How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking Per Mile or Kilometer?

Walking is a low impact exercise that allows people of all ages to maintain a healthy weight. This exercise is easy on the joints, helps lower stress, improves heart health, and reduces symptoms of arthritis. Plus, it is inexpensive, convenient, and makes a great entry-level exercise.

If weight loss is your goal, it can be helpful to know how many calories you will burn per mile. The answer to this question will vary depending on several factors, including terrain, body weight, and speed. To help you make the most out of your walking routine, we explain how to determine the number of calories you will burn per mile or kilometer.

Calories Burned Per Mile

Based On Weight

An excellent way to estimate the calories burned per mile when walking is by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.53. For example, a 120-pound person (120 x 0.53), you will burn roughly 64 calories per mile walked. If you prefer the metric system, you would multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.17. For example, 54 kg (120 pounds) x 1.17, would equal 64 calories per mile.

The equation above is a quick way to estimate calories burned. However, you may burn calories faster or slower depending on your speed.

Based On Speed

A more accurate way to determine calories burned is by keeping track of how far you walk and the duration of your walk. These two numbers can help determine your speed or miles per hour (mph). To calculate miles per hour, you can divide your distance by the time you walked. For example, if you walked 3 miles in a 2 hour period, you would divide 3 by 2, which gives you a rate of 1.5 miles per hour.

Once you know your walking speed, it will be easier to determine the calories burned per mile based on your body weight. There are also several online calculators that can help you determine the number of calories burned using your speed.

Walking at a pace of 2.5 to 3.5 miles per hour means it took you roughly 17 to 24 minutes per hour or 10 to 14 minutes per kilometer. This is considered a moderate pace. However, this speed is fast enough to increase the heart rate and help you lose weight.

The following chart shows roughly the amount of calories you will burn per mile at this pace. These calculations are based on weight and pace.

Calories Burned Per Mile at a Pace of 2.5 to 3.5 mph (Flat Surface)

WeightCalories Burned Per Mile
100 lbs.53 calories
120 lbs.64 calories
140 lbs.74 calories
160 lbs.85 calories
180 lbs.96 calories
200 lbs.106 calories
220 lbs.117 calories
250 lbs.133 calories
275 lbs.146 calories
300 lbs.160 calories

Calories Burned Per Mile at a Pace of 4.5 mph

Increasing your speed to 4.5 mph will help you burn extra calories. This is considered a brisk pace and it will feel slightly harder to talk while walking at this speed. At 4.5 mph, it will take you about 13.5 minutes to complete 1 mile and 8 minutes to complete 1 kilometer.

The following chart shows the number of calories you can expect to burn at this pace.

WeightCalories Burned Per Mile
100 lbs.64 calories
120 lbs.76 calories
140 lbs.89 calories
160 lbs.102 calories
180 lbs.115 calories
200 lbs.127 calories
220 lbs.140 calories
250 lbs.159 calories
275 lbs.175 calories
300 lbs.191 calories

The numbers above are based on walking on flat terrain. Increasing the incline of your walk will significantly raise the number of calories you burn per mile. In some cases, you can burn 35 to 40 calories more per mile by walking uphill.

Converting Miles to Kilometers

If you prefer to use kilometers to measure your distance, you can convert miles to kilometers with the following formulas.

  • 1 mile equals 1.6 kilometers: Multiply the number of miles walked by 1.6 to determine kilometers walked. For example, if you walk 3 miles, multiply 3 by 1.6, which equals 4.8 kilometers.
  • 1 kilometer equals 0.62 miles: Multiply the number of kilometers walked by 0.62 to determine the number of miles walked. For example, 3 kilometers walked multiplied by 0.62 equals 1.86 miles.

Calculating Calories Burned Per Mile

If you prefer to know the exact science behind calorie burn, the following formula takes into account several factors that affect the number of calories burned per mile. This calculation involves your basal metabolic rate (BMR), metabolic equivalents (METs), and the amount of time you spent walking. This is the equation used by most online calculators and fitness trackers.

BMR x METs/24 x hour

To help you make sense of the formula, we break down each component below.

BMR

Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body needs to carry out basic functions, such as breathing, digestion, circulation, and metabolism. This number is calculated by using your age, sex, height, and weight. The most common way to calculate your BMR is with the Harris-Benedict Equation.

The following are the BMR equations for men and women:

  • Men: BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x body weight in kilograms) + (4.799 x height in centimeters) – (5.677 x age in years)
  • Women: BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kilograms) + (3.098 x height in centimeters) – (4.330 x age in years)

METs

Metabolic equivalent relates to your energy expenditure when in a resting position. METs are used to describe the intensity of different forms of physical activity. For example, if an activity equates to 4 METs, this means that you would use 4 times the energy performing this exercise than you would when in a resting position. The MET value of most walking workouts will range between 2.5 and 5.0. Below, you will find the most common METs for walking.

  • Slow pace: 2.0 METs
  • 2 mph – moderate pace: 2.5 METs
  • 3 mph – brisk pace: 3.5 METs
  • 3.5 mph: 4.0 METs
  • 4.0 mph: 4.5 METs
  • 4.5 mph: 5.0 MEts

Once you have multiplied your BMR and the MET for your workout, you are ready to complete the equation.

Here is an example using a 30-year-old woman who weighs 140 pounds, is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and walks for 60 minutes at a pace of 30 mph: BMR (1,356) x METs (3.5)/24 x 1. This person will burn about 200 calories for this activity.

If this seems like a lot of math for you, don’t worry. There are several online calculators that can determine the rate of calorie burn for you. Or, you can use your weight in pounds multiplied by 0.53 to get a rough estimate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to walk to burn 500 calories?

Your speed and body weight will determine long and how far you need to walk to burn 500 calories. When walking at a moderate pace (between 2.5 and 3.5 mph), you can use your body weight in pounds multiplied by 0.53.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (150 x 0.53), you will burn roughly 80 calories per mile. Therefore, you will need to walk 6.25 miles to burn 500 calories.

Does walking build muscle?

Brisk walking for 30 to 45 minutes a day can help tone your leg muscles, such as the thighs, calves, and glutes. Walking is a great form of exercise for burning stored fat and improving cardiovascular health.

Is it better to walk faster or longer to lose weight?

The answer to this question depends on your fitness goals. If you want to burn more calories, you may prefer to walk faster—increasing the intensity of your exercise will naturally help you burn more calories in a shorter period of time. However, if your goal is to improve your heart health and muscle tone, you may want to focus on distance.

There is no one correct way to measure your walk. You will receive the health benefits of walking whether you set out to achieve a certain distance or time. Ultimately, you should do what feels right for you.

How many calories should I eat a day by age?

Just like calorie burn, your suggested calorie intake will be determined by your age, body weight, and current physical activity. However, your BMR (basal metabolic rate) also determines how many calories you should be eating per day to achieve your weight loss goals.

You can use the BMR equation listed above or use one of the many BMR calculators found online. However, before starting on a calorie-restricted diet, it is important to first discuss your goals with your doctor.

Is walking 60 minutes a day good?

Walking at a moderate to a brisk pace for 45 to 60 minutes a day is great for your overall physical and mental health. Studies show that maintaining a regular walking routine can improve blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, and body fat. Walking outdoors can also increase these benefits.

Did We Help?

Whether you work out regularly or are just getting started on a fitness routine, walking is a great way to maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. As we age, certain forms of exercise may be hard on the joints, but walking at a moderate to brisk pace is a healthy activity for all ages.

One final tip is to make sure you bring a water bottle with you on your walk. Drinking water can help you stay hydrated for a fulfilling workout. Our article on how much water you should drink in a day can help you learn more.

You might also want to try a cup of coffee before you take a morning walk. Studies suggest that coffee before a workout can strengthen your endurance.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

James Nguyen, Sleep Expert James Nguyen

James Nguyen is Zoma's resident sleep expert and staff writer. James enjoys learning about the newest technologies in the mattress industry and doing deep dives into the science of sleep. He's tried nearly every gadget and gizmo in an effort to determine which sleep-promoting accessories can truly enhance your shut-eye. Outside of work, James takes his dedication to get healthy sleep seriously, and has even declared himself an "expert napper."

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