Walking 10 miles a day is an admirable goal if you’re looking to lose weight.
Many people choose to walk every day to support their weight loss goals.
Even by adding 30 minutes of walking each day into your routine, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
Combined with a healthy, balanced diet, walking every day is a powerful way to shed the pounds.
But how much weight can you lose by walking 10 miles a day, and how many calories can you expect to burn?
In this guide we’ll explore:
- How far is 10 miles?
- Is walking 10 miles a day good for you?
- Why walk 10 miles a day?
- How long does it take to walk 10 miles?
- How much weight can you lose by walking 10 miles a day?
- How many calories does walking 10 miles a day burn?
- Risks of walking 10 miles a day
- Tips for walking 10 miles a day
Let’s get started!
How far is 10 miles?
10 miles in kilometres is 16.09 km.
This is equivalent to roughly 22,258 steps when walking and 16,720 steps when running.
Many runners view a 10-mile run as a way to prepare and train for a longer distance event like the half marathon (13.1 miles) and marathon (26.2 miles).
A 10-miler is a good distance to aim for in a reasonable amount of time.
Is walking 10 miles a day good for you?
It’s no surprise that walking has many benefits for your physical and mental health.
By walking 10 miles a day – or any distance for that matter – you will see many of these benefits.
Walking every day helps you to:
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Lose weight and burn calories
- Decrease your BMI
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improve cholesterol levels
- Maintain your bone density
- Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Reduce the risk of certain diseases like diabetes and some cancers
- Boost your energy levels
Various studies have shown the benefits of walking for your heart health.
According to the Heart Foundation, walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease.
It can also reduce the risk of stroke by 35% and type 2 diabetes by 40%.
Walking in the morning also has benefits for your body’s natural circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock).
The Sleep Foundation points out that aerobic exercise like walking or running in the morning have added benefits of exposure to sunlight.
This helps to entrain your circadian rhythm and makes it easier to fall asleep early.
Why walk 10 miles a day?
Depending on your fitness levels and lifestyle, walking 10 miles a day may or may not be an desirable, achievable or realistic goal for you.
A good base level of fitness is needed in order to walk what effectively is 3 miles short of a half marathon.
Here are some reasons why you may choose to walk 10 miles a day:
#1 You’re training for a long race
There are many walking and hiking events which require you to walk 10 or more miles a day.
The Three Peaks Challenge in the United Kingdom, for example, involves you walking a total distance of 23 miles (37 kilometres) within 24 hours.
Many people also choose to walk half marathon and marathon distances for charity.
#2 You’re taking your dog for a long walk
Some dog breeds like Huskies and Border Collies require a lot of exercise.
In fact, the average dog can walk 10 miles a day!
But not every dog is the same. There are a lot of factors that determine whether or not your dog can walk 10 miles a day.
Just like humans, dogs have different stamina and fitness levels depending on the breed, age and health of the dog.
#3 You’re planning a hike
If you’re a keen hiker then you may be planning to walk 10 or more miles in a single sitting.
The average person can walk between 8 to 15 miles per day.
At a pace of 2mph, you can comfortably walk 10 miles in a day.
#4 You’re planning a walking tour
Planning a trip to your favourite city or countryside locale?
Then walking 10 miles a day (albeit with rest breaks) is not entirely unheard of if you love to sight see and explore what a city or country has to offer.
Many major cities in the US and worldwide offer self-guided and free and paid-for group walking tours.
How long does it take you to walk 10 miles?
How long it takes you to walk 10 miles will depend on a variety of factors including your walking speed and the terrain you plan to walk on.
Even your age and gender will determine how fast you can walk 10 miles.
Typically we see the following walking speeds:
- A walking pace on flat terrain is 15 minutes per mile / 4 miles per hour.
- A fast to brisk walking pace on flat terrain is 12 minutes per mile / 5 miles per hour.
- A walking pace on uneven terrain is 20 minutes per mile / 3 miles per hour.
Here is a breakdown of expected finish times by walking speed:
|Expected finish time||Pace per mile (minutes)||Pace per mile (mph)|
|2 hours||12.00||5 miles per hour|
|2.5 hours||15.00||4 miles per hour|
|3 hours||18.00||3 miles per hour|
How much weight can you lose by walking 10 miles a day?
Many people opt to walk every day to support their weight loss goals.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research tells us that about 3,500 calories equates to about 1 pound of fat.
So if you burn 500 calories per day, you may be able to lose around 1 pound per week.
However, the amount of weight you are able to lose will depend on a number of factors, including your gender, activity levels and body type.
By walking 10 miles a day, you can expect to burn between 700 – 1,200 calories per day, which far surpasses the 500 calorie per day goal.
More importantly, however, is how you combine exercise with a healthy, balanced diet.
To really succeed with your weight loss goals, it’s important you eat healthy wholefoods as part of your diet and focus on portion control.
Avoid sugary, highly processed foods and aim to drink enough water.
How many calories does walking 10 miles a day burn?
The number of calories you are able to burn during a 10 mile walk will depend on your walking speed and your body weight.
Although it is thought that your walking speed matters less when it comes to total number of calories burned.
The heavier you weigh, the more calories you can expect to burn.
As we explained above, general guidelines tell us that you can expect to burn between 700 – 1,200 calories by walking 10 miles a day at an average walking speed of 4 mph.
Here’s a breakdown of calories burned by body weight per hour of walking.
|Walking speed||135 lbs / 61.2 kg||155 lbs / 70.3 kg||185 lbs / 83.9 kg||Total calories burned over 10 miles|
|Casual pace (2 mph)||122||140||167||610 – 835|
|Moderate pace (3 mph)||202||232||276||673 – 919|
|Brisk pace (3.5 mph)||232||267||318||662 – 908|
|Very brisk pace (4 mph)||306||351||419||765 – 1,047|
|Fast pace (5 mph)||551||632||755||1,102 – 1,510|
Risks of walking 10 miles a day
Whilst walking 10 miles a day is an admirable goal and has many benefits, there are some downsides that you need to be aware of.
#1 Walking does not increase muscle mass and bone density effectively
Walking does not stimulate the body as much as other forms of exercise like running and cycling.
Experts agree you need to be doing more physically demanding forms of exercise in order to see improvements in muscle mass and bone density.
Strength training and weight training are both excellent forms of exercise to help improve muscle and bone strength.
So if building muscle and bone strength is your goal, then you may want to consider a strength training plan on top of your walking routine.
#2 Walking lacks intensity
So we know that walking is a great form of low impact exercise.
And it’s much better than just sitting on the couch!
However, if you want to see greater improvements in your aerobic fitness and strength, you need to experiment with different forms of exercise such as running and strength training.
Walking can often lead to a plateau in fitness levels, so if you’re finding you can’t quite reach the next level, then consider mixing up your training routine.
#3 Walking takes time
We can all agree that walking is a great way to get outdoors more and many people are increasingly seeing it as a way to mindfulness.
If you have a busy schedule though, walking for hours at a time is not realistic.
There are other quicker ways to get your daily dose of fitness.
If you’re short on time, why not try a 30-minute HIIT workout or a 5k run?
Tips for walking 10 miles a day
If you’re thinking that a 10-miler is for you, then here are a few tips to make your walk a success.
#1 Take recovery seriously
Walking 10 miles a day is no easy feat.
Your muscles will likely feel sore in the days afterwards, especially if you’re not used to walking these types of distances on a daily basis.
Make sure you listen to your body – a niggle or strain can quickly turn into an injury if you don’t take care of your body properly.
You may benefit from a regular foam rolling and stretching routine to make your recovery smoother.
#2 Wear the right walking shoes
As with running, you need to wear the right type of walking shoe.
If you’re planning to walk on flat terrain, then wearing your running shoes will probably suffice.
It is recommended you invest in a pair of hiking shoes if you’re planning to walk on uneven terrains like hills and mountains.
A pair of hiking shoes will ensure your feet are protected and supported on the hike.
#3 Eat a healthy, balanced diet
As we have mentioned throughout this guide, it’s important to follow a healthy, balanced diet not only to support your weight loss goals, but to enhance recovery following a long walk.
Think of your body as an engine – it needs the proper fuel in the form of food and drink in order to perform as effectively as possible.
Focus on eating plenty of fruits and veggies and unprocessed, wholefoods.
You’ll also want to ensure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration.
#4 Have a good sleep routine
10 miles a day is a lot on the body, so you’ll want to ensure you’re giving your body enough rest in between walks by getting enough sleep.
Aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
#5 Join a walking group
If you enjoy walking every day and want to make it a concrete habit, then why not consider joining your local walking group.
Not only will you be able to walk new and interesting routes, you will form a social network in the process!
#6 Be prepared
Lastly, and most importantly, be prepared before and during your walk.
Here are a few safety tips:
- Always tell a family member or friend where you plan to walk in case you need help or get into trouble.
- Take a mobile phone with you as a means of communication with you on your walk, especially if you’re walking alone.
- Take a portable charger with you in case your mobile phone loses charge.
- Take a physical map with you if you’re planning on hiking in a remote area or an area that you’re unfamiliar with.
- Download the What 3 Words app to share your location with others. It also helps emergency services to know exactly where you are in case of emergency.
Related: 9 safety tips for running at night