Walking 3 Miles A Day: How To Get Started + 8 Great Benefits To Expect

Walking 3 miles a day can feel like a lot to take on initially, but after you have been doing it consistently for a couple of weeks, you will likely find that you feel stronger and more energized after your walks.

In this article, we will discuss what to expect from walking 3 miles a day, such as how long it takes to walk 3 miles, how many calories you’ll burn walking 3 miles a day, and the benefits of walking 3 miles a day.

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is 3 Miles?
  • How Long Does It Take to Walk 3 Miles a Day?
  • How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 3 Miles a Day?
  • Benefits of Walking 3 Miles a Day

Let’s get started!

People walking 3 miles a day.

How Far Is 3 Miles?

Walking 3 miles a day is roughly the same as walking 5k a day. A kilometer is a little more than six-tenths (0.6) of a mile, so 5k is approximately 3.1 miles.

If you decide to walk 3 miles on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 12 full laps. 

How Long Does It Take to Walk 3 Miles a Day?

When you’re establishing a walking routine that involves walking 3 miles a day, one of the first questions you need to answer is “How long does it take to walk 3 miles?” 

Knowing what you’re in for in terms or your workout duration will help you set aside enough time for your 3-mile walk so you can accurately schedule your day.

How long it takes to walk 3 miles a day depends on the speed you are walking.

It takes most people about an hour to walk 3 miles, with plenty of variety in both directions based on your average walking pace.

A close-up of someone taking a step on a trail.

The table below shows approximately how long it takes to walk 3 miles at different walking paces:

Walking Speed (mph)Walking Pace (min/mile)How Long Does It Take to Walk 3 Miles? (min : sec)
2.821:261:04:03
320:0060:00
3.119:2158:03
3.218:4556:25
3.318:1054:30
3.417:3852:54
3.517:0851:24
3.616:4050:00
3.716:1248:40
3.815:4747:20
3.915:2346:09
415:0045:00
4.114:3843:54
4.214:1742:51
4.313:5741:51
4.413:3840:54
4.513:2040:00
4.613:0239:06
4.712:4538:15
4.812:3037:30
4.912:1436:43
512:0036:00
A person walking along a lake.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 3 Miles a Day?

Walking 3 miles a day can burn a decent number of calories, depending on how much you weigh and how fast you’re walking.

If you are walking 3 miles a day on the treadmill, you will probably have easy access to an estimated calorie burn for your workout on the machine.

However, if you are walking outside, unless you wear a heart rate monitor or fitness watch, you likely won’t have access to this information.

There are other ways to approximate the number of calories you burn walking.

The Compendium of Physical Activities reports different METs for various walking speeds and incline grades. Using these METs values, you can calculate the number of calories burned walking 3 miles at various speeds and weights using the following equation to determine energy expenditure:

Calories Burned Per Minute = METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 

So, if you are walking 3 miles a day, multiply this calculated value by the number of minutes it takes you to walk 3 miles.

A person power walking on a road.

Below, we’ve created a chart that uses these METs values for common walking speeds and conditions to calculate the approximate number of calories burned walking 3 miles a day for different body weights


  
 Weight (lbs)
Weight 
(kg)
Calories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph Calories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 3.5 mph Calories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 4.0 mphCalories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 4.5 mphCalories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% GradeCalories Burned Walking 3 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade
9040.9150.3158.3161.0200.4216.2326.4
10045.5167.2176.1179.2222.9240.5363.1
11050183.8193.5196.9244.9264.3399.0
12054.5200.3210.9214.6267.0288.1434.9
13059.1217.2228.7232.7289.5312.4471.6
14063.6233.7246.1250.4311.6336.2507.5
15068.2250.6263.9268.5334.1360.6544.2
16072.7267.2281.3286.3356.1384.3580.1
17077.3284.1299.1304.4378.7408.7616.9
18081.8300.6316.5322.1400.7432.5652.8
19086.4317.5334.3340.2423.3456.8689.5
20090.9334.1351.7357.9445.3480.6725.4
21095.5351.0369.5376.0467.8504.9762.1
220100367.5386.9393.8489.9528.7798.0
230104.5384.0404.3411.5511.9552.5833.9
240109.1400.9422.1429.6534.5576.8870.6
250113.6417.5439.6447.3556.5600.6906.5
260118.2434.4457.4465.4579.0624.9943.2
270122.7450.9474.8483.1601.1648.7979.1
280127.3467.8492.6501.2623.6673.01015.9
290131.8484.4510.0519.0645.7696.81051.8
300136.4501.3527.8537.1668.2721.11088.5
310140.9517.8545.2554.8690.2744.91124.4
320145.5534.7563.0572.9712.8769.21161.1
330150551.3580.4590.6734.8793.01197.0
340154.5568.0598.0608.5757.1817.01233.3
350159.1584.7615.6626.4779.4841.11269.5

Benefits of Walking 3 Miles a Day

If you can establish a fitness routine that involves walking 3 miles a day, you will experience numerous health benefits, including the following:

A person walking down the road.

#1: Walking 3 Miles a Day Reduces Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality

As per the physical activity guidelines sent forth from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 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. 

Walking 3 miles a day 3 days a week will help you surpass these recommendations. If you can walk more days, that’s even better. 

A large review demonstrated a significant inverse correlation between daily step count and the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. 

In fact, each additional 1,000 steps per day at baseline reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 6-36% at follow-up 4-10 years later and reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 5-21% at follow-up 6 months to 6 years later. 

Another study found that walking more than 4 hours per week was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of hospitalizations due to cardiovascular disease compared with walking less than 1 hour per week.

Walking 3 miles a day four days a week can get you to that threshold.

A person looking at the steps taken on their watch.

#2: Walking 3 Miles a Day Gives You a Great Fitness Base

If you consistently walk 3 miles per day, 3-7 days per week, you’ll build up a solid aerobic base and will feel “in shape.” 

This means that you will have a certain degree of cardiovascular fitness that will enable you to do other forms of cardio exercise at a similar level of intensity without becoming breathless and exhausted.

For example, you can go for a bike ride with your kids or take a Zumba class on a whim. This is because walking 3 miles a day builds your stamina, conditions your heart and lungs, and strengthens your legs so that you have a good foundation to handle other types of physical activity.

#3: Walking 3 Miles a Day Increases Your VO2 Max

Your aerobic fitness can be assessed by your VO2 max, which is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can take in and use efficiently during exercise.

Studies have shown that walking 20-60 minutes per day 2-7 days per week for a mean of 18 weeks can increase your aerobic capacity (VO2 max) by 3.04 mL/kg/min.

Therefore, walking 3 miles a day at least two days per week can help you boost your aerobic fitness.

The best way to see significant progress in your aerobic capacity is to walk as briskly as possible.

Two people walking and talking.

#4: Walking 3 Miles Day Strengthens Your Muscles

Walking uses the muscles in your legs, such as your hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves. Walking uphill further targets the hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

You’ll also strengthen your core when you walk with good posture, and if you actively pump your arms, you can make your walks a total-body workout.

#5: Walking 3 Miles a Day Improves Your Health

Walking 3 miles a day is a great way to improve various markers of health such as your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar regulation.

#6: Walking 3 Miles a Day Can Help You Lose Weight

Any kind of physical activity, including walking, burns calories, so walking 3 miles a day can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

A review of 32 studies determined that walking interventions (20-60 minutes per day 2-7 days per week for a mean of 18 weeks) reduced waist circumference (-1.51 cm), weight (-1.37 kg), body fat percentage (-1.22%), and body mass index (-0.53 kg/m2).

A person power walking and smiling.

#7: Walking 3 Miles a Day Can Ease Chronic Pain

Many people worry that walking 3 miles a day may exacerbate joint pain and arthritis. 

But, on the contrary, walking is low-impact exercise and evidence suggests that walking can reduce the severity, discomfort, and functional limitations associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain. 

#8: Walking 3 Miles a Day Supports Your Mental Health

On top of the many physical health benefits discussed, walking 3 miles a day is wonderful for your mental health as well. Research has shown that walking regularly is associated with better emotional health compared to infrequent walking. 

Like other forms of exercise, walking can reduce stress and anxiety and elevate your mood.

Rather than feeling more exhausted afterwards, walkers often report feeling more focused, energized, and creative after walking.

With all the fantastic health benefits of walking 3 miles a day, it’s hard to find a reason not to get out there and enjoy your walk!

If you love to take on a good challenge, we have a fun variety of fitness challenges for you to try out!

A person power walking on a trail.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. 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.

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