Walking is a great way to stay fit, improve your health, and enjoy nature. But how long does it take to walk 5 miles? The answer depends on several factors, such as your walking speed, age, sex, terrain, and weather conditions. In this blog post, we will explore these factors and give you some tips on how to walk 5 miles faster.
How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles?
Average Walking Speed
The average walking speed for adults is between 2.5 and 4 miles per hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that it can take anywhere from 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours to walk 5 miles. However, this is just a general range and your actual walking speed may vary depending on your personal characteristics and circumstances.
Age and Sex
Age and sex are two factors that can affect your walking speed.
As you get older, your walking speed tends to decline due to changes in muscle strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.
One study of 997 middle-aged walkers (aged 45 years old) found that the average walking speeds were 1.30 m/s for usual walking gait and 1.99 m/s for maximum gait.
If we convert these walking speeds into mile walking time values using the conversion of 1,609 meters per mile, the average “usual” walking speed works out to walking one mile in 20.6 minutes while walking a mile at the average maximum walking speed would take 13.48 minutes.
Sex can also influence your walking speed, as men tend to walk faster than women on average. The same study mentioned above found that the average usual walking speed for men was 1.36 m/s and for women was 1.25 m/s.
The average maximum walking speed for men was 2.15 m/s and for women was 1.85 m/s. This means that men can walk one mile in 19.7 minutes at their usual pace and 12.4 minutes at their maximum pace, while women can walk one mile in 21.4 minutes at their usual pace and 14.5 minutes at their maximum pace.
Based on these data, we can estimate that the average time to walk 5 miles by age and sex is:
- For men aged 45: 98.5 minutes at the usual pace and 62 minutes at the maximum pace
- For women aged 45: 107 minutes at the usual pace and 72.5 minutes at the maximum pace
Of course, these are just averages and your individual walking speed may differ depending on your fitness level, health condition, and other factors.
Terrain and Weather Conditions
Another factor that can affect your walking speed is the terrain and weather conditions of your route. Walking on flat, smooth surfaces is easier and faster than walking on hilly, uneven, or slippery surfaces. Elevation declines, and level walking surfaces can all influence how much energy you expend and how fast you can walk.
Weather conditions can also play a role in your walking speed, as extreme temperatures, humidity, wind, rain, or snow can make walking more challenging and uncomfortable. You may need to slow down or take more breaks when walking in adverse weather conditions to avoid overheating, dehydration, or hypothermia.
To walk faster on different terrains and weather conditions, you may need to adjust your clothing, footwear, hydration, and nutrition accordingly. You may also need to vary your stride length, cadence, posture, and arm swing depending on the slope and surface of the ground.
Tips for How to Walk 5 Miles Faster
If you want to improve your walking speed and reduce the time it takes you to walk 5 miles, here are some tips that may help:
- Warm up before you start walking. Doing some dynamic stretches and light cardio exercises can help you prepare your muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system for walking.
- Start slow and gradually increase your pace. Don’t try to walk too fast from the beginning, as this can lead to fatigue, injury, or burnout. Instead, start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase it until you reach your desired speed.
- Use a pedometer or a fitness tracker to monitor your distance, time, speed, and calories burned. This can help you track your progress and set realistic goals for yourself.
- Walk with a partner or a group. Having someone to walk with can make walking more fun and motivating. You can also challenge each other to walk faster or longer.
- Incorporate intervals into your walking routine. Intervals are periods of high-intensity walking followed by periods of low-intensity walking or rest. This can help you improve your endurance, speed, and calorie burning.
- Cross-train with other activities. Doing other exercises, such as strength training, cycling, swimming, or yoga, can help you improve your overall fitness, flexibility, and balance, which can benefit your walking performance.
- Rest and recover. Don’t walk every day or for too long, as this can lead to overtraining, injury, or burnout. Give yourself enough time to rest and recover between your walking sessions. You can also do some static stretches and massage your muscles after walking to ease any soreness or stiffness.
Walking 5 miles can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on your pace, terrain, and fitness level. Walking is a great way to improve your health, mood, and energy. Whether you walk for fun, exercise, or transportation, you can enjoy the benefits of this simple and accessible activity. Remember to stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, and listen to your body. Happy walking!