How Long Does It Take To Walk 12 Miles

Walking is a fundamental activity for humans, both as a mode of transportation and as a form of exercise. Understanding the time it takes to walk various distances is crucial for a range of purposes, from planning a hike to setting fitness goals. When gearing up for this challenge, a frequent question arises: “How long does it take to walk 12 miles and how many calories will be burned in the process?” This guide aims to provide insight into these factors and offer an understanding of how long it might take an individual to walk this distance.

How Long Does It Take to Walk 12 Miles?

Walking stands out as a simple, universally accessible form of exercise, not requiring any special equipment and offering the flexibility of being performed virtually anywhere. It boasts a range of health advantages. To truly benefit from walking and witness tangible progress, it’s crucial to establish specific walking objectives. These goals not only provide a focused direction and purpose for your walks but also maintain your motivation.

Completing a 12-mile walk is a considerable physical task, typically taking about 4 to 5 hours, based on the walker’s speed. This undertaking isn’t without its challenges, such as potential physical fatigue, the necessity of maintaining hydration and nutrition and adapting to varying climatic conditions.

Mental resilience and motivation are also key to keeping a steady pace throughout the walk. The rewards, however, are significant. Depending on an individual’s weight and walking speed, this exercise can burn around 800 calories. It’s exceptionally beneficial for boosting cardiovascular health, fortifying muscles and bones, and promoting mental health through the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood enhancers. Moreover, it provides a chance to connect with the natural environment, cultivating a greater appreciation for our surroundings.

Factors Influencing Walking Speed

Age and Physical Fitness:

Walking speed is often closely linked to an individual’s age and level of physical fitness. Younger, more physically active individuals tend to walk faster than older adults or those who are less physically fit. This variance is due to differences in muscle strength, stamina, and overall health.


The nature of the terrain plays a critical role in determining walking pace. Walking on a flat, smooth surface is considerably faster and requires less energy than walking on hilly or uneven trails. Rough terrains, such as rocky paths or soft sand, can significantly reduce speed and increase the effort required.

Weather Conditions:

Weather elements like temperature, humidity, and precipitation can impact walking speed. Extremely hot or cold temperatures can slow a walker down, as the body works harder to regulate its temperature. Rainy or snowy conditions can also make surfaces slippery and walking more challenging.

Footwear and Gear:

The right footwear is essential for a comfortable and brisk walk. Shoes that provide good support and grip can enhance walking speed, especially on uneven terrains. Additionally, the gear carried – like backpacks or water bottles – can influence the pace, especially over longer distances.

Health Conditions:

Certain health issues, such as respiratory problems, joint pain, or cardiovascular conditions, can affect an individual’s walking speed. It’s important to consider these conditions when estimating the time it will take to walk a specific distance.

Related: How long does it take to walk 10 miles

Calculating Time to Walk 12 Miles

Calculating the time it takes to walk 12 miles is straightforward with a basic formula: Time = Distance / Speed. This equation allows you to estimate the duration based on your average walking speed.

Examples with Different Speeds:

  • Slow Pace (2 mph): At a leisurely pace of 2 mph, typical for a casual stroll, it would take 6 hours to cover 12 miles.
  • Average Pace (3 mph): A more moderate walking speed of 3 mph, common for most adults, would see the 12 miles completed in 4 hours.
  • Brisk Pace (4 mph): For a brisk walker, moving at about 4 mph, the same distance can be covered in 3 hours.

Adjusting Time Estimates for Breaks and Rest Periods: These calculations provide a baseline, but it’s important to factor in breaks and rest periods, especially for longer distances. Regular breaks for hydration, snacks, or just rest can add significant time to your journey. The terrain, weather conditions, and personal health can also necessitate additional rest, further impacting the total walking time.

Average Walking Times For Males and Females

Average Walking Times For Males and Females

GenderAgeAverage Speed (Mph)Walking Time for 12 Miles
Male20-293.043 hours, 57 minutes
Male30-393.203 hours, 45 minutes
Male40-493.203 hours, 45 minutes
Male50-593.203 hours, 45 minutes
Male60-693.004 hours
Male70-792.824 hours, 15 minutes
Male80-892.175 hours, 32 minutes
Female20-293.004 hours
Female30-393.004 hours
Female40-493.113 hours, 52 minutes
Female50-592.934 hours, 6 minutes
Female60-692.774 hours, 20 minutes
Female70-792.534 hours, 45 minutes
Female80-892.105 hours, 43 minutes

Health Benefits of Long-Distance Walking

Long-distance walking, like covering 12 miles, offers several health benefits:

Cardiovascular Health: 

Walking 12 miles is a fantastic way to boost cardiovascular health. This extended physical activity strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation. Regular long walks can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, making it an excellent choice for heart health maintenance.

Muscle and Joint Benefits:

Long-distance walking enhances muscle strength and tone, particularly in the lower body. It also improves joint health by lubricating the joints and strengthening the surrounding muscles, which can help in reducing the risk of arthritis and other joint problems.

Weight Management and Calorie Burn:

Walking 12 miles is an effective way to burn calories and manage weight. The distance and duration of the walk significantly contribute to total calorie expenditure, which can be beneficial for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Mental Health Benefits: 

Walking, especially over longer distances, can have a significant positive impact on mental health. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and provide a sense of accomplishment. The act of walking, particularly in natural settings, can also be a form of meditation, offering a chance to clear the mind and reduce stress.

Related Read: How Long Does It Take to Walk 11 Miles

Does Walking 12 Miles Burn Fat? 

Embarking on a 12-mile walk can contribute to fat loss, yet it’s essential to understand that this is just one component of weight loss. A balanced diet paired with consistent exercise is crucial for shedding pounds.

Walking serves as an excellent form of low-impact cardiovascular exercise, aiding not only in weight reduction but also in stress management and cardiac health enhancement.

To initiate weight loss and potentially reduce abdominal fat, you must achieve a caloric deficit, where your calorie expenditure surpasses your intake. Enhancing your walk’s impact can be achieved by varying your walking pace or including uphill routes.

How Many Calories Burned When Walking 12 Miles?

Walking serves as an excellent exercise for overall wellness and calorie burning. The total calories burnt while walking a distance of 12 miles can differ based on several factors, including your body weight, pace, and the type of terrain.

As a rough guide, someone weighing around 160 pounds and walking at a moderate speed of about 3 mph may use up around 600 calories in an hour. Hence, for a 12-mile walk, which might take approximately 4 hours, the total calorie burn could be in the vicinity of 2400 calories.

It’s important to note that this figure is a ballpark estimate. Actual calorie burn can vary from person to person. For more precise tracking, employing a fitness tracker or an app is recommended.

Side Effects of Walking 12 Miles

Walking 12 miles is a significant physical undertaking, and while it offers numerous health benefits, there are also potential side effects, especially for those who may not be accustomed to such a long distance. These side effects can vary based on individual fitness levels, preparation, and environmental factors. Here are some common side effects:

  1. Muscle Fatigue and Soreness: Walking a long distance like 12 miles can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness, especially in the legs and feet. This is due to the prolonged use of the muscles and is more pronounced in individuals who are not used to long-distance walking.
  2. Joint Pain: The repetitive impact of walking can cause joint pain, particularly in the knees, hips, and ankles. This is more likely if you are walking on hard surfaces or if you have pre-existing joint issues.
  3. Blisters and Foot Pain: Wearing shoes that are not well-fitted or not designed for long-distance walking can lead to blisters and foot pain. This is one of the most common issues faced by long-distance walkers.
  4. Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance: Walking for extended periods, especially in warm weather, can lead to dehydration. If not properly managed, this can also cause an imbalance in electrolytes, which are vital for muscle function and other bodily processes.
  5. Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke: In hot weather, there is a risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, particularly if you’re not staying hydrated or if you’re walking during the hottest part of the day.
  6. Exacerbation of Pre-existing Health Conditions: For individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease or respiratory issues, walking a long distance may exacerbate these conditions.
  7. Chafing: Continuous walking can cause skin irritation and chafing, commonly in areas like the inner thighs or underarms.
  8. Mental Fatigue: The mental aspect of walking a long distance shouldn’t be underestimated. It can be mentally tiring, particularly if you are not used to the endurance aspect of long-distance walking.

Read More: Are Timberland Boots Good for Hiking

Training to Improve Walking Speed

Improving your walking speed can be achieved through specific training and practice.

Tips for Increasing Walking Speed:

  • Fitness Exercises: Incorporate exercises that strengthen the leg muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance overall stamina. Activities like cycling, swimming, and strength training are beneficial.
  • Walking Technique: Focus on your walking technique – maintaining a good posture, taking shorter, quicker steps, and using your arms to maintain balance and momentum.

Importance of Consistent Practice: Consistency is key to improving your walking speed. Regular walking exercises, gradually increasing your pace and distance, can help your body adapt and become more efficient.

Setting Realistic Goals for Improvement: Set achievable goals based on your current fitness level and gradually challenge yourself to increase your pace. Track your progress to stay motivated.

How to Make Walking More Interesting? 

Walking is an excellent way to refresh your mind, yet it can sometimes become monotonous, particularly when repeating the same path.

To spice up your walking routine, consider these tips:

  • Vary Your Route: Explore different paths or unfamiliar areas. A new scenery can add excitement to your walks.
  • Listen to Entertainment: Create a playlist of your favorite tunes or delve into interesting podcasts.
  • Walk with Company: Walking with a friend can be a great motivator. It makes the time fly and adds a social aspect to your exercise.
  • Set Personal Challenges: Aim for specific distances or try to outdo your previous walking times. This adds a competitive edge and a sense of achievement.
  • Be Observant: Pay attention to your environment. You might discover something new or intriguing that you hadn’t noticed before.
  • Monitor Your Progress: Use a pedometer or an activity tracker. Tracking your steps and distance can keep you motivated by showing your progress.
  • Incorporate Strength Training: Mix in some strength exercises like squats, lunges, or push-ups during your walk. This not only boosts your fitness but also makes the walk more engaging.

Read Also: Acclimatization Hikes in the Everest Region


In recap, walking 12 miles is a feat that requires adequate preparation, both physically and mentally. Factors like walking speed, training, route planning, and safety play crucial roles in the experience.

This guide encourages readers to embrace the challenge of long-distance walking. Not only does it offer significant health benefits, but it also provides a sense of achievement and an opportunity to connect with the environment. Whether for fitness, exploration, or personal accomplishment, walking 12 miles is a rewarding endeavor that is accessible to many. Start small, prepare adequately, and enjoy the journey on foot!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s have a look at some commonly asked questions about “How Long Does It Take To Walk 12 Miles?”

How Long Are 12 Miles?

A single mile translates to roughly 1.6 kilometers or 5280 feet. Consequently, 12 miles correspond to about 63360 feet or 19.31 kilometers.

How long does it take to walk 12 miles?

On average, it takes about 4 hours to walk 12 miles at a moderate pace of 3 miles per hour. However, this can vary based on walking speed, breaks, terrain, and individual fitness levels.

Is it Possible for Someone to Walk 12 Miles?

Certainly, an individual in good physical condition can undertake a 12-mile walk. Nevertheless, it’s recommended to begin with shorter distances and gradually work up to the 12-mile mark.

For novices, it’s wise to start at a distance of about 1 mile, typically a 15 to 20-minute walk. Gradually, the distance can be extended by a mile periodically, paving the way to eventually cover longer stretches like 12 miles.

Can a beginner walk 12 miles in a day?

Yes, a beginner can walk 12 miles in a day, but it’s important to build up to this distance gradually to avoid injury and excessive fatigue. Start with shorter distances and increase gradually over time.

Is it safe to walk 12 miles without training?

Walking 12 miles without prior training can be challenging and may increase the risk of injury. It’s safer and more enjoyable to train and gradually increase your walking distance.

What should I wear for a 12-mile walk?

Wear comfortable, breathable clothing and well-fitted walking shoes. Dress in layers to adjust to changing temperatures, and consider moisture-wicking fabrics to stay dry.

Can walking 12 miles help with weight loss?

Yes, walking 12 miles can contribute to weight loss as part of a calorie-controlled diet. It’s a significant physical activity that burns a substantial number of calories.