How Many Miles Should I Walk to Lose Weight?

K T Solis

Walking is one of the best forms of physical activity for weight loss, though the exact distance needed to get results can vary a lot from person to person. There is not any universal “magic number,” and most experts stress regularity and time over specific mileage. Aiming for about 30 minutes a day is a common goal for beginners. A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and good sleep habits, is really important, too. No amount of walking will be able to counteract activities that otherwise lead to weight gain.

Wearing a pedometer can help you track  how far you walk every day.
Wearing a pedometer can help you track how far you walk every day.

General Guidelines

Weight loss specialists often advise patients who want to walk to lose weight to aim to move for 30 minutes at least four or five times a week. Many people are able to cover about 2 miles (about 3 km) in this amount of time, and the calorie burn is significant, too. A 150-pound (68 kg) person walking between 3.5 to 4 miles (5.6 to 6.4 km) an hour can expect to burn about 300 calories. Keeping this up consistently for days or weeks at a time can lead to weight loss in most people.

A person should take their age into account when deciding on walking distances.
A person should take their age into account when deciding on walking distances.

Counting Steps

Another way to think about distance is in terms of steps. The more steps a person takes the farther he or she will go, often without even thinking about it. For example, taking 5,000 steps throughout the course of one day adds up to nearly 2.5 miles (about 4 km). Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, for instance, or going up and down the grocery store aisles a few more times than necessary can slowly add distance throughout the day without the commitment of actually setting aside “workout time.”

In order to lose weight, caloric input needs to be less than caloric output.
In order to lose weight, caloric input needs to be less than caloric output.

One of the easiest ways for people to track their distance is by wearing a pedometer. This small device can attach to the waistband of pants or skirts to discreetly measure strides taken. The most basic models simply count steps, but more advanced systems synch up to computers or websites to provide a more comprehensive overview of progress on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis, and many of these allow for goal-setting, too.

Walking to lose weight needs to be assisted with good sleeping habits.
Walking to lose weight needs to be assisted with good sleeping habits.

Popular Techniques

There are a number of ways people can improve their walking technique to make their exercise times more efficient for weight loss. One of the most common involves arm angle. Bending the arms at a 90 degree angle and pumping like a race walker usually leads to a quicker walking pace, which can help burn up to 10 percent more calories. The more calories burned, the faster it will be to lose weight.

Interval training is another popular way to walk to lose weight. A person using intervals will typically vary his or her pace between a comfortable stroll, a brisk walk, and a quick near-jog. The routine will usually vary depending on a person’s fitness level and strength, but a common routine is five minutes normal pace, two minutes brisk pace, then one minute fast. This can be repeated for as long as the walk lasts.

People who walk on varying terrains may also find that they lose weight faster, since challenging the muscles in different ways causes them to become more efficient and prevents what many fitness experts call the “plateau.” A walker who plateaus has basically reached his or her weight loss limit. Walking becomes a way to maintain a certain weight from that point forward, but stops being a good way to actually lose it.

Walking on uneven surfaces like sand, grass, or gravel typically increases calorie burn. Trudging uphill can also be more effective than walking on a flat surface, as long as the walker maintains a steady pace. Uphill walking also helps a person build strength and stamina as he or she works to make it to the top of a hill.

The Importance of Lifestyle

For most people, walking will only be a good way to lose weight if it is done in conjunction with other weight-loss tactics, particularly a good diet. Weight loss only happens when caloric input is less than caloric output, which is to say that more needs to be burned than is taken in. Someone could walk for hours each day but not lose any weight if his or her diet contained primarily saturated fats and fried foods. Losing weight doesn’t require deprivation, but it does depend on a good balance of protein and complex carbohydrates. Eating plenty of vegetables and whole grains while keeping sweets and convenience foods to a minimum will help walking be as effective as possible.

Many weight loss experts also stress the importance of sleep. Ideally, a person should get between seven and eight hours of rest each night. Sleep is the body’s chance to restore function and efficiency, and getting even just an hour more sleep can make it all the easier to burn fat during the day, while walking or otherwise.

Walking at least 30-minutes a day will help a person burn enough calories to lose weight.
Walking at least 30-minutes a day will help a person burn enough calories to lose weight.

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Discussion Comments


I am 39 years old and weigh 59 kg. How can I reduce my weight?


I'm 27 and this year I'm really doing it! Not just saying, starving myself for few weeks and then overeating again. I started in January. I'm eating healthy, less - but enough! I'm walking every weekend for at least three hours, plus extra walking in the week for hour or two. I started at 83 kg and now after six months, I weigh 73. 10 kg in 6 months; that's what I call losing weight the healthy way.


Walking is a very good exercise. For the first two weeks, just keep walking. From the second week onwards, eat low fat and stick on to green tea. Slowly, as you feel lighter, try out yoga. Believe me, it really helps, but guys, our is body not a machine so it takes time, but for a very good reason!


I am 105 kg and 6 feet tall. I have started walking for the last six days for nearly 45 minutes a day. I want to weigh 80 kg. Please tell me how much time it will take and should I follow any specific diet plan?


I weigh 65 kg, and I want to lose 10 kg in two months. How many hours do I need to walk? How many km do I need to walk?


How far in miles is 2258 footsteps?


I weigh 93kg, and I wish to lose weight as soon as possible. I want to lose about 15kg. Please help. I have started walking.


Take 10,000 to 12,000 steps six days a week, be it running or walking. Don't worry about whether you have completed it in one hour or more. Just take this many steps and totally avoid oil.

Have 3 tbsp of oatmeal with a half cup of milk with sugar free gold as breakfast. Eat one apple at 1 p.m. Eat one bran roti with one vegetable prepared without oil add black pepper powder and one katori salad. As evening snacks, eat one kotori or boiled sprouts and two cups of green tea. Before 9 p.m. eat vegetable soup as dinner. You could lose 5 to 9 kilos within a month.


My weight is 82Kg and height is 176 cm. I want to lose 10 kg within one month. What should I do?


I started walking one month ago. I used to have my lunch at my desk but decided to take the lunch break away from office. I have walked an average of 6km for an hour each week day and have lost 4 kg!


You can easily reduce your weight by drinking green tea, two to three cups daily.


Poster #15 - you may not be trying to be negative but you surely didn't make any effort to be positive, either. Comments like yours from health coaches and doctors kept me stuck until finally, someone really listened to my history and diagnosed advanced cervical stenosis. Once the pressure was removed from my spinal cord and my legs would actually move when I wanted them to, I got healthy fast.

So to the poster who mentioned that they cannot walk for more than five minutes - see a doctor. If you have to, shop around until you get one that sees your value and understands the value of positive feedback.

Start small. Walk for five minutes every day and you may find that soon, you can walk six minutes. I started with 1/10 of a mile and built on that weekly. I can now walk five miles in 90 minutes - it took a year and a half to get here but I made it and will continue to walk three to four miles per day for as long as I can.

You can do it. Get the help you need to accomplish your goal, what ever it may be. And remember that you have value and are worthy of love and respect right now, no matter what shape you might be in.


Sorry but if you really can't walk for five minutes, *five,* a heart attack waiting to happen! Not trying to be negative because I couldn't run for five minutes probably, but it's not normal for someone to be unable to walk for that short space of time.


I want to lose weight! I weigh 296 lbs. I used to be a runner, and weighed 180lbs, but I got a hernia and have been sitting around for a long time. I walked 6 miles on this last Sunday, 4 miles on Monday, Tuesday I walked for over 4 miles, Wednesday i walked for over 5 miles, and I'm starting to get more energy.

I enjoy playing basketball again and haven't played it in two years! It's also a great way to lose weight with your walking, because you don't even realize you're burning calories or sweating playing basketball.


I want to reduce my weight in one month at least six to seven kgs. can anyone help me please?


i am 24 years old and a mother of 2. i weigh 85 kilos and look ugly (even though i am fair) just because i am too fat. can anyone help me in this? i am shy about going out in public places because I am overweight.


I was 94 Kg and have been walking about 4-6 km daily basis for about a year without compromising on diet. Rather i continued to further enrich my diet. Finally it took me about a year when i found surprisingly that my weight had reduced to 88 Kg.


Walking is a very good exercise to lose weight. It is easy to do and at the same time can be challenging as you add speed and incline to your workout. I have been exercising since june of this year (2010) and it is now September and I have lost 90 pounds.

Diet and exercise daily and you will lose the weight. Whatever you goal is you can reach it just don't give up. Commit yourself to your workout routine and stick to it. I pray about it to Jehovah and just ask him for the strength I need to continue my journey.

I wish you the best of luck! As for me, I have a lot of weight to lose to reach my goal and I'm putting my maximum effort forward in order to successfully reach it.


I'm aiming to lose around 7-10 pounds in two weeks, and I've starting power walking two to three miles a day on the treadmill, which takes around half an hour depending on the speed and I've cut out any type of sweets. is this a realistic goal? how much weight do you think i will lose at the end of the two weeks doing this regime? I'm not overweight so the pounds won't fly off. i just really need these few extra pounds off.


anon95044-You need something to boost off your diet.Try a juice fast. Like the 48 hollywood diet. Supposedly people I know have used it and they lose up to 10 pounds in 48 hours. Usually losing a couple pounds makes people want to lose more. I'm trying it tomorrow.


help please. i am 13 years of age and I weigh 10 stone and i want to get to at least 7 stone. All of my other friends are really skinny and i don't know what to do.

i always look at these websites then i say right, i am going to go on a diet but then i just give up.

how can i stick to a diet? please help.


my name is vicky and i'm 22. my height is 6 feet and my weight is 140 kg. Please tell me how i can reduce weight through walking and how much i should walk a day to lose 40 to 50kg in three or four months. help me out.


@Anon86519: That was me. I'm glad it helped. I'm a big believer in the concept that doing something is better than doing nothing. And I also believe that people unknowingly set themselves up for failure by setting unrealistic initial goals. It's all well and good to say, "I'm going to walk 30 minutes six days a week" but when you can hardly get around the block, you're immediately discouraged and stop doing it. But people do it all the time. They seem to think if they're not working toward this huge goal, then they're just not doing "it" right. But that is so untrue.

So I say, do what you can do. If you can make it to the mailbox and back, do that three times, then four, then five. Set yourself up to succeed. Set small achievable goals, and before you know it, you've come a really long way.

Walk your path. Don't worry about how far or how often anyone else is walking. Do what you can do as often as you can do it. As I said in my earlier post, if it takes you a year to get to your final goal time, that's O.K. Every time you put on those sneakers and walk through the door, you're doing something good for your body.

Stay with it and you'll reap a good harvest.


@ anon44834- Thanks for your comment. i needed it.


I think a reduction of 10 kgs is a big achievement. at most what i read is we can reduce up to 900 gms a week.


I lost 10 kgs in six weeks by walking one hour every day on the treadmill. I also cut out chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, sodas and all sugary foods. Tough, but worth it. Allowed myself one "cheat meal" every Saturday. Walking is an excellent way to loose that fatty fat fat.


The important thing, though is to actually start walking. If you can't walk more than five minutes at first, that's O.K. Walk that five minutes every day and gradually increase it to 10 minutes, then 15, then 20, then 30. If it takes you a year to do it, that's all right. You're doing something good for yourself. Set achievable goals and you will succeed.

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