There’s a reason why pedometers like the FitBit are all the rage – walking is great for your health. Even a 30-minute daily walk can be enough to help you whittle your waistline. But if you find yourself with several hours to spare, a 10-mile walk can burn anywhere between 650 and 1,200 or more calories, depending on various factors.
Your weight, how fast you walk and the terrain will determine how many calories your jaunt will torch. This low-intensity activity is not only an effective and enjoyable way to burn calories and lose weight, it’s easier on your joints than other aerobic activity and offers myriad benefits, from heart disease risk reduction to stress release.
How Your Body Size and Fitness Level Affect Calorie Burn
Your weight, height and how fit you are all factor into how many calories you’ll burn in a 10-mile walk. The more you weigh, the more effort your body has to make to propel you forward during your walk, which will increase the amount of calories you burn. The fitter you are, the less your body has to work to get you through a 10-mile walk and the fewer calories you’ll burn.
How Speed and Terrain Impact Your Walk
Walking faster, your heart has to work harder to pump oxygen throughout your body, which burns more calories. Walking a mile in 15 minutes versus 17 minutes can increase calorie burn significantly over a 10-mile distance.
More challenging terrain will also increase the burn. Walking 10 miles on a flat surface is relatively easy compared to a route that has you trudging up steep hills. Walking at a 5 percent incline, in fact, burns as many as five extra calories per minute, which over the course of 10 miles could amount to an increase of as much as 750 calories burned.
Read more: The Best Weight-Loss Walking Workouts
Calorie Burning Estimates for a 10-Mile Walk
According to Harvard Health Publications, the average 155-pound person walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour (about a 17-minute mile) will burn about 300 calories per hour. At a pace of 4 miles per hour, that same person will burn closer to 340 calories in 60 minutes, and at an even faster pace of 4.5 miles per hour, he or she can expect to expend about 370 calories each hour.
That’s about 820 to 850 calories over 10 miles. If you weigh more or less, the number will vary slightly; for example, MapMyWalk’s online calorie calculator estimates that a 130-pound 5-foot-4 female will burn 808 calories walking a 15-minute mile for 10 miles. A 180-pound, 6-foot male, however, will burn 1,124 calories walking at the same pace for 10 miles. If your walking route includes hills, remember that your calorie burn will be significantly higher.
Read more: Treadmill Walking Weight-Loss Plan
Get a Better Burn by Walking
If your goal is to burn as many calories as possible, keep your pace up and find a route with lots of hills, or increase the incline on the treadmill. Pump your arms as you walk to get your upper body moving to increase calorie burn. You can also carry hand weights or wear a weighted vest to increase calorie burn. Investing in a fitness monitor can help track your heart rate and give you a more accurate reading of how many calories you’ve burned.