male”) are more appropriate.

To reflect our sources accurately, this article uses terms like “female,” “male,” “woman,” and “man” in the same way they are used in the sources.


Courtesy: The article originally appeared in Verywell Health.