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Is Walking 10 Miles a Day Necessary? Health & Weight Loss

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woman and man are walking during a workout, walking 10 miles a day
Jonathan Valdez post Reviewer Jonathan Valdez post Reviewer
Verified by Jonathan Valdez
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist in NYC, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

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Walking is a fairly stable way of getting some extra daily movement: we are constantly doing this activity without even realizing it. And we often don’t give enough acknowledgment to the many benefits it brings. 

Walking can be used as part of a fitness and nutrition program to help you lose weight and improve your health. This activity can be part of an exercise plan, but to be effective, the number of miles has to be impactful. 

In this regard, walking 10 miles a day is a popular way to keep fit. However, due to the long distance, it involves a certain level of fitness and certainly requires building up slowly from shorter walks. And let’s not forget that it requires a rather hefty amount of time.  

So, is walking 10 miles a day too much?

Is walking 10 miles a day good for weight loss?

And if not, then how many miles do you need to walk in order to lose weight?

In this article, we will investigate the benefits of this practice and how it could help you achieve your goals. You’ll also find some tips on how to do it safely. 

Walking 10 miles a day: 101

Walking 10 miles a day is definitely a great way to exercise and improve your health. However, beginners should not start by walking such a long distance right away. They should instead work on building up their fitness slowly by starting with shorter distances and progressively increasing over time. 

Walking 10 miles a day, how much steps, kilometres, and calories burned

Let’s cover some basics of what walking 10 miles a day means.

👉 How long does it take to walk 10 miles?

Walking 10 miles usually takes between 2 to 3 hours, depending on your pace, the type of ground you’re walking on, and the gradient of the track (whether you’re walking on flat ground or going uphill or downhill).

👉 How much walking is 10 miles?

10 miles is equal to approximately 16 kilometers, and on average you are expected to complete more or less 22,000 steps

👉 How many calories does walking 10 miles burn?

Overall, you can expect to burn on average between 600-1,200 calories when walking 10 miles, depending on several factors. These factors include age, gender, body composition, body weight, walk intensity (pace), and the gradient of the surface you are walking on. 

However, you can use your body weight, time spent walking, and estimated pace to roughly calculate the calories you are going to be burning during a walk.

A person weighing 60 kg and walking at a slow pace (2 mph) for 2 and a half hours would burn roughly 299 calories. While someone weighing 80 kg would burn approximately 399 calories under the same circumstances.

Now, keeping in mind the information above, the person weighing 60 kg would burn around 568 calories when walking for 2 and a half hours at a faster pace (3.5 mph), while the 80 kg individual would burn roughly 758 calories.  

Needless to say, the faster the pace, the more calories you burn in a set amount of time, as the distance traveled is longer. 

👉 Can you build fitness and lose weight by walking?

Walking is a relatively low-impact activity. However, it can still be used as a tool to improve your fitness.

In fact, walking can increase cardiovascular capacity and muscular endurance. [1], [2]

Weight loss can occur from following a walking program; however, it can only be achieved if the person is also in a calorie deficit. Therefore, a proper diet also plays a pivotal role in this instance. 

Health benefits of walking every day

You’ve probably already heard health professionals talk about the benefits of walking at least 10,000 steps a day. 

Walking has been associated with many physical and psychological benefits, including

  • decrease in cardiovascular disease rate,
  • lower BMI,
  • reduced waist circumference,
  • lower incidence of developing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. 

Being a fairly long distance, walking 10 miles a day may result in a series of health benefits, such as a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, reduced cortisol levels, a healthier liver, reduced body fat, and it may also strengthen your bones. [3], [4], [5]

Weight-loss effects of walking 10 miles a day

Walking can definitely help you achieve weight loss as one of ways of creating a daily calorie deficit. However, it is important to remember that walking intensity, body weight, the type of track you’re walking on, the slope level, and the pace sustained can heavily influence the number of calories burned. 

How many miles should you walk to lose weight?

There is no certainty as to how many miles you need to walk in order to lose weight. In fact, when wanting to drop body fat, the most important factor is being in a calorie deficit, which means you are eating fewer calories than you burn. 

Although walking per se is not necessarily going to make you lose weight, it can definitely be used as a way to burn more calories and create a daily calorie deficit. 

It is also very important to focus on getting adequate rest. Lack of sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity, possibly due to more awake time spent consuming food. Research shows that it may be an increase of about 385 calories per day. Over the long term, that could lead to weight gain. The Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping for 7 to 9 hours per night. [6], [7]

If you want to use it as a form of exercise, you can use a walking app to record your activity levels and food intake. This way you can create your own walking program and keep track of your progress. 

Is walking 10 miles a day good for your health and fitness?

Walking 10 miles a day can lead to some health and fitness improvements.

For instance, walking can help you lose weight, it can be used to get in some extra cardio outside of your training routine, it can improve your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and if performed outdoors, it is also likely to help you improve your mental health. [8]

People who suffer from hip, knee, or ankle injuries should receive clearance from their physical therapist and/or doctor before proceeding with exercise. 

So, is it necessary to walk 10 miles a day?

Walking 10 miles a day is not necessary. However, it can be a great aid for weight loss while also improving your cardiovascular fitness and mental health.

Likewise, you may also decide to perform higher-intensity exercises, such as cycling or running, if you don’t have enough time to go on long walks. That way you can go longer distances and burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time.

Want to give it a try? Here are some tips for long walks

If you are a beginner, you should not start walking 10 miles a day right away. Instead, work your way up from shorter distances. Below are some tips on how to maximize your long-distance walks and how to do so safely.

8 Tips for long walks_walking 10 miles a day
  • Start by walking 1 mile per day. Once you get used to it, add another mile, and so on, until you get to 10 miles. 
  • Get your hips warmed up sufficiently before going on long walks by performing some hip mobility exercises, especially if walking uphill or in very cold weather. 
  • Break up your walking sessions: you can do shorter walks by splitting up the 10 miles over the day. For example, if you are busy but still want to get it done, you might decide to do 5 miles in the morning and 5 miles in the afternoon.
  • Remember to schedule some rest days in between, as walking so many miles daily may lead to overtraining and injuries.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. This means that your shoes should be designed for running or walking, and they should be comfortable.
  • Walk outdoors instead of on a treadmill. This can make it more enjoyable to walk long distances.
  • Take some water and carbohydrate-based snacks with you to prevent dehydration and in case you start feeling dizzy from a lack of energy. 

Final words

Walking is a great way to keep active, but it needs to be performed according to the criteria above. Below we have summarized in a nutshell what you need to know about walking 10 miles a day:

  • Walking can be used as a weight-loss tool, as long as you are in a calorie deficit. 
  • 10 miles a day is a long distance, so you should start with shorter walks if you are a beginner, and then work your way up to the 10-mile mark.
  • Walking 10 miles can be time-consuming (between 2 to 3 hours, depending on the pace). So it may be worth it to either break it into smaller walks, or you could perform some higher intensity exercise, such as running or cycling, that requires less time to burn the same amount of calories.
  • The number of calories burned walking depends on your body weight, pace, and time spent on the activity, but you can burn roughly 800 to 1200 calories if walking 10 miles at a fast pace.
  • Walking is a great way to build up your cardiovascular system and maintain heart and lung health.
  • You should avoid walking long distances if you are obese, have an injury in your lower body, or are aiming to build muscle or gain weight.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring some water with you when going for a long walk.
  • Take some rest days in between long walks to prevent overtraining and injuries.
Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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