Walking is one of the most common and underrated forms of exercise. It is easy, can be done anywhere, and is accessible to people of all fitness levels.
But while it may still be fairly popular in some places, some may not know how to approach this form of exercise. For one thing, how long does it take to walk a mile? It might not seem like much at first glance, but you’ll quickly see why this simple question has such a complicated answer.
Let’s explore the distance, time duration, and calories burned when walking a mile.
How Far is a Mile?
Now that we know how long it takes to cover a mile let us look at this distance covered. A mile is a unit of distance commonly used in English-speaking countries. It is equivalent to 1,609 meters or 5,280 feet.
The mile was officially created for measuring distances and became an official unit of length during the leadership of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Walking a Mile Distance
A mile distance is a great starting point if you’re new to walking. While it can be challenging to estimate the time taken to complete a mile, the standard time for a beginner is between 15 to 20 minutes.
Factors Tthat Determine the Time Taken to Walk a Mile
The following factors can determine the time you take to walk a mile.
- Height and Weight
The height and weight of a person are related to the speed at which they walk and the mass of their body that needs to be moved. A taller and heavier person will naturally take more time to walk a mile than someone shorter or lighter.
- Your Walking Surface
The surface you walk on plays a huge role in determining how fast you can cover the distance of a mile. The main reason for this is that the surface you walk on affects the friction between your feet and the ground. Depending on the surface, you can walk faster or slower.
For example, consider walking on sand or ice versus concrete or wood flooring. You would walk much faster on wood flooring than you would on wet, slippery ice!
As you grow older, your ability to walk naturally slows down very gradually. This is mostly because of the loss of muscle strength and mass that comes with age. Younger people may walk a mile faster than older people as a result.
Hot, cold, or windy weather conditions can slow you down. It requires more energy to maintain body temperature in these conditions, so walking in them can take more time and effort.
While not always true, men statistically have greater muscle mass than women. This means that on average, men can produce more force per unit of muscle mass than women. This means men may take less time to walk a mile than women.
Obviously, walking a mile at a slow pace will take longer than walking quickly. A slow pace will take more time to reach your goal and more energy to cover the same distance as a faster one.
Fast walking and packing in firm steps is the fastest way to travel a mile. This is why joggers, bikers, and running walkers tend to cover their distances in less than 20 minutes.
Therefore, if you want to walk fast and efficiently, you need to walk briskly and with high step counts to avoid losing ground from your initial pace.
How Many Calories Does Walking a Mile Burns?
Ultimately, this depends on how you walk the mile. On average, you can shed over 100 calories per mile while walking.
Walking at a moderate speed burns more calories as you use your muscles and fat stores more quickly.
A faster pace also increases the muscles a person uses, and more oxygen is consumed during circulation and breathing. Walking on a flat surface at a moderate pace is a traditional but slower way to get your body moving.
Tips For How to Walk a Mile Faster
If you need help completing a mile in a certain time, there are several things you can do to speed things up.
Interval training is a great way to speed up your pace. It involves alternating high and low-intensity cardio sessions. Thus, it would be best to alternate between high and low-intensity workouts to achieve better results.
- Do Not Slow Down on Hills
One of the worst mistakes people make when trying to increase their speed is slowing down on slopes or hillsides. The best way to cover more ground is to ignore this terrain so you can constantly move throughout the mile.
Since you are walking fast, hills will not affect the distance traveled overall and will still fit within your desired completion time frame.
- Focus on Form
When covering a mile on foot, learning the right ways to walk is important. Walking with proper form will help you improve your overall speed while reducing the chance of developing painful muscle spasms or injuries. You can take time to learn these right walking techniques through a class or online video.
- Be Consistent
When walking a mile, it is important to be consistent with your training. Establish a routine and make sure that you stick to it by doing your workouts daily or weekly.
Giving yourself the time and care needed for this transition is important.
Slowly but surely, you will feel how you can begin to cover just about any distance within a shorter time frame than before.
Health Benefits of Walking a Mile
Here are some of the potential health benefits of walking a mile per day.
- Strengthens Your Muscles
Walking a mile will strengthen the muscles that are used in walking. It involves your calves, quadriceps, and hamstrings, among others.
After a while, you’ll be able to walk on any terrain without difficulty. You should also be able to move without pain or discomfort in your muscles.
- Improves Your Balance
Walking a mile helps improve your sense of balance and stability when walking.
- Results in Weight Loss
Walking can help you shed about 10 pounds of weight within a year, though this depends on the length of time you walk each day. It is important to start by taking regular walks and working your way up to a mile to get the best results.
- Manages Stress and Depression
Walking a mile can reduce depression and stress levels in your body. It elevates your mood and keeps you in a positive frame of mind for longer periods than other exercises such as running or biking.
- Enhances Your Mood and Improves Sleep Quality
Studies show that walking can improve mood and alleviate anxiety, pain, and other mental health issues when done each day consistently. This can also result in improved sleep quality at night.
- Boosts Cardiovascular Health
Walking a mile can boost cardiovascular health by improving your heart rate and blood pressure. It also boosts your metabolism, among other related benefits.
- Increases the Chances of a Long Life
Walking a mile can help you live longer, since it increases the blood flow to organs and tissues in your body, including the heart and lungs. Healthier organs can result in fewer illnesses and a longer lifespan.
Walking a mile is a fun way to improve your health and fitness and is great exercise for individuals of all ages and abilities. This simple exercise does not require any special training or equipment, just good shoes and the ability to walk without pain at a steady pace.
By taking the above advice into consideration, you’ll be walking a mile easily before you know it.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.