How long should I walk a day to see results?


Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise. It requires no equipment or gym membership and can be done anywhere at any time. But how much walking do you need to do to see results? Here's a look at how long you should walk every day.

How Much Walking Is Needed for Health Benefits?

How Much Walking Is Needed for Health Benefits?

Walking just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can have significant health benefits. Some of the benefits of regular walking include:

  • Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Improved mood and reduced risk of depression
  • Increased energy levels and stamina

The key is consistency. Walking 30 minutes daily allows you to meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity. But longer walks can burn more calories and have added fitness benefits.

Most experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. This could be five 30-minute walks or longer walks at least 3 days per week.

Brisk walking for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times per week is ideal for:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthening bones and muscles
  • Reducing stress and tension

For even greater benefits, aim for 300 minutes of walking per week. Spread out over 5 days, that equates to walking 60 minutes per day.

How Far Should You Walk in 30 Minutes?

On average, most people walk 2.5 to 4 miles in 30 minutes. But this can vary based on:

  • Your walking pace - a brisk pace covers more ground than walking at a leisurely stroll.
  • Terrain - walking on flat sidewalks and paths allows you to go faster than hiking up hills.
  • Fitness level - the more fit you are, the farther you can walk in 30 minutes.

To figure out your pace, walk for 10 minutes and note how far you go. Multiply that by 3 to determine your 30-minute distance.

Over time, as your fitness improves, you'll notice you can walk farther in the same 30-minute timeframe.

What Is Considered a Brisk Walking Pace?

For the greatest benefits, you want to walk at a moderate or brisk pace. Here are some general brisk walking pace guidelines:

  • 100 steps per minute is considered a brisk pace
  • 3-4 miles per hour or a 15-20 minute mile
  • Walking with arm swinging and increased breathing, but still able to hold a conversation

Brisk walking requires effort, but not so much that you can't talk. You should feel your breathing and heart rate increase. The exact pace will vary based on your current fitness level. Focus on pushing yourself and gradually increasing your walking intensity.

How Long to Walk to Lose Weight?

To lose weight, you likely need more than just a daily 30-minute walk, unless you also follow a reduced calorie diet. Walking 1-2 miles in 30 minutes burns around 100-200 calories.

To have a significant impact on weight loss, most experts recommend:

  • Walking 45-60 minutes 5-6 days per week
  • Covering 3-4 miles per session
  • Walking at a brisk, challenging pace
  • Combining walking with a healthy diet

This level of walking can burn up to 300 calories per session. Walking alone may not lead to dramatic weight loss, but it can help you maintain a calorie deficit and lose weight over time when combined with diet changes.

How Much Should You Walk to Get Fit?

Improving your overall fitness requires pushing your walking sessions beyond a leisurely stroll. If you can easily hold a conversation the entire time, you likely need to walk longer, farther or pick up the pace.

Aim to walk at a brisk pace or intermittently add in short bursts of jogging. Some options for improving fitness include:

  • Increasing session length - walk for 45-60 minutes
  • Adding hills or sprints - this challenges your cardiovascular system more
  • Walking longer distances - aim for 3-5 miles
  • Carrying weights - adds resistance to turn walks into strength training

Start slowly and monitor your progress. Increase length, speed or difficulty level once walking feels easier. Consistency is key. Walk at least 5 days per week and allow for rest days for recovery.

How Far Should You Walk Everyday?

There is no single magic number for how far you need to walk daily. It depends on your goals and current fitness level. Here are some general distance guidelines based on goals:

For health:

  • 1-3 miles per day

For fitness:

  • 3-4 miles per day

For weight loss:

  • 4-5 miles per day

For most people starting a walking routine, 1-2 miles is a good starting point that can then be increased. Going from zero exercise to walking several miles each day risks injury or burnout. Build up your distance gradually each week.

Tips for Walking Longer and Farther

It's easy to get stuck walking the same distance or route every day. Here are some tips for continuing to progress:

  • Go farther - Add 0.25-0.5 miles to your route or walk an extra lap. Small increases add up.
  • Change direction - Walk a new route or explore a new neighborhood. This keeps walks more interesting.
  • Join a walking group - Having others depends on you to show up can provide motivation.
  • Listen to audiobooks or podcasts - Make the time pass faster and distract you from fatigue or boredom.
  • Use a fitness tracker - Seeing your steps and mileage logged provides incentive to keep increasing them.
  • Enter a 5K walk - Having a goal race will keep you on track with your training.

How to Incorporate More Daily Walking

If you are currently inactive, working up to 30+ minutes of continuous walking can be daunting. There are easy ways to sneak in more movement throughout your day:

  • Take the stairs whenever you can
  • Park farther from entrances and walk the extra distance
  • Get off public transportation one stop early and walk
  • Take walking breaks every 1-2 hours if you have a desk job
  • Do housework like cleaning and gardening
  • Go for a walk with your family after dinner
  • Pace or walk in place during commercials and TV breaks
  • Go for a walk while taking phone calls

Little bursts of activity all day long will contribute to meeting your daily walking goals. Take advantage of opportunities to walk whenever possible.

The Bottom Line on Daily Walking Recommendations

How long and far you need to walk every day depends on your health and fitness goals. For general health, walking 30 minutes daily or hitting 10,000 steps is a good target. Brisk walking 45-60 minutes most days can help you lose weight and get fitter when combined with healthy eating habits.

As you get conditioned, aim to walk 3-5 miles in that timeframe. This level of walking can help you burn fat, strengthen your cardiovascular system, and tone your legs and core. Stay consistent with your daily walks, gradually increase length or intensity, and include other exercise like strength training too.

The most important thing is to choose a walking routine you will stick to long-term. So start slowly and find an amount of daily walking that fits into your schedule and leaves you feeling energized. Be patient and keep putting in the miles. Before long you will reap the many rewards, from better health to a slimmer waistline.

How long should I walk a day to see results?

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. So, if you walk at a brisk pace, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of walking each day to see results.

How many steps should I aim for when walking?

Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. This is the general recommendation to maintain good health and achieve the benefits of walking.

What are the benefits of walking every day?

Walking every day has numerous benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased stamina, weight management, reduced risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, improved digestion, better mood, and enhanced overall well-being.

Can I make walking an effective exercise even if I don't have much time?

Yes, you can! Even short bursts of physical activity can be beneficial. If you don't have a full 30 minutes to dedicate to walking, you can break it up into smaller sessions. Aim for at least three 10-minute walks throughout the day to accumulate the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

How many miles should I walk in a day?

A: maintain good health and reap the benefits of walking.

Is wearing a pedometer helpful for tracking my walking progress?

Yes, wearing a pedometer or a fitness tracker that counts your steps can be very helpful in tracking your walking progress. It can motivate you to reach your daily step goals and provide a tangible way to measure your physical activity.

Is walking at a slow pace still beneficial?

Absolutely! Walking at a slower pace is still beneficial and counts as a form of physical activity. While walking at a faster pace may provide additional cardiovascular benefits, any movement is better than being sedentary.

How can walking improve my health?

Walking can improve your health in many ways. It helps strengthen your heart and lungs, increases bone density, boosts circulation, enhances mood and mental well-being, aids in weight management, reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases, and improves overall longevity.

What are the best tips for making walking a part of my daily routine?

To make walking a part of your daily routine, consider incorporating it into your everyday activities. You can walk to and from work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk during your lunch break, use your break times for short walks, or schedule dedicated walking time each day. Find what works best for you and make it a priority.

Does walking fast provide more benefits than walking at a slower pace?

Walking at a faster pace, such as brisk walking, can provide additional cardiovascular benefits compared to walking at a slower pace. It increases the intensity of the exercise, raises your heart rate, and burns more calories. However, any form of walking is beneficial for your health, so choose a pace that suits your fitness level and goals.

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