Blog Fitness Walking 4 Miles A Day: Benefits And How To Maximize Your Results

Walking 4 Miles A Day: Benefits And How To Maximize Your Results

In the modern fast-paced world, walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise. The CDC recommends we aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity such as brisk walking to maintain good health and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease (8). 

Walking can be a low-impact way to get in physical activity and those extra steps. You don’t need any special equipment or training – all you need is some time and a pair of shoes. Walking also has many other benefits in addition to counting toward your daily step count. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the many benefits and provide tips on how to ensure you burn more calories and lose weight through walking.

Benefits of Walking 4 Miles a Day

There are several health benefits of walking every day (18), including:

Improved Blood Circulation

Walking boosts your heart rate and increases the flow of blood through your body. Moderate-intensity physical activity such as walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels (5) (9). 

Strengthen Bone Mass

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for improving and maintaining bone health. It helps prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density (13). 

Prevents or Manages Diabetes

Walking is a great exercise for those with type 2 diabetes as it can help reduce blood sugar levels (11). 

Weight Loss

Walking 4 miles a day on average can burn approximately 250 calories each day. If you do this for four days a week and maintain your current diet, you can lose approximately one pound each week. 

However, achieving weight loss when walking 4 miles a day depends on several factors. 

If you’re overweight, you’ll likely lose more weight by walking than someone who is already at a healthy weight. The intensity of your walk also makes a difference – brisk walking burns more calories than leisurely strolling (2). Finally, your genetics and nutrition play a role in how quickly or slowly you lose weight.

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Prevents or Manages Back Pain

Walking can help reduce chronic back pain by strengthening the muscles in your core that help support the spine (14). It also helps improve posture, which is important for reducing unnecessary strain on your spine.

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Habit vs Routine: What’s the Difference, and Why Does It Matter?

Improves Mental Health

Regular exercise, including walking, can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being active helps you think more clearly and removes stress by releasing endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are hormones that make you feel good and can improve your mood (4).

Improves Cognitive Performance

Research has shown that walking can improve cognitive performance, particularly in older adults. Walking regularly can help preserve memory and thinking skills as you age (6).

Boosts Energy

Walking is a great way of increasing your energy throughout the day. A common culprit of low energy and ‘crashing’ throughout the day is blood sugar spikes and dips. Walking, particularly after a meal, helps stabilize blood sugar, thereby improving energy levels.

Improves Quality of Sleep

A lack of sleep can affect many areas of your life, including your metabolism. It’s important to get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night to avoid these negative effects. 

Walking 4 miles a day makes it easier to sleep through the night and helps improve your overall quality of sleep by increasing the amount of deep sleep you get (15).

Creates Social Connections

Walking is a great way of connecting with friends and family members. It’s a social activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Spending time outdoors also exposes you to fresh air and natural sunlight, both of which are good for your mental health.

walking 4 miles a day  

How to Walk 4 Miles a Day

If you want to increase your metabolism and burn more calories, you need to include walking with good intensity and good form. 

What Is Good Form for Walking 4 Miles a Day?

Good form for walking includes:

  • Maintaining a good posture, with your head up and back straight.
  • Picking the right pace – you should be able to talk but not sing while you walk.
  • Let your arms swing freely from your shoulders, rather than from your elbows
  • Walking heel-to-toe as you stride to avoid dragging your feet while you walk.

Why Does Good Form Matter?

Good form helps you walk at a good pace for an extended period. It also helps prevent injuries, which can slow down your progress or stop you from walking altogether (10).

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Does Planking Burn Fat? Unveiling the Truth of the Famous Plank vs. Fat Debate

Read more: The 28-Day Indoor Walking Weight Loss Challenge Explained

How to Increase the Intensity of Your Walk

If you’re looking to burn more calories, you must increase the intensity of your walk. This can be done by either increasing your pace, using hills for more difficulty, or adding resistance. 

Increase Your Pace to Burn More Calories

If you’re looking for a simple way to burn more calories while walking 4 miles a day, you should increase your walking speed. The faster you walk, the higher your heart rate will be and the more calories you’ll burn. 

Use Hills To Make Walking More Difficult to Burn More Calories 

In addition to increasing your pace, you can use hills to increase the intensity of your walk. This can be done by walking up hills slowly or using an incline on a treadmill. 

Add Resistance to Burn More Calories

You can also add resistance to raise the intensity of your walk. This can be done by walking while wearing ankle or hand weights.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

Your walking gear should include:

The Right Shoes

A good pair of walking shoes is essential for protecting your feet while you walk (17). They should offer plenty of support and cushioning to protect your joints, but still be lightweight enough to allow quick movement.

The Right Outfit

You should keep in mind that the more comfortable you are, the easier it will be for you to exercise for a longer period of time. If you’re going to walk outside when it’s hot, your outfit should be breathable. If it’s cold or rainy, you should cover up to protect yourself from the elements.

A Hydration Kit

Hydrating before, during, and after exercise can help your body maintain its normal temperature, so you don’t overheat or dehydrate. It can also improve muscle function, which will allow you to walk further.

Water is the best choice for hydrating before exercise. It’s also the best choice for drinking during exercise, but if it’s not available, electrolyte-rich drinks will do the trick (12). You should avoid calorie-sweetened sports drinks that are high in unnecessary calories. 

See also
Walking Backward Benefits For Your Body: Explore Creative Physical Activities

A Quality Sports Watch

It’s difficult to monitor your progress without a good sports watch. Your walking watch should be able to track your time, speed, distance, and overall progress.

walking 4 miles a day  

Tips for Getting the Best Results Out of Walking 4 Miles a Day

Walking 4 miles a day is just one part of the equation. You must also consider your diet and exercise program to get the best results. Here are some tips for getting the most out of walking 4 miles a day:

Change Your Diet 

Food is fuel, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight through exercise (20). When your diet is healthy, this gives you the energy you need to walk 4 miles a day or more.

Here are some diet changes you can make to improve your results:

  • Include lean protein in every meal 
  • Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat fruit and vegetables at every meal 
  • Choose whole grains or other complex carbs over simple carbs

Create an Exercise Schedule

Creating an exercise schedule will help you stay committed and accountable for what you need to do every day to burn calories and lose weight. Make sure you include time for stretching before and after your walk, in addition to foam rolling or other recovery tools such as a massage ball.

Commit to Your Routine

To see results, you must be willing to commit to your routine. This means you should avoid missing workouts, eating unhealthy foods, and slacking on your walking schedule. 

Add Interval Training

If you want to see even better results, add interval training to your walks. This can be done by adding short bursts of running or speed walking to your regular walks. 

You may also choose to incorporate strength training into your program. This can be done two or three times a week, on non-walking days. 

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13 Squat Alternatives For When You Want To Switch Things Up

Get Plenty of Rest

Our bodies are designed to function best when we get a minimum of seven hours sleep every night. This allows the body to recover and reduces the risk of muscle injury (7). If you feel as if your lack of sleep is slowing down your progress, try going to bed an extra hour or two before your usual bedtime.

Increase Your Activity Levels Throughout the Day

You should also increase your overall activity levels throughout the day. This means making an effort to take the stairs rather than elevators or escalators, parking further away in parking lots, and doing active chores such as yard work.

Lower Your Stress Levels

Stress can wreak havoc on your body, so it’s important to try your best to lower your stress levels. People who experience stress are more likely to overeat, sleep less, experience muscle tension, and have trouble focusing at work or school, which stops them from losing weight (3).

Here are some of the many ways to reduce stress:

  • Meditate for just 10 minutes per day
  • Practice yoga or stretching
  • Read or keep a journal
  • Listen to calming music
  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Take a relaxing bath

Walk with a Friend

If you find it difficult to stay motivated, try walking with a friend. This will make the time go by faster, but you can also encourage each other and help keep each other accountable (1).

walking 4 miles a day  

Side Effects of Walking 4 Miles a Day

As with any other form of exercise, there are some potential side effects that are associated with walking 4 miles a day, such as:

  • Soreness in the muscles 
  • Achiness in the joints 
  • Fatigue 

It’s important that you listen to your body and stop exercising if you experience any of these symptoms. Take a day or two off if you need to and then slowly start adding more miles back into your walks as your body allows. 

If you’ve had injuries or mobility issues, please consult a doctor before you start any new exercise routine.

Should You Be Walking 4 Miles Daily?

Walking 4 miles a day can provide significant health benefits (16), but it may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some factors you should consider before you start a daily walking routine:

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Pelvic Floor Stretches To Relieve Tightness And Pain

Current Fitness Level

If you’re new to exercise or have any underlying health conditions, it’s important to consult a doctor before you start any new exercise routine. 

They can advise you on the appropriate level of physical activity for your current fitness level and help you create a safe and effective walking plan.

Time Availability

While walking 4 miles a day may not sound like much, it can take an hour or more, depending on the pace at which you walk. Make sure you consider whether you have the time and energy to commit to a daily walking routine.

Joint Health

Walking is generally considered to be a low-impact exercise, but it can still put strain on your joints, particularly if you have any existing joint issues. If you experience pain or discomfort while walking, make sure to consult your doctor and adjust your walking routine accordingly.

Risk of Overexertion

While the health benefits of walking 4 miles a day are numerous, it’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. It’s okay to start with shorter distances and gradually increase the length of your walks as you build up strength and endurance.

Weather and Terrain

Be mindful of the weather conditions and terrain when you plan your walking route. Walking on uneven or slippery surfaces can increase the risk of injury, so always make sure you wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the weather.

Check out our blog, Benefits of Walking Barefoot, for additional tips on how to make the most out of your daily walks.

Read more: Walking Treadmill Workout: Exploring the 12-3-30 Routine for Fitness Advancement

walking 4 miles a day  


  • Can you lose weight walking 4 miles a day?

Yes, you can lose weight walking 4 miles a day, as it helps to burn calories and increase your metabolism. However, weight loss from walking 4 miles a day is more successful when combined with a healthy diet and other exercises, such as strength training (19).

  • Will walking 4 miles a day tone my legs?

Yes, one of the benefits of walking 4 miles a day is that it can help tone your legs. As you walk, your leg muscles are constantly engaged, which can help strengthen and tone them over time.

  • How many calories are burned during a 4-mile walk?

You can burn between 300 and 600 calories in an hour of walking, depending on your body weight and pace. So, a 4-mile walk can help you burn anywhere from 400 to 800 calories.

Our blog on Incline Walking shows how changing the elevation of your walking route can further increase the intensity and benefits of a 4-mile walk.

  • Is 5 miles a lot to walk every day?

5 miles can feel like a lot to walk daily, particularly if you’re just starting out or have any underlying health conditions. Don’t push yourself too hard, as overexertion can lead to injuries or burnout. 

Walking 4 miles a day 5 days a week is a sure way to reap the health benefits without putting too much strain on your body.

If you feel tired or experience any pain or discomfort, it’s okay to decrease the distance of your walk or take a rest day.

Our Walking in Place guide has tips on how to increase the distance and intensity of your walking routine gradually.

The Bottom Line

Walking 4 miles a day is a great way to burn calories and lose weight, but it’s important that you take the necessary precautions to avoid potential injuries. Make sure to add interval training, strength training, and plenty of rest to your program to see the best results. 

Remember to focus on increasing your overall activity levels throughout the day, adding variety to your routine, and lowering your stress levels. Finally, try walking with a friend to stay motivated. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 3 Reasons to Work Out With a Friend (2021,
  2. Calories burned in 30 minutes of leisure and routine activities (2021,
  3. Does stress influence sleep patterns, food intake, weight gain, abdominal obesity and weight loss interventions and vice versa? (2017,
  4. Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety (2013,
  5. Exercise and Cardiovascular Health (2013,
  6. Exercise for Brain Health: An Investigation into the Underlying Mechanisms Guided by Dose (2019,
  7. How does sleep help recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries? (2021,
  8. How much physical activity do adults need? (2021,
  9. Older adults who walk 3 or 4 miles daily see lower heart disease rates (2023,
  10. Perfecting your walking technique (2020,
  11. Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association (2016,
  12. Practical Hydration Solutions for Sports (2019,
  13. The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients (2018,
  14. The effectiveness of walking as an intervention for low back pain: a systematic review (2010,
  15. The effect of daily walking exercise on sleep quality in healthy young adults (2021,
  16. Walking a Mile a Day: How It Benefits Your Body (2023,
  17. Walking shoes: Features and fit that keep you moving (2020,
  18. Walking to health (1997,
  19. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2004,
  20. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies – Weight Management (2004,
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