Walking 8 miles a day in one stretch can be too much for most people on an ongoing basis, though taking an 8-mile hike or walking 8 miles a day on the weekend days is common for people who have the time and enjoy walking.
Another practical approach to walking 8 miles a day is splitting up your walks throughout the day, and using a fitness watch or pedometer to keep track of your steps per day.
However you do it, walking 8 miles a day is an impressive feat, yet potentially a doable fitness goal for some people.
In this guide, we will discuss what you need to know about walking 8 miles a day, such as how long it takes to walk 8 miles a day, how many calories you burn, the benefits of walking 8 miles a day, and tips for how to walk 8 miles a day.
We will discuss:
- How Far Is 8 Miles?
- How Long Does It Take to Walk 8 Miles a Day?
- How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 8 Miles a Day?
- 7 Tips for Walking 8 Miles a Day
Let’s get started!
How Far Is 8 Miles?
For those more familiar with kilometers, 8 miles is approximately the same as 12.9 kilometers.
If you decide to walk on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 32 full laps to walk 8 miles.
How Long Does It Take to Walk 8 Miles a Day?
There are numerous factors that will affect how long it takes you to walk 8 miles a day.
Examples include your age, current fitness level, sex, how vigorously you’re walking, and your body size, along with other factors like the terrain, incline, and weather conditions where you are walking.
However, no matter how fast you walk, walking 8 miles a day will take at least a couple of hours.
Speedy walkers who can maintain a very brisk walking speed of 4.0 miles per hour (15 minutes per mile pace), will need to walk two hours to walk 8 miles. Walkers who move at a more leisurely speed of 3.0 miles per hour (20 minutes per mile pace) will need to walk 2 hours and 40 minutes to cover 8 miles.
These are reasonable approximations for most walkers based on the evidence-based average walking speed for most adults.
The table below shows approximately how long it takes to walk 8 miles at different walking paces:
|Walking Speed (mph)||Walking Pace (min/mile)||How Long Does It Take to Walk 8 Miles? |
(hours: min : sec)
How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 8 Miles a Day?
Most walkers are pleasantly surprised when they find out how many calories they burn walking 8 miles a day.
The further you walk, the more calories you burn, so you’ll burn quite a few calories walking 8 miles. You’ll also burn more calories if you walk briskly, up an incline, and have a higher body mass.
You can keep track of your energy expenditure if you wear a fitness watch, but these are often not all that accurate unless you also wear a heart rate monitor.
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, you can calculate an estimation of the calories burned walking 8 miles a day by 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 8 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
Next, multiply this value by the number of minutes it takes you to walk 8 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 8 miles a day for different body weights.
|Weight (kg)||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 2.8-3.2 mph||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 3.5 mph||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 4.0 mph||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 4.5 mph||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 1-5% Grade||Calories Burned Walking 8 Miles a Day at 2.9–3.5 mph at 6-15% Grade|
7 Tips for Walking 8 Miles a Day
There are quite a few benefits of walking 8 miles a day, such as improving the health of your heart and lungs, boosting your mood and confidence, decreasing stress, burning calories, and strengthening your muscles.
However, walking 8 miles a day is no small feat, which is why we have provided some tips to help you handle the distance and enjoy your walking workouts:
#1: Hydrate and Fuel Well
Because walking can be a low-intensity workout depending on your pace, some people forget that hydrating and fueling your body before, during, and after your walks is just as important as it is with more vigorous activities like running.
Although you shouldn’t need to drink or eat during a short walk that’s only a couple of miles, once the duration of your walks extends much beyond 60 to 90 minutes, you will need to start taking in fluids during your workout.
Bring a water bottle or consider a more convenient option such as a hydration pack or hydration belt.
Depending on your nutritional status, weight loss goals, and timing of your walks relative to your meals, you may also need to bring snacks for walks that are longer than 5-6 miles or so.
Good options for healthy snacks while walking include trail mix, natural energy bars, and roll-ups or sandwiches made with nut butter and fruit.
#2: Invest In a Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor will help you monitor the intensity of your workouts. This information can be particularly helpful when coupled with a fitness watch that is capable of reporting your walking speed and distance.
#3: Use a GPS Watch
A GPS running watch or fitness watch can be a bit of a pricey investment, but if you’re going to be walking 8 miles a day, it’s totally worth it.
You can keep track of how far and how fast you walk, and if the watch has optical heart rate monitoring, you’ll get a more accurate estimate of the calories you burn.
#4: Wear Walking Shoes
If you are a runner turned walker, you might assume that wearing old running shoes is sufficient for your walking workouts.
While old running shoes can suffice for short walks, if you are going to be walking 8 miles a day, you need proper supportive footwear. Old running shoes have been retired for a reason—they are worn out.
Investing in shoes specifically designed for walking is also ideal. Walking shoes provide a little more mediolateral stability and will support your foot throughout the gait cycle appropriately.
#5: Try an App
Fitness apps like Strava are really popular among runners, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t use them for walking as well.
You can record your walks using GPS right from the app and then upload your data to create a workout log that you can refer back to over time.
There is also social support through the app, allowing you to connect with other friends and give kudos back and forth for completing tough workouts.
#6: Get Enough Sleep
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, adults need a minimum of 7-9 hours per sleep each night, and if you’re walking 8 miles a day, you probably need closer to 8-10 hours.
Sleep is imperative for recovery, and even if you’re only walking 8 miles a day once or twice a week, you should try to get into a habit of consistently getting at least eight hours of sleep per night.
#7: Break It Up
Whether your approach to walking 8 miles a day is to do one long walk or to break it up into two or more shorter walks throughout the day, you will enjoy many fantastic benefits from your workouts.
There’s no wrong way to do it!
If you are look for a challenge that isn’t walking, we have a large variety of other 30-Day Fitness challenges for you to take a look at.