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.
Registered Dietitian Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD agrees that walking is beneficial to overall health. “I recommend walking to all of my clients, whether they are trying to lose weight or increase overall fitness” she says. “Adults should engage in 30-minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise at least 5 times per week, and walking briskly counts towards this goal,” she adds.
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
One way to determine calories burned per mile when walking is by using your body weight. The Cornell University METs to Calories Calculator considers your body weight, activity level, and activity time. For example, a person who weighs 150 pounds walking at a slow pace (about 2 mph) will burn roughly 68 calories per mile.
Of course, there are different levels of intensity that can change this calculation. These variations are called METs or metabolic equivalents and are used to describe the intensity of various activities. For example, if an activity equates to 2 METs, this means that you would use 2 times the energy performing this exercise than you would when in a resting position. By increasing your intensity or MET, you will burn more calories.
Based On Speed
The American College of Sports Medicine developed a method that uses your speed to determine calories burned. By keeping track of how far you walk and the duration of your walk, you can find your miles per hour (mph).
To calculate miles per hour, 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 your MET and calories burned. There are also several online calculators that can help you determine the number of calories burned using your speed.
A moderate walking pace is between 2.5 to 3.5 miles per hour, so we’ve based the following calculations on the average pace of approximately 3 mph (3.5 METs).
Calories Burned Per Mile at a Pace of 2.5 to 3.5 mph (Flat Surface)
|Weight||Calories 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 (7 METs) will help you burn extra calories. This is considered a very brisk pace and it will feel slightly harder to talk while walking at this speed. At 4.5 mph, it will take you about 13.3 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.
|Weight||Calories 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 Harris-Benedict Equation 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.
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 following are the BMR equations for men and women:
- Men: BMR = (88.4 + 13.4 x body weight in kilograms) + (4.8 x height in centimeters) – (5.68 x age in years)
- Women: BMR = (447.6 x 9.25 x weight in kilograms) + (3.10 x height in centimeters) – (4.33 x age in years)
As we mentioned above, METs or metabolic equivalents relate to your energy expenditure when in a resting position. METs are used to describe the intensity of different forms of physical activity. The MET value of most walking workouts will range between 2.0 and 7.0. Below, you will find the most common METs for walking.
- Slow pace: 2.0 METs
- 2 mph–Moderate pace: 2.0 – 2.8 METs
- 3 mph–Brisk pace: 3.5 METs
- 3.5 mph: 4.3 METs
- 4.0 mph: 5 METs
- 4.5 mph—Very brisk pace: 7.0 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 3 mph: BMR (1,417) x (3.5)/24 x 1. This person will burn about 206 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your speed and body weight can determine how long and how far you need to walk to burn 500 calories. When using Cornell University’s METs to Calories Calculator, you can plug in your weight, activity level (MET), and the length of time you walked to determine your calories burned. Based on their calculations, a person who is 150 pounds walking at a moderate pace (about 3.5 METs), would need to walk for about 2 hours to burn 477 calories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.