4 easy ways to walk an extra mile (or more!) every day

If you're wondering how long it takes to walk a mile, you're probably in the business of trying to up your daily steps. And for that we applaud you. Getting some LISS (low-intensity steady state) exercise in on the reg is important, for so many reasons. From increased mental clarity to healthy weight management and keeping your body active throughout the day, you're set to reap a whole heap of gold stars for getting out there and getting your mile of walking done.

We've rounded up everything you need to know about walking a mile – with 4.4k of you Googling it every month, it's something that's you're definitely curious about - from how long it takes to the benefits of walking more regularly (fancy a walking challenge, anyone?). Read on!

What type of exercise is walking a mile?

Walking a mile falls into the low-intensity steady-state category of movement. This type of exercise is similar to things like a steady swim or meandering cycle (hopefully with a healthy snack at the end, eh?). It's a brilliant form of exercise that doesn't stress your joints, requires zero home gym equipment and can easily be made free or at least cheap.

In fact, research from the University of Bath found that LISS can be just as effective as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) when it comes to losing body fat – you just need to factor in extra time to complete the longer, slower activities.

Six benefits of walking a mile regularly

Walking regularly can help with any number of physical and mental concerns, from head to heart and hormonal response.

Regular walking can:

  1. Improve your response to insulin which can help to get rid of belly fat and lose body fat.

  2. Increase your fitness stamina – extra movement every day will help to keep your activity levels up and improving in the long term.

  3. Increase brainpower. Research from New Mexico Highlands University found that walking helped increase brain blood supply through pressure sent through the arteries from the foot.

  4. Lower your risk of heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

  5. Improve mental health, according to the University of Michigan Health System, walking in nature has been linked to a more positive outlook. #Win.

  6. Decrease the prevalence of life-threatening conditions such as strokes, depression and coronary heart disease.

'The regular movement and pace of walking help give your mind a break, you can de-stress, improve your self-esteem and regulate your mood,' explains mindfulness practitioner Dani Binnington.

'It is also proven that walking can help us to think more creatively,' she adds. In 2014, research published by the American Psychological Association, walks were shown to allow participant's thoughts to flow more freely, helping them with problem-solving.

How long does it take to walk a mile?

The average time it takes for a woman at a healthy weight without any health conditions to walk a mile is somewhere between 14 and 21 minutes.

This is dependent on age, though – 'normal' for a 20-28-year-old is around 14 to 15 minutes, while the average for a 40-49-year-old woman is around 15 or 16 minutes.

This decline in speed is normal and natural. Research has found that your average walking pace will decrease by approximately −0.0037 m/s per year. When taken over a longer time period, this means you'll lose 1.2 minutes between 20 and 60 years old.

How long does it take to walk two miles?

Now, we don't want to sound like we're stating the obvious when we say that walking two miles will probably just take you double as long as walking one mile... but that's basically it. Factor in a minute or two for fatigue (if you're still building up your stamina), coffee buying or shoelace tying, but two miles will take you pretty much twice the amount of time as one mile.

This means walking two miles should take you anywhere between 28 and 32 minutes. If you're not near these numbers, see where you're at and try and improve on your time as you get fitter.

How many calories does walking a mile burn?

The number of calories burned while walking is dependent on a variety of factors: how quickly you walk, your current weight, your fitness levels and the area in which you walk (flat, hilly or mixed, for example).

However, in broad strokes, it is possible to work out how many calories you're going to burn. According to Harvard Health, the following guidelines are about what you'll be burning:

  • If you weigh 120lbs (54.4 kg): you'll burn ~ 65 calories per mile walked

  • If you weigh 160lbs (72.6kg), you'll burn ~ 105 calories per mile walked

  • If you weigh 180lbs (81.6kg), you'll burn ~ 115 calories per mile walked

Taking these figures, you could burn a rough estimate of 455 and 700 calories a week working a mile per day.

Four ways to add a one-mile walk into your day easily

Adding a one-mile walk into the fitness mix doesn't have to be an arduous affair. In fact, it might turn out to be the part of the day you start looking forward to most. Here are five easy ways to get a mile of movement in.

  1. Set your alarm (double-points for sunrise alarm clocks) to twenty minutes earlier. Dash on your gym kit and head for a timed walk around your area before getting ready for the day.

  2. Set aside a portion of your lunch break to walk. Before or after food, it's your choice!

  3. Heading to the gym? Walk there (and back if it's short) instead of jumping on the bus or in the car.

  4. If daytime is very busy for you, take twenty minutes after dinner and go for a short walk. It'll help demarcate the end of the working day and the beginning of your relaxing evening.

How to walk a mile faster

  1. Stand tall, so that you maintain good posture. Slouching compresses your lungs and makes it harder to breathe and decreases oxygen intake. Slouching can also put strain on your back, neck and hips, making you more tired and imbalanced and cause you to walk less efficiently.

  2. Take short, quick steps, rather than longer strides. Place your heel so that it lands just in front of your body, which minimises the effort required both to push the weight of your body over your foot and to swing your back foot forward to catch your body mass as it rolls onto the next step. If you take long strides, it is more effortful to bring your other leg forward.

  3. Bend your arms and swing them to ensure postural stability. Research from the University of Michigan, USA and Delft University of Technology, Netherlands found that swinging your arms counterbalanced the body's twisting motion of two legs walking on a straight line and enabled the legs to waste less energy. Keep your elbows close to your body, though, rather than flinging and flailing them out to your sides.

How to measure your fitness progression when you walk a mile

You might start off walking at an average pace for your age but there's always that little bit inside of us wanting to get better, right? Right. And, as you walk more, you're likely to improve your fitness, too.

Use the following 1-mile walking test guide to work up from OK to excellent and track your progress as you go. Make sure you're walking on a flat surface (not a treadmill) and check back each week to see how you're getting on.


  • Age 20-29: < 13:12 minutes

  • Age 30-39: < 13:42 minutes

  • Age 40-49: < 14:12 minutes

  • Age 50-59: < 14:42 minutes

  • Age 60-69: < 15:06 minutes

  • Age 70+: < 18:18 minutes


  • Age 20-29: 13:12 – 14:06 minutes

  • Age 30-39: 13:42 – 14:36 minutes

  • Age 40-49: 14:12 –15:06 minutes

  • Age 50-59: 14:42 – 15:36 minutes

  • Age 60-69: 15:06 – 16:18 minutes

  • Age 70+: 18:18 – 20:00 minutes


  • Age 20-29: 14:07 – 15:06 minutes

  • Age 30-39: 14:37 – 15:36 minutes

  • Age 40-49: 15:07 – 16:06 minutes

  • Age 50-59: 15:37 – 17:00 minutes

  • Age 60-69: 16:19 – 17:30 minutes

  • Age 70+: 20:01 – 21:48 minutes


  • Age 20-29: 15:07 – 16:30 minutes

  • Age 30-39: 15:37 – 17 minutes

  • Age 40-49: 16:07 – 17:30 minutes

  • Age 50-59: 17:01 – 18:06 minutes

  • Age 60-69: 17:31 – 19:12 minutes

  • Age 70+: 21:49 – 24:06 minutes


  • Age 20-29: > 16:30 minutes

  • Age 30-39: > 17 minutes

  • Age 40-49: > 17:30 minutes

  • Age 50-59: > 18:06 minutes

  • Age 60-69: > 19:12 minutes

  • Age 70+: 24:06 minutes

Shop for new pair of shoes to walk a mile in

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