RubmdFitnessHow Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles?

How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles?

Walking is one of the most accessible and beneficial forms of exercise. It requires no equipment, can be done almost anywhere, and has numerous health advantages. One popular walking goal is to walk 5 miles. But how long does it actually take to complete this distance on foot? This article provides a detailed breakdown.

Factors That Impact Walking Pace and Time

When determining how long it will take to walk 5 miles, there are several key factors to consider:

Fitness Level

A person’s overall fitness and conditioning level can greatly impact walking pace and endurance. Highly active individuals who run or workout regularly will likely walk faster and find 5 continuous miles less challenging than inactive people.

Body Composition and Weight

Body weight and body fat percentage can affect time and effort needed to walk 5 miles. Those carrying excess weight, especially in the midsection, often have to work harder and may tire more quickly from the same distance.

Terrain and Surface

The type of terrain and surface being walked on makes a big difference. Walking on a flat, paved surface like a running track will generally allow for a faster pace than hiking through grassy or uneven natural terrain. Hills and inclines can also significantly slow pace.

Weather Conditions

Environmental conditions are also a factor. Walking in cooler temperatures is typically easier than walking 5 miles in heat, humidity, rain, or strong winds. This can impact both time and perceived exertion.

Age and Gender

Age and gender can influence walking speed over long distances. Younger individuals in their physical prime will usually walk faster than older people. And adult men generally walk faster than women due to differences in height, stride length, etc.

Packing Additional Weight

Wearing a backpack or weights adds intensity which can substantially slow pace and increase the length needed to walk 5 miles. Even small extra weights have an impact over long distances.

Average Time to Walk 5 Miles by Age and Gender

Below are general guidelines for how long it takes people of different ages and genders to walk 5 miles non-stop on flat, paved surfaces under normal conditions:

20-40 Years Old:

  • Men: 60-75 minutes
  • Women: 70-90 minutes

40-60 Years Old:

  • Men: 70-95 minutes
  • Women: 80-105 minutes

60+ Years Old:

  • Men 85-115 minutes
  • Women 95-120 minutes

These times demonstrate how fitness level typically declines gradually with age, resulting in slower average walking paces over long distances. They also show gender differences, with men generally walking faster than women particularly over age 40.

It’s important to note that these are just general ballpark estimates. Individuals could walk 5 miles significantly faster or slower based on all the factors covered previously in this article. Elite athletes in peak condition may be able to walk this distance in under an hour, while elderly or sedentary people may require over 2 hours to complete a 5-mile walk.

Tips for Walking 5 Miles Faster

Here are some helpful tips if your goal is to walk 5 miles faster to improve your time:

  • Stay Properly Hydrated – Dehydration can substantially slow pace and endurance
  • Power Walk – Using an energetic arm swing and exaggerated stride can help increase speed
  • Listen to Upbeat Music – Fast rhythm and tempo can boost walking pace
  • Find a Walking Partner – Having company can make the miles go by more quickly
  • Use Interval Training – Alternating faster-paced segments with recovery intervals allows you to walk faster overall
  • Focus on Good Walking Posture – Standing tall with engaged core muscles enables longer, more efficient stride
  • Track Your Progress – Seeing your times drop with consistency is tremendous motivation

The Benefits of Walking 5 Miles

While walking any amount has health perks, regularly walking 5 miles provides even more advantages:

  • Burns up to 500 calories – Excellent for supporting weight loss and maintenance goals
  • Strengthens bones and muscles – Helps prevent osteoporosis and age-related muscle loss
  • Boosts mood – Releases feel-good endorphins and reduces stress hormone levels
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness – Improves heart health and lowers blood pressure
  • Greater energy levels – Oxygenates blood increasing energy for both physical and mental tasks
  • Supports brain health and cognition – Enhances learning, focus, memory retention and helps delay dementia

Walking just 5 miles several times per week delivers outstanding whole-body health rewards with little risk and no financial cost. Nearly everyone can do it with practice and dedication regardless of current fitness level. And putting in the effort often results in noticeable improvements in pace and endurance over time.

FAQs

How long does it take the average person to walk 5 miles?

For most moderately active adults, it takes between 60-90 minutes to walk 5 miles on flat, even surfaces without stopping. Fitter individuals can complete it in under an hour, while older or sedentary people may need 2 hours or more.

How fast do you need to walk to complete 5 miles in one hour?

You’d need to walk at a pace of at least 4 miles per hour or faster to complete a 5-mile walk in 60 minutes or less. That equates to about 15-16 minutes per mile.

Does terrain impact how long it takes to walk 5 miles?

Yes, terrain can have a significant impact. Walking over hilly trails or uneven natural terrain makes for slower going than walking on flat paved surfaces. Incline and declines also affect pace.

Do weather conditions influence time to walk 5 miles?

Absolutely. Extreme cold, heat, humidity, rain, and wind forces the body to work harder resulting in decreased stamina and slower mile pace compared to ideal comfortable conditions.

What is a good 5 mile walking time for beginners?

For those new to walking long distances, a reasonable goal is finishing 5 miles in 105-120 minutes. As fitness improves through regular walking, they can gradually reduce their time down towards 60 minutes over weeks and months.

Should I walk 5 miles every day?

Walking 5 miles daily may be excessive for some people, particularly beginners. 3-4 times per week is sufficient for most healthy adults to reap the benefits without overdoing it. Listening to your body’s signals is key.

How many calories does a 5 mile walk burn?

A 155 pound person walking at a moderate 15 minute/mile pace can burn almost 500 calories on a 5 mile walk. Faster paces burn even more calories per hour.

Conclusion

Walking 5 continuous miles is an exceptional though reasonably achievable fitness goal that provides tremendous physical and mental benefits. While a multitude of factors from age to terrain can impact how long it takes to complete this distance, most moderately active adults can build up to finishing 5 miles in 60-90 minutes with training. Dedication and smart preparation also allows individuals to improve their times dramatically. Setting goals around distance walked, duration, or pace can help keep motivation high. In the end, regularly undertaking 5-mile walks will greatly boost physical health, mental outlook, and quality of life.

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Dr. Preeti (Fitness Geek)
Dr. Preeti (Fitness Geek)
M.Sc. - Home Science (Food & Nutrition), Therapist, Dietitian and Weight Management consultant, actively practicing for 17 years.

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