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Walking 2 Miles a Day: Surprising Benefits for Your Health & Weight Loss

8 min read
a young woman in orange sweater is casually walking, smiling, walking 2 miles a day
David J. Sautter post Reviewer David J. Sautter post Reviewer
Verified by David J. Sautter
NASM Personal Trainer, NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Sports Conditioning Specialist, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist

Table of Contents

Walking is a simple and accessible form of physical activity that has numerous health benefits. 

Regular walking has been associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. 

Additionally, walking has been found to be an effective strategy for weight loss and weight management. 

While many people associate intense exercise routines with weight loss, walking 2 miles a day can also make a significant impact on your health and weight. Yep, you may not even need to walk 10 miles a day!

In this article, we’ll explore the surprising benefits of walking 2 miles a day for your health and weight loss goals. We’ll also answer the most commonly asked questions about walking, including, “how long does it take to walk 2 miles?” and “will walking 2 miles a day help lose belly fat?”

Walking 2 Miles a Day: 101

Walking is an accessible and free way to improve cardio fitness, build stronger bones, burn calories, and improve overall mood and strength. 

The benefits of walking extend far beyond clocking up some daily steps, too.

Research tells us that 7,500 steps could still offer benefits that are just as good as the 10,000 steps that popular media encourages everyone to take. [1]

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women and one in four men are under the suggested amount of exercise per week. Current guidelines recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, so any amount of walking is a step in the right direction. [2]

an infographics explaining what walking 2 miles means_kilometers walked, calories burned, time consumed, walking 2 miles a day

👉 How Long Does It Take To Walk 2 Miles?

It entirely depends on how fast you walk and your current fitness level, but a two-mile walk should roughly take 30 to 45 minutes for the average person walking at an average pace

If you’re walking on a treadmill incline or hilly terrain outdoors, you could also expect this to take slightly longer, but averaging 15 minute-miles is considered a brisk walk for most. 

A speed of three miles per hour (mph) would set a pace of 20 minute miles, which should take 40 minutes to complete a two-mile walk. 

👉 How Many Steps Are in 2 Miles?

For women with an average stride length of 2.2 feet, 5,000 steps make up just over 2 miles (2.1 miles), whereas a man with an average stride of 2.5 feet would rack up slightly more at 2.4 miles in 5,000 steps.

👉 How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 2 Miles a Day?

Calorie burn depends on various factors, including sex, weight, fitness level, stress, sleep, exercise intensity, and duration. 

If you walk for longer or at a faster pace, you could expect to burn more calories than if you walk slower for short durations. 

You can expect to burn more calories if you weigh more, too. 

A female weighing 54 kilograms (119 pounds) and walking two miles at a 1% incline at an average of 3 mph would expect to burn roughly 153 calories

A 70-kilogram (154 pound) male walking at the same pace and incline for two miles could expect to burn more calories — roughly 200

To improve the number of calories you burn, consider walking at a brisker pace or extending your walk. However, two miles is plenty to benefit from taking a stroll. 

Benefits of Walking 2 Miles a Day

There are plenty of benefits up for grabs. Here are just a few:

Stronger Bones And Joints

Research shows that walking could improve symptoms of arthritis. Walking is a low-impact exercise that could increase blood flow and circulation and improve overall mobility around your joints, especially in your lower body. [3]

Walking is also a weight-bearing exercise that improves bone strength and the surrounding joints through a process called bone loading.

Better Mood

Whenever we move our bodies purposefully, we release endorphins that make us feel happy, calm, and less anxious. Getting out into nature for a walk builds on this release of endorphins as research shows that nature has a soothing and meditative effect on the body. [4] 

Moreover, regulating your breath could shift your body from fight-or-flight (the sympathetic nervous system) to a state of calm, rest, and repair.

We recommend the Box Method for breathing, which focuses on breathing in, holding, breathing out, and holding for four seconds each.

Increased Metabolism

Your body burns calories in many ways, including when you eat and sleep, which is called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). 

Workouts only account for one proportion of total daily calorie burn, with NEAT playing a far bigger role in kickstarting your metabolism and burning calories. 

In short, the more you move, the more calories you burn! Walking provides a boost to the number of calories that you burn throughout the day. 

Specifically, walking is considered low-intensity steady state cardio, which has been shown to improve fat burning. A day two-mile walk can bump up your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories and fat.

Boosted Creativity

According to the Stanford University study, walking could improve creativity by up to 60%. 

We know that aerobic exercise improves and protects cognitive function, but non-aerobic walking could still stimulate creativity more than sitting, and in this study, outdoor walking doubled results. [5]

Reduced Risk of Developing Health Conditions

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), walking for 30 minutes per day could lower your blood glucose and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. [6]

Other markers you could expect to improve include lower blood pressure and cholesterol and a healthier heart and set of lungs. This could also improve your endurance and how efficiently your body uses oxygen. 

Is Walking 2 Miles a Day Good for Weight Loss?

Although walking can boost mood and creativity while reducing feelings of anxiety, walking also supports weight loss. 

Here are a few ways to improve weight loss with walking:

Intensity and Pace

Walking at a brisk pace of 3 mph or more could make your walk a fitness activity that burns more calories and overall body fat. 

You could also increase the intensity by tackling some hill climbs outdoors or increasing the treadmill incline indoors. 

Increasing pace and intensity will increase your heart rate and help you burn more calories, helping you to reach your fat-burning heart rate zone (when your body taps into fat as an energy source rather than sugars or carbs).

Treadmill vs. Outside Walking

The walking outside vs. on a treadmill debate rages on. Both are brilliant ways to clock up steps, but the methods have pros and cons. Walking outside on uneven or hilly terrain could recruit more muscle groups and burn more calories, but this will depend on factors like speed and weight. [7]

That said, outdoor walking increases your risk of injury and is a less controlled environment. Treadmill walking allows you to control pace and incline, and tread belts now come with shock absorption to protect your joints better. Overall, choose the option that will keep you more consistent and feels more enjoyable. 

Is Walking 2 Miles A Day Enough For Weight Loss?

Absolutely. However, your overall day-to-day activity, a balanced diet, and managing factors like stress and sleep quality will all affect your ability to lose weight. Increasing your pace, walking with light dumbbells, or walking at an incline will also contribute to burning more calories. 

Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals by Walking

Can you achieve weight loss by walking 2 miles a day? Absolutely, and these tips on how to boost walking for weight loss can help:

  • Invest in a fitness tracker or a walking app to track your progress
  • Walk at a brisker pace to improve calorie burn and overall cardio fitness
  • Include inclines to make walks more challenging
  • Time your walks and try to improve each day
  • Set small challenges or milestones to improve motivation 
  • Wear a backpack or carry light dumbbells to increase intensity 
  • Listen to music to boost your mood and motivation on those trickier inclines

Is Walking 2 Miles A Day Enough Exercise?

According to the WHO, adults aged 18 to 64 should achieve a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-vigorous activity per week. To improve your health further, 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise should be a priority. 

By walking 2 miles a day, you achieve approximately 280 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week, which almost hits the optimum recommended number of 300 minutes per week. However, it’s recommended to mix cardio activities of various intensity as well as add at least two muscle-strengthening activities per week.

Therefore, walking is a great daily moderate-intensity activity that works best when occasionally mixed with vigorous (swimming, running, etc.) and muscle-building (lifting weights, HIIT, yoga, etc.) activities.

Wrapping Up

So, is walking 2 miles a day good for you?

  • Walking 2 miles a day can contribute to health improvements like better mood, energy, calorie burn, and cardio fitness
  • Walking regularly also helps to boost strength and bone health
  • Increase chances of weight loss by adding intensity and speed
  • Two-mile daily walks are enough to produce health benefits alongside a balanced diet, sleep, stress management, and regular movement.
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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