Walking is a cardiovascular activity that helps burn calories and lose weight significantly. Better still, weight loss is more achievable by walking longer distances. And when the distance is 8 miles, you can bet that the weight loss journey is manageable. After all, we are talking about losing between 680 and 1080 calories at a time. Walking 8 miles 5 days a week burns 3400 to 5400 calories per week. To maintain the same dietary habits, you could expect to lose near than a pound to more than 1.5 pounds of fat per week.
Moreover, walking is not only about calorie burning and weight loss. It has far more significant benefits, such as heart and mental health. Harvard Health reports a recent study that proved that people who walk at least 4k steps are at less risk of getting heart disease, and those who walk 8k steps a day have twice an advantage.
How Many Calories Are Burned and Weight Loss by Weight and Pace?
Usually, a person burns between 85 and 135 calories walking for 1 mile. Therefore, 8 miles mean burning between 680 and 1080 calories. That’s quite a lot for just walking, right? But then:
Essentially, 8 miles is equivalent to 12.9 km, which is quite a distance to walk. Actually, it would take a person at a regular pace of 3 miles per hour, two hours 40 minutes to complete the distance. Even a fast pace of 4.5 miles an hour would still require 1 hour 47 minutes to walk 8 miles. And let’s not forget that the distance is approximately 18016 steps!
The exact number of calories depends on factors such as pace, weight, terrain or incline, sex, and age. Interestingly, the pace only impacts calories burned, while the weight loss remains constant. However, the terrain or incline and body weight affect both calories burned, and weight loss. Let’s see:
The simplest method for calculating the number of calories burned and weight loss when walking is to consider your weight and walking speed:
On Flat Surfaces
These calculations assume 8 miles of walking on flat surfaces like sidewalks:
|Weight lbs or kg||Normal pace 2.5 to 3.5 Mph (Calories Burned)||Brisk pace 3.5 to 4 Mph (Calories Burned)||Faster pace 4.5 Mph (Calories Burned)||Weight loss of Normal pace (Pound)|
|100 lbs (45 kg)||426-480||454||509-538||0.1374 lb|
|120 lbs (54 kg)||510-576||546||611-645||0.1649 lb|
|140 lbs (64 kg)||595-672||636||713-753||0.1924 lb|
|160 lbs (72 kg)||680-768||727||814-861||0.2199 lb|
|180 lbs (82 kg)||766-864||818||916-968||0.2474 lb|
|200 lbs (90 kg)||850-960||909||1018-1076||0.2748 lb|
|220 lbs (100 kg)||936-1056||1000||1120-1184||0.3023 lb|
|250 lbs (113 kg)||1064-1200||1136||1273-1345||0.3436 lb|
|275 lbs (125 kg)||1170-1320||1250||1400-1480||0.3779 lb|
|300 lbs (136 kg)||1276-1440||1364||1527-1614||0.4123 lb|
On Uphill Surfaces
The calculations in the chart below are based on walking on uphill surfaces such as hills and treadmill inclines. Walking uphill for 8 miles significantly increases your calorie burn and weight loss:
|Weight lbs or kg||The moderate pace of 3.5 Mph (Calories Burned)||The fast pace of 4.5 Mph (Calories Burned)||Weight loss at a moderate pace (Pound)|
|100 lbs (45 kg)||584||662||0.1672 lb|
|120 lbs (54 kg)||700||794||0.2006 lb|
|140 lbs (64 kg)||817||927||0.2340 lb|
|160 lbs (72 kg)||934||1059||0.2675 lb|
|180 lbs (82 kg)||1051||1192||0.3009 lb|
|200 lbs (90 kg)||1168||1324||0.3344 lb|
|220 lbs (100 kg)||1284||1457||0.3678 lb|
|250 lbs (113 kg)||1460||1655||0.4281 lb|
|275 lbs (125 kg)||1606||1821||0.4598 lb|
|300 lbs (136 kg)||1752||1986||0.5016 lb|
A person weighing 54 kg (120 lbs) burns 510 to 576 calories walking at a regular pace of 3 miles per hour on a flat surface. If they increase their pace to 4 miles per hour, they burn a minimum of 546 calories on the same terrain and up to 645 calories at a brisk pace of 4.5 miles per hour. They will also lose approximately 0.1374 lbs on the terrain.
The same person burns 584 calories walking uphill at the regular pace of 3 miles per hour. If they increase the pace to 4.5 miles per hour, they will burn up to 652 calories o the terrain. Either way, the terrain helps lose around 0.4123 lbs.
On the other hand, a person weighing 136 kgs (300 lbs) will burn up to 1440 calories walking on a flat path at a regular pace of 3 miles per hour. If they increase the pace on the terrain to 4.5 miles an hour, they will burn up to 1614 calories. On an uphill path, the person will burn 1752 calories at 3.5 miles per hour and 1986 calories at a brisk pace of 4.5 miles per hour. Also, they lose around 0.5 lbs on the hilly terrain, an increase of 0.41 lbs lost on flat terrain.
How Much Should You Walk?
Five minutes every half an hour walking had a dramatic effect on blood sugar spikes after eating, cutting them by 60 percent, and helping blood pressure fall by four to five points compared with sitting all day, report to South China Morning Post. Several research papers have also been for at least 150 minutes of walking weekly just to stay healthy. So, are such walks enough, and:
How much should you really walk?
Typically, how long you walk depends on you. You can walk to and from work and school, walk a dog every evening, or even take a stroll at the park several times a week. Better still, you can walk longer as part of your exercise routine.
It is advisable to start with a short distance, then increase several steps each day for a successful walking exercise. Nadia Sethi struggled to walk even a short distance due to obesity and medication. However, with consistency and determination, walking has become her new hobby. At the time of the article, she was already getting taking 15k-step walks a day.
The longer you walk, the better your chances of avoiding terminal illnesses like hypertension. Also, longer walks are great and effective for weight loss goals.
Are 8 Miles of Walking a Good Exercise for Weight Loss?
Yes, walking 8 miles is helpful with weight loss. You lose approximately 800 calories walking 8 miles. If you could walk 4 days a week, this would be 3200 calories burned, which equals almost 1 pound of weight loss. As we have read above, one can also burn over 1600 calories, which approximates 6400 calories a week. Then, they would shed close to 2 pounds in just a week while still incorporating enough rest days.
One also stands the chance of losing more weight when considering their diet and cutting calorie intake.
Is Walking 8 Miles a Day Too Much?
Well, it is too much if you just start walking and haven’t been exercising. It may affect their health negatively with joint pains, foot blisters, and sores. People with underlying health conditions may find the walk worsening their conditions if they were previously accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.
Besides, it is time-consuming, hence a lot to ask of a person with a busy schedule.
However, a person who walks often will find the distance manageable and may even walk 5 days a week without any negative impacts.
If you can, 8 miles of walking is not much for your health. However, if it is still quite a distance for your health and fitness level, start with a shorter distance and gradually increase your distance until you get to the 8-mile mark.
Nonetheless, if time is your limitation, you can consider a more intense cardio exercise such as running to burn calories and for weight loss. You will need a shorter time, yet you will reap the benefits.
Side Effects of Walking Too Much
There is no correct answer as to the distance or time that is too much to walk. However, every individual has their limit with walking as with every exercise. If you exceed your limit, below are the side effects you will experience:
- Too much fatigue: if you walk longer distances than you should, you will feel too tired to do much more. The best walking distance should allow you to carry on the rest of your day without feeling tired and fatigued.
- Moody and Depressed: Walking too much affects your brain negatively, probably due to fatigue and exhaustion.
- Sores and blisters: You develop sores and blisters on your feet and toes for walking too much and injuries that affect subsequent walks.
- Headache: You may also develop a headache due to dehydration and low oxygen supply when you walk too much, especially at high altitudes.
How to Avoid the Side Effects of Walking Too Much
- Know your limits (health, fitness level, weight), and consider them when setting up your walking goals.
- Learn and practice the walking posture (laid-back shoulders, chin up, straight posture, engaged core, feet-hip width apart), which reduces the risk of injuries.
- Start the walking exercise with short walks and at a slow pace, preferably 1 mile and at a pace of 3 miles per hour.
- Stop walking or slow down when you feel out of breath or tired.
- Walk at a comfortable pace that you can sustain for the distance you are walking.
Walking 8 miles burns approximately 800 calories, creating a calorie deficit that facilitates weight loss. Though it is time-consuming, it also works great in boosting mental and emotional health, which are more important in the long run.
However, it is important to remember that 8 miles is a long distance; hence not appropriate to start with if you are not in good shape. The rule of thumb is to start with a shorter distance, advancing it consequently until your body is ready for 8 miles.
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