Walking is one of the simplest yet most effective forms of exercise. It requires no equipment, can be done anywhere and has numerous health benefits. One major benefit of walking is that it burns a significant number of calories, helping you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. So exactly how many calories does a 6 mile walk burn? Read on to find out.
How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?
The number of calories burned while walking depends on a variety of factors including:
A heavier person will burn more calories walking than a lighter person, because it takes more energy to move more weight. According to Harvard Health, a 155 lb person walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes would burn around 167 calories.
Walking at a brisk pace burns more calories than a leisurely stroll. The intensity of your walk is usually categorized as casual, moderate or brisk. Brisk walking can burn up to 295 calories in 30 minutes for a 155 lb person.
Walking on a hilly terrain or up stairs requires more effort and burns more calories. Walking on level ground at an average pace burns around 200 calories per hour in a 155 lb person.
More efficient walkers may burn 5-10% lesser calories than less efficient walkers at the same pace. Improving walking posture and technique can help burn more calories.
So while individual calorie burn differs based on these factors, on average, a person burns about 100 calories per mile while walking at a moderate pace.
With this estimate, walking 6 miles would burn about 600 calories. However, calorie burn calculators factor in your weight, pace, terrain and efficiency to give a more customized estimate.
Calculating Calories Burnt By Walking 6 Miles
There are several online calorie burn calculators and fitness apps you can use to estimate your specific calorie expenditure for walking 6 miles.
Some popular calorie burn calculators include:
- CalorieLab: Allows input of weight, walking duration and intensity to calculate total calories burned.
- VeryWell Fit: Factors in weight, pace and total duration of walk to estimate calorie burn.
- MyNetDiary: Considers age, gender, height, weight and walking speed to provide custom calorie burn data.
I inputted sample data into several of these calculators to illustrate the approximate range of calories a 130 lb, 155 lb and 180 lb person would burn by walking 6 miles at a moderate 3.5 mph pace:
For a 130 lb Person:
- CalorieLab: 722 calories
- VeryWell Fit: 637 calories
- MyNetDiary: 594 calories
Average: 651 calories
For a 155 lb Person:
- CalorieLab: 812 calories
- VeryWell Fit: 736 calories
- MyNetDiary: 684 calories
Average: 744 calories
For a 180 lb Person:
- CalorieLab: 902 calories
- VeryWell Fit: 835 calories
- MyNetDiary: 773 calories
Average: 837 calories
As shown, a lighter 130 lb person would burn about 650 calories walking 6 miles, while a heavier 180 lb person would burn over 800. The pace and terrain also impact these numbers.
Health Benefits of Walking 6 Miles
Walking just 1-3 miles per day has great health benefits and can extend lifespan. Regularly walking longer distances like 6 miles provides even more advantages:
1. Weight Loss
As the estimates above indicate, walking 6 miles burns significant calories, typically over 600 in most people. This creates an average daily calorie deficit that can lead to steady weight and fat loss over time.
2. Reduced Disease Risk
Studies show people who walk 7-8 miles per week have a 20% lower risk of stroke and heart disease compared to less active peers. Walking 6 miles a day would exceed this threshold.
3. Increased Lifespan
In a 2021 study, adults over 60 years old who walked 6-9 miles per week reduced their risk of death from all causes by 12%, compared to those walking less than 6 miles per week.
4. Better Cardiovascular Health
The heart is a muscle that grows stronger with regular exercise. Walking long distances improves heart efficiency, lowers blood pressure, boosts good HDL cholesterol and enhances blood flow.
5. Reduced Blood Sugar Levels
Studies illustrate walking 6 miles or 10,000 steps a day can lower blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes, helping prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.
6. Improved Physical Function
Walking long distances each day keeps muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments flexible and strong, maintaining the ability to perform daily activities with ease. This also prevents injury.
7. Elevated Mood
Walking releases feel good hormones called endorphins, reduces stress hormone (cortisol) and boosts nerve connections in areas that regulate mood. This helps improve and stabilize mood.
Tips for Walking 6 Miles Per Day
Interested in starting a daily 6 mile walking routine? Here are some tips:
1. Get Good Shoes
Invest in supportive, cushioned walking shoes to enhance comfort on long walks and prevent injury. Replace shoes every 300-500 miles.
2. Listen to Music/Podcasts
Making walks entertaining goes a long way towards consistency. Listen to upbeat music or engrossing podcasts to distract the mind.
3. Walk With a Friend
Having a walking buddy provides safety, accountability and fun on long walks. Social connection also amplifies benefits.
4. Break it Up
If your schedule makes one long 6 mile walk difficult, break it up into multiple shorter walks adding up to 6+ miles.
5. Track Your Progress
Apps like MapMyWalk and fitness trackers calculate distance, speed, calories burned and provide encouragement as you hit new milestones.
6. Add Weight
To burn more calories, walk with wrist or ankle weights adding 1-5 lbs resistance. Ensure proper form to avoid strain.
7. Mix Up the Terrain
Walk on hilly trails through parks and woods or use a treadmill incline to challenge muscles in new ways.
8. Stay Hydrated
Carry water and take occasional sips to replace fluids lost through sweat during long walks, especially in heat.
Risks of Walking Long Distances
While low impact, walking very long distances like 6+ miles daily does carry some risks including:
Repetitive stress to muscles, joints and bones can cause painful injuries like stress fractures, plantar fasciitis or shin splints.
Sweating for over an hour without fluid intake can deplete sodium, potassium and fluids key to muscle and nerve function.
Low Blood Sugar
Walking long distances burns through blood glucose needed for energy, potentially causing hypoglycemia symptoms like dizziness. Eatingcarbssmartly minimizes this.
Insufficient rest between long walks prevents recovery and muscle rebuilding leading to decreased performance and fatigue.
However, these risks are avoidable with appropriate preparation, pacing, rest periods, hydration and nutrition. Starting slow and building weekly mileage gradually also prevents overexertion while adjusting to the 6 mile goal.
Walking 6 miles per day provides enormous health and longevity benefits, while burningover 600 calories on average. Tracking walking distance with fitness apps and taking precautions like wearing proper shoes, staying hydrated and pacing mileage buildup can allow most people to safely meet a 6 mile walking target. This simple, accessible exercise habit fuels weight loss, disease prevention, elevated mood and more.
So start step by step working your way up to 6 miles at a brisk pace that gets your heart pumping. Protect rest days for muscles to rebuild and renew energy. With consistency, you’ll reap the extensive benefits of walks half the length of a mini marathon every day!
Walking 6 miles burns an average of 600-800 calories, depending on your weight, walking pace, terrain and efficiency. Heavier people burn more calories.
Walking 6 miles at a moderate 3-4 mph pace takes about 1.5-2 hours. At a brisk 4 mph pace it takes about 1.5 hours.
Benefits include weight loss, reduced disease risk, increased lifespan, better cardiovascular health, lower blood sugar, improved physical function and elevated mood.
Get good shoes, listen to music/podcasts, walk with a friend, break it up into multiple shorter walks, use a tracking app, add wrist/ankle weights, mix up terrain and stay hydrated.
Risks are overuse injuries, dehydration, low blood sugar and overtraining. Go slowly, rest between walks, eat carbs, drink fluids and don’t overload mileage too soon.
About 100 calories per mile depending on weight, intensity and terrain. So 6 miles = 600 calories. Heavier people burn more.