Walking 6 Miles A Day: 8 Great Benefits To Boost Your Health

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When many people think of walking for exercise, they envision themselves walking 2-3 miles a day. 

More ambitious walkers sometimes build up to walking 6 miles a day, which nearly doubles the time commitment, but is still quite feasible for many walkers.

Moreover, walking 6 miles a day is associated with numerous benefits to your physical and mental health.

In this article, we will discuss what you can expect from walking 6 miles a day, including how long it takes, the number of calories you will burn, and the physical and mental health benefits of walking 6 miles a day.

We will cover: 

  • How Far Is 6 Miles?
  • How Long Does It Take to Walk 6 Miles a Day?
  • How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 6 Miles a Day?
  • Benefits of Walking 6 Miles a Day

Let’s get started!

Two people walking.

How Far Is 6 Miles?

Because one mile is equal to 1.609 kilometers, walking 6 miles a day is approximately the same as walking 10k (6.2 miles). 

If you decide to walk 6 miles on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 24 full laps to walk 6 miles. 

How Long Does It Take to Walk 6 Miles a Day?

Walking 6 miles a day can take upwards of 2 hours or more.

If you’re maintaining a very brisk 4.0 miles per hour pace (15 minutes per mile), you can walk 6 miles in 90 minutes, while walking 6 miles a day at a more leisurely pace of 3.0 miles per hour (20 minutes per mile) will take 2 hours.

The table below shows approximately how long it takes to walk 6 miles at different walking paces:

Walking Speed (mph)Walking Pace (min/mile)How Long Does It Take to Walk 6 Miles?
(hours : min : sec)
Two people walking.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 6 Miles a Day?

Walking 6 miles a day is a great way to burn calories.

Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to know how many calories you burn walking 6 miles so that you can plan your fueling strategy and overall nutritional needs.

The number of calories burned walking 6 miles a day is contingent upon factors such as your body weight, the speed or intensity that you are walking, and whether you are walking on flat terrain or up an incline.

You’ll get a more accurate estimate of the number of calories you burn walking if you wear a heart rate monitor, because your heart rate correlates with your effort level in terms of the percentage of your VO2 max.

However, if you don’t have a heart rate monitor or fitness watch, you can calculate the number of calories burned walking 6 miles a day using the metabolic equivalents (METs) for walking at different speeds.

Two people talking and 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 6 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 6 miles a day, multiply this calculated value by the number of minutes it takes you to walk those 6 miles.

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 6 miles a day for different body weights. 

Weight (lbs)Weight  (kg)Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 3.5 mph Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 4.0 mphCalories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 4.5 mphCalories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% GradeCalories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade
A watch indicating 1192 calories burned.

Benefits of Walking 6 Miles a Day

Walking 6 miles a day is undoubtedly a substantial investment of time, but the payoff is worth it. 

There are many benefits of walking 6 miles a day, including the following:

#1: Walking 6 Miles a Day Increases Your Aerobic Capacity

Studies have shown that consistent walking workouts are an effective way to increase your VO2 max, which is a measure of your aerobic capacity or how well you can effectively and efficiently take in and use oxygen during exercise.

#2: Walking 6 Miles a Day Improves Your Health

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, has consistently been shown to improve biomarkers of your health status.

For example, walking regularly lowers your cholesterol, reduces your blood pressure, and decreases your BMI.

Related: BMI Healthy Weight Calculator

A person walking uphill.

#3: Walking 6 Miles a Day Strengthens Your Muscles

Walking 6 miles a day is a great way to increase the muscular strength and endurance in your lower body and core.

Walking up an incline further challenges the muscles in your posterior chain, including your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

#4: Walking 6 Miles a Day Gives You a Solid Aerobic Foundation

Walking 6 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.

As discussed, depending on how fast you walk, walking 6 miles a day will take roughly 90 minutes to two hours.

This is a sizable chunk of time, so if you’re doing your daily walk in a single bout—or even splitting it up into walking 3 miles twice a day—you’re going to develop a really strong aerobic base.

A person walking in the woods.

This means that you will have a good level of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic capacity, which will allow you to do other forms of cardio exercise at a similar level of intensity without being completely breathless or exhausted.

For example, if your knee is sore and you want to take a day off from walking, you can probably handle a moderate-intensity 45-60 minute workout on a stationary bike without feeling winded and unable to continue pedaling.

#5: Walking 6 Miles a Day Can Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

Many people find that walking is one of the most effective forms of exercise for losing weight because it can help you burn calories without increasing your appetite.

A review of 32 studies found 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 looking at their watch.

#6: Walking 6 Miles a Day Protects Your Heart

Some people assume that because walking isn’t as cardiovascularly intense as running, it doesn’t strengthen your heart and lungs.

However, as long as you walk at a moderate intensity, walking can indeed strengthen your heart and lungs and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

For example, a review of 17 prospective studies involving over 30,000 adults found a significant negative association between daily step count and the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. 

Each 1,000 daily step count increase 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%. 

Two people walking on trails with poles.

#7: Walking 6 Miles a Day Is Good for Your Joints

If you find that the impact of running bothers your hips, knees, or ankles, walking 6 miles a day can be a fantastic alternative low-impact exercise.

Evidence suggests that walking can reduce the severity, discomfort, and functional limitations associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain. 

#8: Walking 6 Miles a Day Buoys Your Emotional Health

The benefits of walking 6 miles a day extend beyond the physical health perks.

Walking can also improve aspects of your mental health and well-being, such as your stress level, mood, memory, and focus.

Walking 6 miles a day is arguably one of the best things you can do for your body and mind.

Congratulate yourself on your level of fitness and commitment to being active. You’re a rockstar!

If you are looking for other awesome challenges in addition to walking, check out our variety of 30-Day Fitness Challenges.

Three people laughing and walking.
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.

4 thoughts on “Walking 6 Miles A Day: 8 Great Benefits To Boost Your Health”

  1. Thanks for this post- walking has been my hobby since I was young- now at 64, and retired with more time, I walk 6-8 miles a day on area greenway trails that are easy to moderate in incline- unfortunately it hasn’t moved the needle much on the extra 25 pounds I have slowly gained since menopause- even when I trained the did a 200-mile pilgrimage walk, I would lose a few pounds but then my metabolism seemed to adjust to the increased mileage- food intake has stayed the same…but all the other health benefits remain along with my emotional well being- I do have the resting heart rate of an athlete (52-53)

  2. Hello,
    The first thing I would look at is what your eating. I use an app that I can track my food, sleep and activity. When I transitioned to a plant based diet is when I saw the weight drop. I started walking 4 miles a day, five days a week. After a month I increased it to 5 miles a day and currently I’m walking 6 miles a day, three days a week.

  3. Been out of work months lower back and neck problems .. numbness arms legs balance issues. I’m 45 I have always ate good had very hard jobs .I was walking 2 miles a day I weighed 192 5’8” hurt all the time everywhere no weight loss. I started walking 6 miles a day mid august 2 miles at a time . Crazy first month down 15 lbs . Goal is 145 .. I set a realistic goal of 175 pounds by Christmas . Down to 178 already hoping I can keep loosing at least 2 lbs a week . Now I’m hoping 160 by Christmas tired of being feeling horrible and people saying your getting fat . Maybe that pushed me to walk more . Good luck everyone.


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