Did you know that most people walk about 65,000 miles in their lifetime?
That might sound like a lot, mainly because it equates to walking thrice around the earth. But it’s not if you walk at least two miles daily.
So, here’s the big question – how long does it take to walk 2 miles?
On average, you’ll take 30-40 minutes to walk 2 miles if you maintain a pace of three miles per hour (mph). However, the exact time you must cover two miles depends on your walking speed.
In this guide, I’ll dive into the factors affecting your walking speed and the time you take to walk two miles. I’ll also provide several practical strategies to improve your walking pace and make the most of this popular physical activity.
How about we get this show on the road?
What Determines Your Walking Speed?
Here are the top factors that impact walking paces, ultimately deciding the time it takes to walk two miles:
A person with a high fitness level walks at a faster pace than another with a low fitness level because they have more endurance. Even so, they can always stroll as it makes retaining and even increasing the latter a piece of cake.
Walking at a slow pace is also an excellent idea for a person with a low fitness level. It minimizes the pressure on their legs and makes it easier to walk two miles daily.
Type of Terrain
The terrain you’re walking on is another important factor affecting your walking speed. Your pace will be faster when walking through flat areas or a smooth floor because you need less energy.
On the other hand, walking 2 miles on hilly or rugged outdoor terrain requires a lot of energy. And it also affects your walking stability, meaning you must walk slowly to avoid stumbling and injuring yourself.
The easiest way to walk at a fast pace and cover 2 miles is to explore sidewalks or streets in your area. Of course, there’s no harm in discovering rough terrain, especially if you’re a hiking enthusiast. But you might have to use a moderate walking pace to be safe and avoid overexerting your body.
Your age will also affect your speed as your try to ace that 2-mile walk. Yes, people have different walking paces. But everyone’s speed tends to decline as they grow older, a situation fueled by various factors.
To begin with, your muscles’ strength and endurance considerably reduce as you age, making it tricky to walk at a faster pace. That’s why you might take 30 minutes to walk 2 miles in your late 30s and almost an hour to walk the same distance in your 50s.
In addition, people walk at a slower pace as they age because their cognitive brain function decreases as years go by.
According to research, the hippocampus, the part of the brain known to influence movement and sensory processing, contracts by a whopping 1% annually in people aged between 60 and 90. This makes it harder to perform a plethora of activities, including walking, explaining the decline in average walking speeds in older adults.
Also, growing older makes you prone to conditions such as diabetes, back and neck pain, arthritis, and other complications affecting vital body organs. Therefore, maintaining the fast walking pace in your youth may become a hassle as your years advance.
The weather impacts your walking speed because it affects your body temperature. Typically, people walk at a slower pace in summer. Their bodies are warm, and they utilize minimal energy to cool them. So, the extra heat makes them uncomfortable, deterring them from walking faster.
On the contrary, in winter, an average person’s walking speed is likely to bump up – they need to maintain a constant rhythm during their 2-mile walk to generate heat and keep them warm.
Still, that’s not always the case. Walking faster is unattainable when you wear heavy clothes during snowy or rainy weather.
You can comfortably walk your first mile at three miles per hour and still not hit your 2-mile target within 30-40 minutes.
The thing is, your muscles tire as you walk, meaning your walking speed will likely be slower towards the end of your journey.
If you usually walk 2 miles but intend to cover more than that distance, you might even find yourself walking at a mile per hour.
How to Increase Your Walking Speed
Boosting your walking speed is worth a shot, whether you enjoy the exercise for health purposes, weight loss, or supplementing your gym workout plan. If you walk faster, you save time. You may also achieve your fitness goals quickly.
For instance, brisk walking is super effective in burning calories. It could be all you require to drop those extra pounds you badly want to lose.
So, check out these proven tricks to up your speed and reap the amazing benefits of your 2-mile walk.
- Hop on your treadmill more often. Research shows that treadmill walking enhances a person’s walking speed as it’s equivalent to practice done through overground walking.
- Maintain a proper walking posture to walk faster. Ideally, you shouldn’t lean forward or back during your 2-mile walk – keep your head up, look straight ahead and tighten your core.
- Arm motion. While moving your arms wildly during a walk is unadvisable, normal arm motion is recommended because it can help you walk faster. Hence, feel free to swing your arms back and forward while walking to counterpoise your leg movement and boost speed.
- Wear the right walking gear depending on the weather. For instance, lightweight clothes are best during warm weather to prevent you from getting clammy and uncomfortable. A hat with a visor is great to protect you from the sun, and cozy walking shoes are a must-have.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking adequate water before, during, and after your 2-mile walk is vital to maximize your walking pace. Take about 17 ounces of water two hours before you step out. Carry some to consume during the exercise, and remember to take another glass once you hit the 2 miles.
How to Make Your 2-Mile Walk More Interesting
Walking 2 miles daily is an easy exercise. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from doing everything you can to make it more exhilarating. Check out these fantastic tips to spice up your current walking routine.
Seek Great Company
Walking solo is fun, especially when you crave some alone time. But the exercise can be more exciting when you do it with a buddy who enjoys walks as much as you do. Also, joining a walking club or group is a great idea – you’ll become a part of a friendly community with people who value this physical activity.
Indulge in Thrilling Activities
Walking alone while moving your arms back and forth can be a bore. Make it fun by engaging in entertaining activities such as:
- Listening to your favorite hits
- Watching birds as you walk the 2 miles
- Taking your photography skills up a notch
- Calling some friends to catch up and enjoy great conversations
- Listening to an audiobook or podcast
- Running some errands like buying groceries
Try a New Route
Walking the same place daily can become monotonous, preventing you from truly enjoying your 2-mile walk. Therefore, use another route in another area as you might like it better. For instance, if you usually walk close to your home, try doing it near your work, church, or other location you frequent.
Alternating between fast and slow walking is another excellent strategy to make this exercise more worthwhile, as it adds variety. Unlike walking at a slower speed all through, interval training triggers weight loss to increase your overall fitness level.
Switch Things Up
Supposing you walk outdoors on most days, try doing it in indoor locations, such as museums if you enjoy art, or malls while you shop.
Alternatively, walk on a treadmill several days a week to avoid monotony.
Walk Faster to Hit More Miles
Undoubtedly, the answer to the question “How long does it take to walk 2 miles?” lies in your walking speed. Of course, you can improve the latter if you’re slower than you want.
And when you get into the groove of comfortably walking 2 miles within 30-40 minutes, don’t be complacent. As my former running coach once told me, “Challenging yourself makes way for you to achieve feats you deem impossible.”
So, try to cover the same distance in less time. Or walk more than 2 miles daily within 40 minutes – you’ll be impressed by the effects it’ll have on your overall health and fitness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of footwear should I wear when going for a 2-mile walk?
Be sure to sport comfy lightweight shoes when walking 2 miles. They should be flexible with a heel of fewer than three inches to prevent putting too much pressure on the balls of your heels.
Should I rest after my walk?
Rest days are optional after a light cardio exercise like a 2-mile walk. However, if you walk over two miles daily, and feel a bit knackered after a week or two, take a rest day to help your muscles relax.
Can I improve my overall fitness level by walking 2 miles daily?
A daily 2-mile walk might trigger weight loss since it enables you to lose calories, boosting your fitness.