Participating in cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, on a regular basis can reduce your risk for heart disease and other obesity-related health conditions. An article published in a 2012 edition of “Mental Health and Physical Activity” reports that walking regularly may also help reduce symptoms of depression. For weight loss, reducing your calorie intake is the most beneficial, but exercising can help prevent weight regain, according to Mayo Clinic. The number of calories you can burn walking four miles depends on your body weight and walking speed.
If you weigh 125 pounds, you’ll burn fewer calories walking four miles than someone with a heavier body weight. According to Harvard Medical School, people who weigh 125 pounds will burn about 270 calories walking four miles at a pace of four miles per hour, which will take about one hour to complete. If you walk four miles at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour you will burn about 272 calories, and if you walk four miles at a pace of 4.5 miles per hour, you’ll burn about 260 calories, because walking four miles at a 4.5-mile-per-hour pace takes less time than walking four miles at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour.
A 155-pound adult burns about 334 calories walking four miles at a pace of four miles per hour, according to Harvard Medical School. The same adult will burn about 338 calories walking four miles at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour, and can burn about 322 calories walking four miles at a pace of 4.5 miles per hour. Walking four miles at 3.5 miles per hour will take you about 68 minutes, while walking four miles at a pace of 4.5 miles per hour takes about 52 minutes.
According to Harvard Medical School, adults who weigh 185 pounds burn about 400 calories walking four miles at a pace of four miles per hour. The same adult will burn about 403 calories walking four miles at 3.5 miles per hour, and burn about 385 calories walking four miles at a pace of 4.5 miles per hour. Adults who weigh 185 pounds and are trying to lose excess body weight should aim to reduce their current energy intake by about 500 calories per day in addition to walking regularly, in an effort to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Although walking is easy on your joints and enjoyable for many people, walking four miles each day can get monotonous. Changing up your workout to biking, swimming or using an elliptical machine can burn about the same number of calories and help prevent muscle fatigue. When switching from walking to biking or swimming, aim to exercise about the same duration, or about one hour, instead of focusing on your distance; it takes much less time to bike four miles than to walk the same distance.
To help reduce excess body fat and increase strength, add resistance exercises, such as weightlifting, Pilates, pushups and situps, to your daily workout routine.
- Mayo Clinic: Which is Better for Weight Loss — Cutting Calories or Increasing Exercise?
- Mental Health and Physical Activity: Walking for Depression or Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and has extensive experience working as a health writer and health educator. Her articles are published on various health, nutrition and fitness websites.