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Walk on the Wild Side: Here’s How Long It Takes to Walk a Mile – Greatist

Posted: September 21, 2020 at 3:56 pm

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Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more

Its a no-brainer that walking can be great for your health, but will you need to spend hours strolling around to eke out those fitness perks? Knowing how long it takes to walk a mile can help you plan ahead.

Maybe youve decided running is a hard pass. Maybe you want to give speed walking competitions a try. Or, maybe you just want to walk a mile in someone elses shoes and youre wondering how long its going to take. (Your own shoes are fine, too.)

No matter what you have planned, heres everything you need to know to put one foot in front of the other.

It takes, on average, about 15 to 22 minutes to walk a mile according to a large, long-term study. How fast youll walk depends on a few things: age, gender, physical ability, terrain, and whether someones holding the door for you

According to a 2011 study, men walk a bit faster than women, and your speed often decreases with age. Here are the breakdowns:

How long it takes to walk a mile: Men

How long it takes to walk a mile: Women

The world record for the fastest mile ever walked is held by British Olympian Tom Bosworth at 5:31. Thats faster than most people can run that same distance so its probably too ambitious a goal for first-timers.

Interested to see how fast your body can take you? Theres plenty of tech that can help you out. From pedometers to smart watches and phone apps, its easy to see your speed in real time and track your progress.

Apps like MapMyRun, FitBit (no band required), and Endomodo do the job of measuring distance and pace more accurately and easily than ever. You can also invest in watches from brands like Garmin and Apple that do almost everything except rub your feet after a long walk.

A good old-fashioned stopwatch (or the digital stopwatch on your phone) also still serves the purpose. Keep in mind: One lap around a typical outdoor track is a quarter-mile and indoor tracks are typically one-tenth or one-twelfth of a mile.

Races arent just for runners. USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body for foot racing, recognizes a wide range of official race-walking distances including everything from your basic 5K (3.1 miles) to ultramarathons of 31 and 62 miles. But, you probably wont want to walk 500 miles

Average walking time per race distance

If walking 30 minutes per day, shooting for a 20 to 30 minute pace, is a good general goal if youre looking to reap the health benefits of walking. Just keep in mind: your biggest mile marker is your own progress.

Its helpful to have goals to inspire you and to hold yourself accountable to, but just getting out there (or onto a treadmill) is a win. Aiming to do better than you did yesterday is still a big step toward a healthier you.

Research has found that even a small increase in walking can have big impacts on your overall health.

Accelerating your walking speed can accelerate your health benefits. Studies have shown that increasing how fast you walk can decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease (and who doesnt want a happy heart?). A 2019 study found that faster walking speed is also associated with boosting brain health.

Regular walkers tend to live longer, have lower blood pressure, and be less prone to chronic disease. Sound good? Just dont overdo it. While walking daily can help prevent certain joint pain, if youre just starting out, walking too far too quickly could lead to an overuse injury.

Walking, especially speed walking, can be an effective way to manage your weight, but if youre struggling to walk fast for the whole mile, dont give up! Try alternating 30-second or 1-minute intervals of faster walking with 1 or 2 minutes at an easier pace. Thatll help you build endurance and provide some weight-management benefits of walking.

Theres nothing magical about the mile. In fact, one study on sitting, standing, and walking found that it was actually spending less time sitting down that had the biggest impact on weight loss.

If you have a 9-to-5 that has you stuck behind a desk all day, try spending some of your time standing or walking in place while you work. You could invest in a standing desk or try piling up some boxes under your laptop.

Speed walking can be a great, low impact, way to stay active whether or not you want to get involved in competition. You dont have to go all Hal from Malcolm in the Middle with a morph suit and aerodynamic helmet to get into it, either.

According to the USA Track & Field, in order to qualify as race walking you need to keep contact with the ground at all times and your front leg has to be straight from the time your front foot hits the ground until its under your body.

To begin training, you could start with a weekly goal of 10 or 15 minutes per day for 5 days and gradually increase time, distance, pace, and number of workouts as you gain strength and endurance. Before long, youll be walking at super speed for 30 minutes or more, no sweat.

It takes around 15 to 22 minutes to walk a mile. If youre looking to lower your blood pressure, lose weight, and live longer, walking is a great exercise whether youre a beginner or a seasoned speed walker.

Dont worry if you cant walk a mile at record speed, just remember: A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. And so does a 1-mile walk.

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Walk on the Wild Side: Here's How Long It Takes to Walk a Mile - Greatist

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