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!
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)
How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 6 Miles a Day?
Walking 6 miles a day is a great way to burn calories.
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.
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 mph||Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 4.5 mph||Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% Grade||Calories Burned Walking 6 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade|
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.
#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.
#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.
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).
#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%.
#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.