Walking 2 Miles A Day: Key Health & Weight Benefits + How To

Stay tuned as we discuss everything you can expect from walking 2 miles a day, including the benefits, how long it takes to do, the number of calories you’ll burn, and more.

Walking 2 miles a day is an achievable and sustainable exercise plan for many people.

The average person can walk 2 miles a day in a reasonable amount of time while still reaping plenty of health benefits.

If you are currently walking a mile a day, it’s easy to progress your workouts so that you can walk 2 miles a day. Even if you’re not currently doing any appreciable daily form of exercise, walking 2 miles a day can be a safe and reasonable goal.

A person walking 2 miles a day.

How Far Is 2 Miles?

For walkers more familiar with kilometers, 2 miles is approximately 3.2 kilometers.

If you decide to walk on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 8 full laps to walk 2 miles. 

How Long Does It Take to Walk 2 Miles A Day?

Before you take on any sort of exercise program, it’s helpful to know what to expect. 

In terms of walking 2 miles a day, one of the most common questions is, “How long does it take?”

Knowing how long it takes to walk 2 miles will help you budget your workout time and organize your schedule for the day.

It should come as no surprise that the amount of time it takes to walk 2 miles depends on how fast you are walking.

With that said, most people can walk 2 miles in 30-45 minutes.

Different sources cite somewhat different average walking speeds, and how long it takes to walk 2 miles a day will depend on different factors such as how hard you’re pushing yourself (a leisurely walk versus a brisk walk or power walk, for example), as well as your age, sex, and fitness level.

It may also take longer to walk 2 miles if you are hiking on rough terrain rather than walking on a smooth, hard surface like a road, treadmill, or track.

A close-up of a person walking on a treadmill.

The table below shows approximately how long it takes to walk 2 miles at different walking paces:

Walking Speed (mph)Walking Pace (min/mile)How Long Does It Take to Walk 2 Miles? (min : sec)
2.821:2642:52
320:0040:00
3.119:2138:42
3.218:4537:30
3.318:1036:20
3.417:3835:16
3.517:0834:16
3.616:4033:20
3.716:1232:24
3.815:4731:32
3.915:2330:46
415:0030:00
4.114:3829:16
4.214:1724:34
4.313:5727:56
4.413:3827:16
4.513:2026:40
4.613:0226:04
4.712:4525:30
4.812:3025:00
4.912:1424:28
512:0024:00
A close-up of a person's feet walking on a track.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 2 Miles A Day?

If you wear a heart rate monitor with GPS so that you can measure your walking speed, distance, and exercise heart rate, you can get a more precise estimation of how many calories you burn walking 2 miles.

Fortunately, even if you don’t have a way to capture this data, you can estimate the calories you burned using the metabolic equivalents (METs) for walking at different speeds.

Below, we’ve created a chart that uses these METs values for common walking speeds and conditions according to the Compendium of Physical Activities to calculate the approximate number of calories burned walking 2 miles a day for different body weights.12011 Compendium of Physical Activities. (n.d.). https://download.lww.com/wolterskluwer_vitalstream_com/PermaLink/MSS/A/MSS_43_8_2011_06_13_AINSWORTH_202093_SDC1.pdf

Weight (lbs)Weight (kg)Calories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph Calories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 3.5 mph Calories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 4.0 mphCalories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 4.5 mphCalories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% GradeCalories Burned Walking 2 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade
9040.9100.2105.5107.4133.6144.2217.6
10045.5111.5117.4119.4148.6160.4242.1
11050122.5129.0131.3163.3176.2266.0
12054.5133.5140.6143.1178.0192.1289.9
13059.1144.8152.5155.1193.0208.3314.4
14063.6155.8164.1167.0207.7224.2338.4
15068.2167.1175.9179.0222.7240.4362.8
16072.7178.1187.5190.8237.4256.2386.8
17077.3189.4199.4202.9252.5272.4411.2
18081.8200.4211.0214.7267.1288.3435.2
19086.4211.7222.9226.8282.2304.5459.6
20090.9222.7234.5238.6296.9320.4483.6
21095.5234.0246.3250.7311.9336.6508.1
220100245.0258.0262.5326.6352.5532.0
230104.5256.0269.6274.3341.3368.3555.9
240109.1267.3281.4286.4356.3384.5580.4
250113.6278.3293.0298.2371.0400.4604.4
260118.2289.6304.9310.3386.0416.6628.8
270122.7300.6316.5322.1400.7432.5652.8
280127.3311.9328.4334.2415.7448.7677.2
290131.8322.9340.0346.0430.4464.5701.2
300136.4334.2351.9358.1445.5480.7725.6
310140.9345.2363.5369.9460.2496.6749.6
320145.5356.5375.3381.9475.2512.8774.1
330150367.5386.9393.8489.9528.7798.0
340154.5378.6398.7405.7504.7544.7822.2
350159.1389.8410.4417.6519.6560.7846.4
A close-up of walking shoes.

Top Health Benefits Of Walking 2 Miles A Day

Walking is an excellent form of low-impact aerobic exercise. Here are some of the benefits of walking 2 miles a day:

#1: Walking 2 Miles a Day Can Help You Get In Shape

Walking 2 miles a day is a doable exercise goal for most people, even if you’re very busy and haven’t been exercising at all for quite some time.

Sometimes, if you’ve been sedentary for a while, it can be unmotivating (and frankly, unwise) to set out on an ambitious training plan that has you suddenly jumping into working out vigorously for an hour a day.

Luckily, walking is a low impact exercise, so it is safe to add to your daily routine with relatively low risk of injury.

Starting small with walking just 2 miles per day can help you establish a consistent workout habit and build up your fitness level so that you’ll be able to handle longer and more intense exercise in time, helping to improve physical health, mental health, and general well-being.

Two people powerwalking around a track.

#2: Walking 2 Miles a Day Improves Your Health

Walking 2 miles per day may not sound like enough to really do much for your health, but every little bit of physical activity adds up.

Habitual walking has been shown to improve markers of health such as blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, and BMI.

If you are going from little or no exercise to walking two miles per day, you’re also likely to see improved sleep quality.

Related: BMI Healthy Weight Calculator

#3: Walking 2 Miles a Day Strengthens Your Muscles

Walking strengthens the muscles in your legs and core, including your hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, abdominal muscles, and back muscles.

The more vigorous you walk, and the steeper the incline, the more muscle fibers in your lower body you’ll recruit for an even more effective workout.

Actively pumping your arms also strengthens your shoulder, chest, and upper back, boosting your caloric expenditure by making your walks more of a total-body workout.

A person walking upstairs on a path.

Is Walking 2 Miles A Day Enough For Weight Loss?

As can be seen from the data above, walking 2 miles a day doesn’t burn a ton of calories.

However, not only are there plenty of benefits of walking other than weight loss, but it’s also important to remember that to burn calories during exercise is only part of the weight-loss equation.

Your diet plays a substantial role in the effectiveness of any strategy to lose weight.

Moreover, many people find that by starting a habit of walking 2 miles a day helps shift their mindset in a way that reduces cravings, helps control emotional eating, and makes it easier to stick with a healthy diet.

Walking 2 miles a day can be a catalyst for other health changes that allow you to lose body fat more effectively.

A group of people walking in the park.

Is Walking 2 Miles A Day Enough For Health?

Most of the research has said that you should aim to walk 10,000 steps per day, which is roughly equal to five miles.2MoveSpring – Activity to step conversion. (n.d.). MoveSpring. https://movespring.com/resources/activity-converter

The good news is that even if you only walk 2 miles a day and accrue about 4,000 steps per day, you are still significantly reducing your risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease.

One study found that just walking 4,400 steps per day reduces the risk of death by 41% compared to walking fewer than 2,700 steps per day. The mortality risk continues to decline up until about 7,500 steps per day when it levels off.3Lee, I.-M., Shiroma, E. J., Kamada, M., Bassett, D. R., Matthews, C. E., & Buring, J. E. (2019). Association of Step Volume and Intensity With All-Cause Mortality in Older Women. JAMA Internal Medicine179(8), 1105–1112. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0899

Step count aside, most health and fitness experts would agree that walking 2 miles a day is enough for overall health and to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers, whilst improving cardiovascular fitness.

For example, according to the CDC, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases and improve heart health.4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 2). How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm

This works out to walking 30 minutes a day five days a week. 

Walking 2 miles a day will take at least 30 minutes in most cases (and if you’re walking much faster than 4 miles per hour, you’re probably in the “vigorous” exercise category rather than moderate-intensity activity anyway).

Therefore, if you walk 2 miles a day at least five days per week, you will surpass these recommendations. The more you can move your body, the better. 

A phone showing the number of steps walked per day.

3 Tips For Walking 2 Miles A Day

Most people who are striving to walk 2 miles a day are new to fitness or trying to get back in shape after a period of inactivity.

If you haven’t been consistent with working out for quite some time, it can feel really daunting to set an exercise goal, even if it seems small on paper—like adding a 2 mile walk to your daily routine.

Here are some tips for walking two miles a day:

#1: Commit to a 30-Day Mile a Day Challenge

Studies show that fitness challenges increase motivation, and following a structured program is a great way to stay on track without having to plan your own workouts. Therefore, a 30-day mile a day challenge is a fantastic way to get started on your goal of a 2 mile walk per day and establish a consistent habit of working out.5Shlegel, P., Adam Křehký, A., Dostálová, R. (2021). Social Media Fitness Challenge – Risks and Benefits Acta Facultatis Educationis Physicae Universitatis Comenianae 61(2):238-248 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355784650_Social_Media_Fitness_Challenge_-_Risks_and_Benefits

  • Look at your schedule and pick a time of day that will generally work well for your walking workouts. Consider walking two miles before work, during your lunch break, or in the evening after dinner.
  • Parents of children participating in sports or music lessons can walk 2 miles while their child is at practice.
  • Stick with this time as much as possible so that it becomes second nature to take your daily walk.
A person walking on a path on a fall day.

#2: Use a Pedometer

A fitness watch that keeps track of your steps or a simple pedometer is a great way to track your activity level.

It’s motivating to rack up a higher daily step count every day, and the more steps you can take, the better your health will trend.

#3: Expect Tough Days

Many beginners assume that once they get over the initial hurdle of walking 2 miles a day regularly, their workouts will become easy.

However, progress isn’t completely linear and we all have days where our motivation, energy levels, or body just don’t feel as good while exercising.

Whether it’s a dreary and rainy day, you didn’t get a lot of sleep, or you feel achy and sore, on days where you don’t feel like walking, set a goal to just walk 10 minutes.

If you still feel crappy after 10 minutes, you can call it a day, but you might just feel rejuvenated and ready to do your full walk.

Establishing consistency is sometimes half the battle, so even if you have to occasionally adjust the target, that’s better than throwing in the towel completely.

The one important caveat is that if you feel like you’re getting sick or you have concerns about developing an injury, it’s far more important to take a rest day than to push yourself to walk. Listen to your body.

Next Steps

  • To add to your healthy lifestyle, take a look at some excellent healthy diet ideas, here.
Two post-it notes that say change your habits and change your life.

References

Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

2 thoughts on “Walking 2 Miles A Day: Key Health & Weight Benefits + How To”

  1. Walking 2 miles 5 days per week has helped me tremendously!!! I’m a truck driver (out in the morning, back in the evening) and experienced swollen ankles, sore joints, and weight gain. I tried working out after work, but I’d get home late, etc and it often wouldn’t get done. So, I start on the treadmill at 7am, finishing up about 8 (including stretching, cool down, and a little weight training). God, I’m so glad I’ve started back with a workout, and I don’t wanna miss it. The swelling, aching, and weight gain has all subsided.

    Reply
    • I suffered from depression for many years I couldn’t even get out of bed,
      I made a 10 goal chart first was waking up early having a 1 hour walk.

      I force myself to get ready on a empty stomach just black shot of coffee if it’s raining put a rain coat on.

      I walk briskly same route same track it takes 20 mins to get to the park and 20 mins to return.

      I come home jump in the shower have breakfast and that’s my dopamine done for the day. Some days I can’t get out of bed .
      I don’t do it for weightless it’s more for mental stability.

      Just by getting out for a walk I manage ri tick so many goal boxes .

      ✔️ early waking up
      ✔️ walk
      ✔️shower
      ✔️productive

      Reply

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