If there’s one universally loved mode of exercise, it has to be walking. You can walk just about anywhere, at any pace, by yourself, and with others, and depending on how you do it, it’s a great way to lose weight and gain fitness.
How much does it take to walk 3 miles? The average person can walk three miles or 4.8 kilometres in around an hour, with some variations depending on the individual. This would be walked at a leisurely pace so that your heart rate has risen but you’re still able to hold a conversation while walking.
Walking three miles a day is a great way to live a healthier life and build up your basic fitness levels, but there’s a lot more to learn about walking than you realise. This guide can teach you everything you need to know about average speeds, doing it for your health, and how to make the most out of your daily walk.
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The Average Human Walking Speed
An easy way to determine how fit and healthy someone is, is by looking at their walking speed. Although this can’t be used as a definitive test, walking speed can indicate how physically fit someone is, as well as other factors like terrain, muscle strength, physical ailments or disabilities, age, sex, and height.
The average speed that a human walks is three to four miles, or roughly four to six kms, per hour. Although this is considered the average speed, there are many factors that need to be considered to determine the right pace for someone to walk at.
Your age is the biggest determinant of how fast you’ll walk, and studies have shown that this speed drops significantly the older you get. Every year of your life, you’ll decrease the speed, and by the time you’re 60 years old, you’ll be walking at 1.2 minutes slower every kilometre you walk compared to when you were 20.
Another major factor is sex, with men reportedly walking faster than women, even if it is fairly consistent while they’re young adults. Once men and women reach 60, their speeds are significantly different, which is why it’s important to keep up regular physical activity no matter your age or gender.
What is a Brisk Pace?
The term ‘brisk pace’ is often used when describing walking as it’s the optimal speed at which you want to travel in order to get health benefits. Although there’s a lot of conclusion about what speed it actually is, experts can agree that brisk pace usually means someone who can talk in short sentences but not sing, as they walk, and takes around 100 steps a minute.
It’s important to aim for a brisk pace when you’re walking to get your heart rate to the recommended level, which then leads to other health benefits. You’ll burn calories faster, improve heart health, and be able to travel a further distance in a shorter amount of time when you’re traveling at a brisk pace.
Someone walking three miles at a brisk pace should reach their destination in around 45 minutes, compared to a leisurely pace which would take another 15 minutes at least. However, it takes time to build up to this level of stamina and fitness, so doing a little bit better each week is all you need to commit to.
How Much Walking Is Healthy?
We all know that we’re meant to aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but how much is too much? When it comes to walking, some people perform marathon level distances each day, which could be doing damage to their joints.
The best amount of time to walk is between 30 minutes and two hours, but it also depends on the individual and their physical abilities. Some people might find it hard to do more than half an hour and others will feel as though two hours isn’t anywhere near enough.
If you do prefer to walk for longer each day, you might find some benefits in breaking it up into smaller walks. This same approach can work for people who are building their fitness back up and can only commit to three x 10 minute walks a day as opposed to doing a consistent 30 minute workout.
Tips to Maximise a Walking Session
Walking has remained one of the most popular and effective ways to stay fit, even with all of the modern workout machines and fitness classes now on offer. If you want to make the most of your next walk, here are some tips that will let you do just that.
- Try interval training
Interval training can be used with any type of exercise, as long as you’re able to change your intensity as you go. With walking, interval training can ensure you burn maximum calories and get an effective cardio workout, without having to train any longer. To test it out, start with two minutes of walking and 30 seconds of running, then switch between the two modes of intensity during your 30 minute routine.
- Change your path
Walking isn’t the most thrilling exercise and it’s easy enough to get bored when we follow the same route every day. To ensure you stay motivated and enjoy the scenery as you walk, try mixing up where you go and picking somewhere new every week. You can even drive your car to a close-by suburb to really experience a different atmosphere.
- Take a friend along
Walking is one of the best exercises to do with someone else, or even a group of people. You can walk with your baby in a pram, meet your best friend on the trail, take your dog along, or even join a shopping mall walking program with others who want to work out in the air conditioning. Having someone there is great for conversation and will keep you accountable.
- Use a treadmill
If you prefer to work out at odd hours or the weather is too harsh to venture outside into, a treadmill could be a good solution for you. There are lots of benefits to using a treadmill to walk on like being able to watch TV while you do, staying comfortable indoors, and exercising at any time of the day that you see fit. The modern treadmill of today has come a long way as well, and they’re more interactive and fun than ever.
- Walk with an app
There are loads of apps available that make walking more enjoyable, with everything from podcasts to running coaches to enjoy. Today’s smartphones add a new level of interaction and digitisation to your workouts that make you accountable, show you personal data, and distract you from the exercise session at hand.
Walking Your Way to Health
Whether you want to take half an hour to walk three miles or do it more leisurely in an hour, there are health benefits galore. Walking is a simple, free, and effective cardio workout that can be done just about anywhere, so consider adding it to your daily routine to see the results.
Walking is the most common form of cardio exercise that anyone can take part in regardless of your physical condition, and it offers loads of benefits to both body and mind. If you’re interested to find out more about walking and how it can affect your health, read on for some commonly asked questions and answers.
How Long Should I Walk For Each Day?
Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderately paced exercise for healthy and able individuals to experience benefits, and this includes brisk walking. Brisk is defined as being able to talk but not sing while you walk, so use that guide to determine whether your pace is adequate.
Is Walking Better Than Running?
Walking and running used many of the same motions but are entirely different exercises altogether. Walking generally is slower paced, burns fewer calories, and is considered low impact, and running is a high impact effective cardio workout for those that want intensity, but it should be done with care and the right technique to avoid damage to your joints.
Can You Lose Belly Fat By Walking?
Walking every day is an effective way to lose weight when combined with a balanced, healthy, diet. Although it can target fat on the body and help to burn it, it will not just work at eradicating fat from specific parts of the body, like the belly.