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Walking 10 Miles a Day: Debunking the Myths
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Walking 10 Miles a Day: Debunking the Myths

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on July 13, 2022
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9 min
walking 10 miles a day

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If you need to shed some extra pounds, walking can undoubtedly be an excellent addition to your routine. Walking is easy and one of the most underrated means of weight loss and exercise. It is free, has a low risk of injury, and virtually anyone can do it.

Walking also has excellent effects on your physical and mental health, but is walking 10 miles a day too much for you? Is it worth it, and how do you go about it? 

Is Walking 10 Miles a Day Good?

If you are in good health, the effects of covering 10 miles daily are generally positive. You will burn a considerable amount of calories, your leg and core muscles will get stronger, and your cardiovascular health will improve.

Walking 10 miles a day may sound pretty intimidating. It will get you tired at first, but the body gets used to it as you walk more. However, before setting out to cover such a distance, there are some factors you need to consider.

Covering such a distance daily can damage your feet if you are significantly overweight. If you have weakness in your ankles or knees from previous injuries or have an abnormal walking gait, that much walking can lead to further tissue damage or inflammation.

Will Walking 10 Miles a Day Help to Lose Weight?

Walking 10 miles a day is an excellent exercise to help you lose excess weight. Scientific research shows that one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories.

Assuming you burn 1000 calories from a 10-mile walk, you will lose slightly more than one pound a week if you walk on weekdays and exclude weekends. However, you need to check your calorie intake to avoid replacing the burned-off calories with food.

Over your weight loss journey, your body adapts hormonally, and you might notice that your weight loss curve is not continuous over time. Your best bet is to complement walking with dietary changes for successful weight loss.

If you don’t know where to start with your walking program, the Walking.Diet plan might be what’s right for you. This app offers a walking training plan with warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after your walking workouts.

The program’s structure makes it easy to start, even for overweight people who cannot handle other fitness exercises besides walking.

The app also has different meal plans with readily available ingredients. The meals are especially convenient as they take approximately 15–20 minutes to prepare.

After purchasing the Walking.Diet plan, you will have access to a wealth of information on food and nutrition articles, walking gear, and the health benefits of walking workouts. You will also gain access to a keto desserts cookbook, general health workouts, and private consultations with a nutritionist at an extra cost.

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How Long Does It Take to Walk 10 Miles?

Generally, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to walk 10 miles. 

Most people average a walking speed of 3 to 4 miles an hour. Walking faster than this rate is essentially running or jogging. Other factors such as age, overall health, and fitness level also affect a person’s walking speed. 

Some factors such as the trail or uphill walking also affect the time to complete a 10-mile distance. The stride length is also significantly reduced for shorter people meaning they take a longer time to cover a 10-mile stretch.

A brisk pace is the best if you want to shed pounds faster. However, at first, you don’t have to think about it, just walk and enjoy the moment.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 10 Miles?

You can expect to burn 700 to 1,200 calories after walking 10 miles, but this number depends on several factors. The main factor affecting calories burned from walking is your body weight.

A 155-pound person walking at 4mph burns 351 calories per hour, and a 185-pound person would burn 419 calories an hour walking at the same pace. In 10 miles, the 155-pound person would burn 878 calories, and the 185-pound person would burn 1.048 calories.

Pace does not affect noticeably the calories burned from walking, but it will shorten your walking time.

Benefits of Walking 10 Miles a Day

Besides the simplicity of walking, it has numerous other benefits that positively impact your mental and physical health. It helps with weight management and increases muscle endurance. Below are some of the benefits of walking 10 miles a day.

#1 Weight loss

Walking increases the number of calories your body burns in a day. The more you burn calories, the more you lose weight. The amount of weight you lose from walking depends on your weight, walking speed, and underlying medical conditions.

Research suggests moderate-weight women lost at least 10% of their body weight after taking a brisk walk daily for six months.

Though walking helps you lose weight, it is more effective if combined with a low-calorie diet. As people lower their calorie intake and try to lose weight, they also lose some muscle together with body fat. If you want to learn how to lose fat without losing muscles click here.

Losing muscle can be counter-productive as they are more metabolically active than fats. Walking helps you preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss, thus making it easier to maintain positive results.

Regular physical activity also helps reduce age-related muscle loss, thus helping you retain most of your muscle strength functions over the years. Walking 10 miles a day strengthens calf muscles, hip muscles, and hamstrings.

Storing visceral fat around the midsection is also linked to increased diabetes and heart disease risk. Among the most effective ways of reducing belly fat is taking part in aerobic exercises.

#2 Better mental health

A good walk does wonders for your mental well-being. It improves your mood, sleep quality, and self-perception and lowers anxiety and fatigue levels.

Walking and being in nature also has psychological benefits, as it allows you to get out of the same place, decompress, and refocus. 

Walking through greenery or taking a stroll through greenery is also known to lower anxiety and depression. This can be helpful in seasonal depression spikes from cold winter months.

Studies also show that engaging in activities that allow your mind to wander boosts your creativity levels. It also improves memory and prevents the deterioration of brain tissue as a person ages.

#3 Helps lower blood pressure and blood sugar

Walking a couple of miles a day can drastically help lower your blood glucose levels. As you walk, the muscles use up glucose. Since the body uses more glucose than it usually would, it lowers blood sugar levels, improving insulin sensitivity.

The body’s muscle mass is essential during blood sugar management. The lower the muscle mass, the lower the body’s capacity to absorb glucose from the bloodstream. However, the more muscle we maintain, the more insulin receptors we have and the better blood sugar management.

Abdominal fat is a crucial player in developing insulin resistance, but walking reduces abdominal fat and helps in weight loss, which leads to better blood sugar management.

Walking 10 miles a day is also a drug-free approach to regulating blood pressure levels. Studies show patients with hypertension lowered their blood pressure by walking a minimum of 15 minutes a day for six months.

#4 Improves heart health

During a walking workout, muscles have an increased demand for oxygen and nutrients, which causes the heart to work harder and become more efficient at pumping blood.

Improved heart health also puts less force on your arteries, which plays a preventive function of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

How to Walk 10 Miles per Day?

The average person can walk 10 miles a day, as long as they start with a suitable distance and slowly increase it as their body adjusts.

You can adopt a few tips to help you stay consistent and free from injury during your daily walking program.

First, you need to wear comfortable and supportive walking shoes. If you plan to comfortably walk 10 miles daily, getting suitable walking shoes is a must.

Covering such a distance daily puts repetitive strain on the ankles, knees, feet, and hips. A good pair of walking shoes will allow you to cover longer distances with lesser strain and injury to your body.

It would also be best for you to walk on soft surfaces, especially during the early stages of your walking program. Hard surfaces such as concrete have a higher impact on your feet than grass, dirt trails, or rubberized track surfaces.

You can also try out bath therapy, where you immerse your whole body in a hot tub to help you warm up before workouts. It increases blood flow to your muscles and improves conduction to your nervous system.

Another tip is locating scenic and pleasant routes for walking. Walking in serene outdoor environments gives you great views and bouts of fresh air, making your walking more enjoyable.

You will manage to explore new parks, learn about your local area, socialize with a walking partner, and establish new walking routes that keep you engaged throughout your walking workouts.

If you are on a tight schedule, you can also break up your walks and add up the distances to cover 10 miles in a day. Experts in sports medicine suggest that intermittent walking (dividing long walks into numerous short walks) is as effective as continuous walking.

Drawbacks of Walking 10 Miles a Day

Walking 10 miles a day has a lot of perks, but there are a few drawbacks you need to be aware of before fully committing to this program.

#1 It takes a lot of time

Walking 10 miles a day is a lofty goal because of the time it takes. The typical walking speed is 3 to 4mph meaning it takes 2 to 3 hours to cover that distance, and a person walking faster than this rate is essentially jogging.

Finding 3 hours to walk daily might be unrealistic for busy people, but you can enjoy it by listening to music, podcasts, or enjoying scenery outdoors if you have the time.

If you want to cut down the time you can try to walk 5 miles or 12,000 steps per day for weight loss

#2 It is not intense exercise

Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise to improve aerobic fitness and strength. You might want to engage in moderate-intensity activities such as swimming, cycling, or running.

One particular concern of walking is it does not have adequate intensity, as it is a low-intensity exercise, and a sidewalk stroll will not cut it. You will notice significant gains in aerobic fitness when you start walking, but the body plateaus with time.

To improve exercise efficiency and intensity, you might want to consider running or adding weights to your walks, such as ankle weights that make it harder for you to walk.

#3 Doesn’t provide the benefits of weight training

Walking is suitable for weight loss but does not provide the benefits you receive from weight training. Comprehensive fitness training needs weight or strength training to improve bone density and muscle mass.

Bone and muscle loss is a big concern, especially for older adults. Though walking is better for health compared to no physical exercise, it does not meet the threshold necessary for strengthening bones and building muscle mass.

You also need to incorporate coordination and balance training in your fitness routine to reduce the risk of falling while walking. 

A Word From Our Coach

Walking is a good physical activity for people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking 10 miles a day has a lot of health benefits, but it is best to adjust your daily walking distance depending on your fitness goals.

It would help if you took additional health measures like combining your walking routine with a low-carb diet for the best results. It is best to warm up and cool down before any workout to avoid injury. You should also wear comfortable shoes to reduce the risk of injury.

Ensure you speak to your fitness trainer and a licensed healthcare professional before starting any fitness routine or weight loss programs.

Conclusion

Walking costs nothing and is an easily accessible and effective way to exercise. There are numerous physical and mental health benefits of walking.

Covering a 10-mile distance on foot daily can also significantly improve your psychological health and mental well-being. However, it is also essential to factor in the time necessary, the risk of injury, and the potential boredom of the routine.

You, therefore, need to be adequately prepared before making a long-term commitment to walk 10 miles a day. Wear the proper gear and find scenic routes for walking to minimize your risk of injury and increase consistency in your walking workouts.

Don’t push yourself too hard, and remember to take some days off to rest. Whether you want to add to your exercise routine or lose weight, walking can be a great way to improve your overall quality of life.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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