Walking Strategies for Overall Health

Walking is a form of cardio or aerobic exercise. It’s an effective and low-impact exercise for overall health and weight management. The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, and walking satisfies that recommendation.

Walking is a convenient form of exercise because it can be done almost anywhere and nearly everyone can do it. All you need to get started is a good pair of shoes. Get tips on shoes, apps, and more to hit your stride on the trail or treadmill.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to walk a mile?

    The time it takes to walk a mile depends on your pace. For most people, you can expect to walk a mile in about 15 to 20 minutes. With practice, you can improve your speed when walking a mile.

  • How many calories do you burn walking a mile?

    The amount of calories you burn doing any physical activity depends on several factors, such as age, sex, weight, and distance. For example, someone who weighs 165 pounds can burn about 85 calories from walking one mile at a 3 to 4 mile per hour pace. A 120-pound person burns approximately 64 calories walking the same distance at the same pace.

  • Is walking good for weight management?

    Aerobic exercise like walking is good for weight loss and weight management because it burns calories and can help reduce body fat. No matter what type of exercise you're doing, combining it with a nutritious, balanced diet will provide the best results for weight management.

  • How many miles or steps should you walk per day?

    If you’re going to start incorporating regular walks into your weekly routine, try to meet the recommended 150 minutes per week. This is about 30 minutes of walking per day. However, you’re likely to get more steps by also being active throughout the day. A higher step count is associated with lower mortality, so aim for 8,000 to 12,000 steps per day.

Key Terms

Page Sources
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  1. Piercy KL, Troiano RP, Ballard RM, et al. The physical activity guidelines for Americans. JAMA. 2018;320(19):2020-2028. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14854

  2. Kleist B, Wahrburg U, Stehle P, et al. Moderate walking enhances the effects of an energy-restricted diet on fat mass loss and serum insulin in overweight and obese adults in a 12-week randomized controlled trialJ Nutr. 2017;147(10):1875-1884. doi:10.3945/jn.117.251744

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Higher daily step count linked with lower all-cause mortality.