Find Out How Many Calories You Can Burn While Walking One Mile 

“Take a walk!” might not be the warmest phrase to catch on the receiving end. But maybe it could and should be reframed to a term of endearment thanks to the calorie burn and other perks walking offers.

So, “take a walk” with us as we explore, “How many calories does walking a mile burn?” As we near the finish line, you might even start to appreciate what walking can do for you beyond burning calories!

How Many Calories Does Walking Burn? 

We know not many people like this answer, but it depends—specifically, it depends on your body weight. A 155-pound person will burn 133 calories during a 30-minute walk at a 3.5 miles-per-hour pace, compared to a 125-pound person who will burn 107 calories walking at the same pace and distance, according to a 2021 Harvard Health review1. 

Think of your body as a wagon. Heavier wagons require more energy to push than a lighter wagon, which is why a heavier person will burn more calories. 

That said, there are many other factors that determine how many calories you may burn on a walk. 

To determine the average calories burned walking a mile, three different metrics were plugged into Cornell University’s METS to Calories Calculator, including MET values, walking time, and weight:

  • METs, abbreviated as metabolic equivalents, help measure energy expenditure by assigning activities with a numerical value based on intensity. We selected MET values in the Compendium of Physical Activity based on common walking speeds.
  • Walking time reflects how long it takes to walk a mile at a given pace, such as walking at a 3.0 mph pace would equate to a 20-minute mile.
  • Because body weights vary greatly, we used the average male weight of 199.8 pounds and female weight of 170.8 pounds according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)2.

To keep other factors as consistent as possible, all calculations are based on walking on a firm surface, such as pavement, as well.

PaceTimeMET ValueMale Calories Burned
(based on 199.8 lbs)
Female Calories Burned
(based on 170.8 lbs)
Moderate pace at 3.0 mph20-minute mile3.510690.6
Brisk pace at 3.5 mph17-minute mile4.3110.694.6
Very brisk pace at 4.0 mph15-minute mile5.0113.597.0

Calories Burned While Walking At a 2.5 to 3.5 MPH Pace 

Weight (lbs)100120140160180200220250275300
Mile 15364748596106117133146160
Mile 2106128149170191213234266292319
Mile 3160191223255287319351399439479
Mile 4213255298340383425468532585638
Mile 5266319372425479532585665731798
Mile 6319383446510574638702798877957
Mile 737244752159567074481993110231117
Mile 8426510595680766850936106411701276
Mile 94795746707658619571053119713161436
Mile 1053263874485095710631170133014621595
Mile 13.16978369751114125413931533174219152089
Mile 26.21394167219492227250727853065348538304179

Calories Burned while Walking At A 4 MPH Pace

Weight (lbs)100120140160180200220250275300
Mile 157688091102114125142156171
Mile 2114136159182205227250284313341
Mile 3170205239273307341375426469512
Mile 4227273318364409454500568625682
Mile 5284341398455512568625710782853
Mile 63414094775456146827508529381023
Mile 739847755763671679587599410941194
Mile 84545466367278189091000113612501364
Mile 951161471681892110221125127814071535
Mile 10568682795909102311361250142015631705
Mile 13.174489310411191134014881638186020482234
Mile 26.21488178720832382268029763275372040954467

Calories Burned while Walking At A 4.5 MPH Pace

Weight (lbs)100120140160180200220250275300
Mile 1647689102115127140159175191
Mile 2127153178204229255280318350382
Mile 3191229267305344382420477525573
Mile 4254306356407458509560636700764
Mile 5318382446509573637700796875955
Mile 638245853561168776484095510501145
Mile 7445535624713802891980111412251336
Mile 850961171381491610181120127314001527
Mile 9572688802916103111461260143215751718
Mile 106367648911018114512731400159117501909
Mile 13.1833100111671334150016681834208422932501
Mile 26.21666200223342667300033353668416845855002

Calories Burned while Walking At A 5 MPH Pace

Weight (lbs)100120140160180200220250275300
Mile 17387102116131146160182200218
Mile 2145175204233262291320364400436
Mile 3218262305349393437480545600655
Mile 4291349407466524582640727800873
Mile 536443750958265572880090910001091
Mile 6436524611698785873960109112001309
Mile 750961171381591610191120127314001527
Mile 8582698814931104711641280145416001746
Mile 96547869161048117813101440163618001964
Mile 1072787310181164130914551600181820002182
Mile 13.1952114413341525171519062096238226202858
Mile 26.21905228726673050343038124192476352405717

Walking Calorie Calculator

To find out how many calories you burn in a mile, plug in some basic info about yourself into the calorie calculator below:

Calculate Calories Burned While Walking

Enter your stats in the fields below

How Can I Burn More Calories While Walking? 

As we mentioned, body weight isn’t the only factor that determines how many calories you burn while walking. In fact, there are several things you can do to increase your overall caloric burn.

Walk Longer And/Or More Often

Because walking longer often leads to greater calorie burn, try increasing the duration of your walks. For instance, if you walk 20 minutes every day, try doing 25 minutes. As your body acclimates to longer walks, gradually increase your walking time. 

You can also split your daily walks into two shorter jaunts, such as doing one 30-minute walk in the morning and another half-hour trek that evening. 

Kick Up The Intensity

Intensity greatly impacts how many calories you burn while walking, so try kicking your workouts up a notch. You can increase the intensity by picking up the pace and/or walking on an incline, including on the treadmill or up a hill. 

Carrying or pushing weight can also increase the intensity of your walk. This could be by pushing your little one in a stroller or wearing a weighted vest or backpack. 

Please note it’s important to add weight or resistance to your walks carefully and with caution. Carrying too much weight or disproportionally distributing the weight on your body can lead to muscle imbalances or postural deviations, and subsequent injury. 

Incorporate Resistance Training

This walking tip is more of a long-term investment, but the payoff is well worth it! Because people with more muscle tend to burn more calories, it can be helpful to incorporate resistance training into your fitness routine. 

In addition to increasing muscle mass and metabolism over time, resistance training can enhance your strength to power through more intense and longer workouts. 

Resistance training is important but not as important as doing so safely! Especially if new to resistance training, consider working with a certified personal trainer (CPT).

Factors That Affect Calories Burned While Walking

Many factors affect calories burned while walking, including personal factors and ones related to the walk itself. These factors consider body size and body composition, as well as the duration and pace of the walk. 

Body Size And Body Composition

A 2014 review published in the Frontiers in Nutrition3 suggests body size and body composition impact basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total energy expenditure (TEE). Because bigger individuals have more body tissue, or simply weigh more, they’re going to burn more calories.

Body composition, or one’s proportion of fat and muscle mass, can also impact energy expenditure3

Adipose tissue, or fat cells, expend less energy than skeletal muscle. What this means is that if two people each weigh 200 pounds, the one with more muscle mass will likely burn more calories. 

Biological Gender And Age

Women’s metabolic rate is about 5 to 10% lower than men’s, according to a ScienceDirect4 overview, even when they’re of the same bodyweight and height. 

While the Cornell University’s METS to Calories Calculator does not consider biological age and gender, each greatly impacts calorie burn. This is mostly due to differences in their body size and composition. This might be due to the fact that women tend to carry more body fat and less skeletal muscle than men.

Changing body composition is also the largest physiological factor as you get older. Muscle mass gradually declines with age4, particularly in physically inactive people, which naturally lowers energy expenditure. 

What’s interesting, though, is that most studies have not found consistent differences in walking energy expenditure between adults based on age and gender, according to a 2010 meta-analysis in Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences5, and that some studies actually showed that females have higher energy expenditure due to shorter stride lengths.

Walking Duration, Pace, And Intensity

The longer you’re actively moving your body, generally the more calories your body burns. So the longer a walk you take, the more calories you can generally expect to burn. 

Increasing the intensity, including by increasing the pace, also influences calorie burn. Based on the chart above, incrementally increasing the pace increases the number of calories burned.

Along with walking pace, walking on an incline can increase intensity and calorie burn. Using Cornell’s calculator, a 200-pound individual will burn about 240 calories in 30 minutes by walking up a hill with a 1 to 5% grade. This is about 80 extra calories burned compared to if they walked on a firm surface at a moderate pace for the same amount of time.

You can increase the intensity of a workout by adding resistance, too. Someone who pushes or pulls a stroller for 30 minutes expends about 181 calories. If that same person climbed a hill with 10 to 20 pounds for 30 minutes, they could burn around 330 calories.

Can Walking Help You Lose Weight? 

While fitness is and should be much more than a weight-loss tactic, people often turn to exercise in hopes to burn calories and lose weight. In fact, the CDC6 reports that 62.9% of adults trying to lose weight used exercise as a weight-loss method. 

The adults might’ve taken the weight loss advice to “Eat less and move more” to heart…  The same percentage of adults reported “eating less” as a common weight loss method! 

best walking shoes for men

For true fat loss and health benefits, combining the two tactics yields the best results. Based on a 2007 meta-analysis in the Journal of American Dietetic Association7, exercise alone leads to minimal weight loss. 

A more recent 2014 meta-analysis in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics8 suggests programs based on physical activity alone are less effective than combined behavioral weight management programs (BWMPs) in both the short and long-term. Taken together, this reiterates the fact losing body fat relies on sustainable behavior changes.

Is Walking Good Exercise? 

Any exercise is great exercise and better than going without! Walking is also one of the most accessible forms of exerciseit’s essentially free of charge, requires no equipment except clothes and shoes, and can be done just about anywhere.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest regular exercise, walking included, can benefit just about anyone. Research shows regular physical activity can:

  • Reduce blood pressure and total cholesterol levels
  • Improve sleep
  • Decrease feelings of anxiety and depressive symptoms
  • Increase cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength
  • Delay or prevent chronic diseases, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers
  • Encourage independence
  • Improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control

Research also shows walking in a group11, outdoors12, and with your dog13 may improve health outcomes. As you can see, the benefits are worth stepping into but how much walking is considered “good?”

RELATED: Best walking shoes for seniors

How Much Walking Is “Good?”

According to a 2020 systematic review published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity14, walking an additional 1,000 steps per day can help lower the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular morbidity/mortality in adults. Health benefits are present below 10,000 steps per day as well.

Another 2023 meta-analysis in Lancet Public Health15 shows the risk of premature death levels off at about 6,000-8,000 steps per day in older adults, meaning more steps might not offer additional benefit for longevity. Adults younger than 60 saw the risk of premature death stabilize at about 8,000-10,000 steps per day.

For substantial health benefits, the Physical Activity Guidelines recommends:

  • 150 minutes (2.5 hours) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, including a brisk walk
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
  • An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

The guidelines further hint additional health benefits are gained by engaging in 300 minutes (5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.

The time dedicated to physical activity may seem like a lot, though the guidelines encourage spreading aerobic activity throughout the week. And when you put these numbers into perspective, the minimum 2.5-hour general recommendation is less than 1.5 percent of your total week (while gaining tremendous benefit)!

Final Thoughts: How Many Calories Does Walking a Mile Burn? 

The amount of calories burned while walking depends on various factors, including body size, age, walking pace, and the intensity of the walk. Calculating your average calorie burn can be a helpful metric to know, although calories don’t tell the full story of your fitness journey.

Walking can truly support your health and wellness in many ways, especially when swapping a walk with sedentary behaviors (looking at you, Netflix)! So the next time someone tells you to “take a walk,” happily oblige and step to the many benefits of such a universally accepted and appreciated exercise.

FAQ: How Many Calories Does Walking a Mile Burn

How many calories does a 2 mile walk burn?

A 200-pound man will burn 106 calories during a 2-mile walk, whereas a 170-pound women will burn 90.6 calories. Factors such as biological sex, age, muscle mass, and intensity will impact how many calories you burn during a walk.

How many miles should I walk to burn 500 calories?

A 200-pound man will have to walk for about four-and-a-half miles to burn 500 calories, but factors such as muscle mass, age, and intensity may move that number up or down.

Can you lose belly fat by walking?

Absolutely! Walking is a great way to increase your caloric expenditure, which could lead to losing belly fat if you remain in a slight caloric deficit.

How long should you walk to lose weight?

The American College of Sports Medicine9 recommends 200 to 300 minutes of exercise per week to facilitate long-term weight management. This amounts to a little less than 45 minutes per day on the high end and 5 hours total each week.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans10, people who want to lose more than 5% of body weight need more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to meet their goals. Those who lost a significant amount of weight and are trying to keep it off might need more than 300 minutes each week, too.

References

  1. Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. 2021;08(3).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anthropometric Reference Data for Children and Adults: United States, 2015–2018. 2021;46(3).
  3. Hills AP, Mokhtar N, Byrne NM. Assessment of physical activity and energy expenditure: an overview of objective measures. Front Nutr. 2014;1:5. Published 2014 Jun 16. doi:10.3389/fnut.2014.00005
  4. ScienceDirect. Resting Metabolic Rate – an overview
  5. Abadi FH, Muhamad TA, Salamuddin N. Energy expenditure through walking: Meta Analysis on gender and age. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2010;7:512-521. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.10.069
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data Brief 313. Attempts to Lose Weight Among Adults in the United States, 2013–2016.
  7. Franz MJ, VanWormer JJ, Crain AL, et al. Weight-loss outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of weight-loss clinical trials with a minimum 1-year follow-up. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107(10):1755-1767. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2007.07.017 
  8. Johns DJ, Hartmann-Boyce J, Jebb SA, Aveyard P; Behavioural Weight Management Review Group. Diet or exercise interventions vs combined behavioral weight management programs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of direct comparisons. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014;114(10):1557-1568. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2014.07.005
  9. Jakicic JM, Clark K, Coleman E, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Appropriate intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(12):2145-2156. doi:10.1097/00005768-200112000-00026
  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. 2018.
  11. ScienceDirect. Walking Speed – an overview
  12. Hanson S, Jones A. Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2015;49(11):710-715. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2014-094157
  13. Legrand FD, Jeandet P, Beaumont F, Polidori G. Effects of outdoor walking on positive and negative affect: Nature contact makes a big difference. Front Behav Neurosci. 2023;16. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2022.901491
  14. Christian H, Bauman A, Epping JN, et al. Encouraging Dog Walking for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016;12(3):233-243. Published 2016 Apr 17. doi:10.1177/1559827616643686 
  15. Hall KS, Hyde ET, Bassett DR, et al. Systematic review of the Prospective Association of Daily Step Counts with risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, and dysglycemia. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2020;17(1). doi:10.1186/s12966-020-00978-9
  16. Paluch AE, Bajpai S, Bassett DR, et al. Daily steps and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of 15 international cohorts. Lancet Public Health. 2023;7(3):e219-e228. doi:10.1016/S2468-2667(21)00302-9
  17. Williams PT, Thompson PD. Walking versus running for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes mellitus risk reduction. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013;33(5):1085-1091. doi:10.1161/atvbaha.112.300878

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