How to Measure Walking Distance


Knowing how to measure walking distance will help you develop an exercise program that's effective for losing weight and increasing your aerobic fitness. Walking is a good form of exercise for many people. It's especially beneficial to people who can't or don't want to run. Walking is gentler on the joints and can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. To incorporate walking into a weight loss program, it's helpful to know how far you need to walk for maximum results.

How to Measure Walking Distance Basics

There are several ways to measure how far you've walked. You may find you prefer one method over others, or you can alternate and use the method works best for where you're walking.


Pedometers are tools designed to measure your walking distance. Some pedometers measure the number of footsteps, others measure the actual area covered and some measure both. One point that can be tricky when measuring distance is knowing how to measure your stride length as well. A person with short legs may cover the same distance as a person with long legs, but shorter legs take more steps.

An easy way to determine your stride length is to walk on a quarter-mile track on the inside lane and count the number of steps it takes. Multiply this number by four to figure the number of steps you'll take in a mile. That way, when you use your step-counting pedometer, you can figure out how many miles you've walked by dividing the number of steps you take on your walk by the number of steps that make up a mile for you.

Measuring by Distance

As with the track method outlined above, quarter-mile tracks are useful ways to gauge your walking distance. If you want to walk two miles, simply walk the inside lane a total of eight times. It's a good habit to reverse the direction you walk on a track from time to time because it gives you a change of scenery, making things more interesting than viewing it the exact same way each and every time.

Another way to answer to measure walking distance is to drive along the area you want to walk. This is useful for people who walk in neighborhood settings, but don't know how far they've traveled just by walking down a long street. Use your car's odometer to check the distance, so the next time you walk from one neighborhood to the next, you'll know how far you've traveled.


Many treadmills take the guesswork out of measuring your walking distance. Simply input your information, start walking and the machine tells you such things as:

  • Calories burned
  • Distance traveled
  • Time spent exercising

While some people find treadmills boring, you can use them anytime as part of a cardio routine, without worrying about the weather outside.

The Importance of Measurements

Why is it important to know how to measure walking distance? If you're trying to lose weight, maintaining an effective calorie-burning routine is one way to achieve your goals. While most health care experts advise people to engage in an aerobic activity a few times a week for at least 30 minutes, you can watch the clock or you can use your pedometer to make sure you're getting the right amount of exercise. Using a calorie estimating calculator will help you determine how many calories you burn during certain activities. If you prefer to keep track of how far you've walked instead of how long you've walked, you can still use such a calculator to figure out how many calories you burn over certain distances.

Walking for Fitness

Keeping track of how far you walk is a smart way to improve your fitness level. If you start at a beginner's pace, you may be surprised to see how far you can walk once you get into a regular walking program. For people who have led sedentary lives and are just starting to embrace a healthy lifestyle, improvement can be a big motivator. Because walking is as simple as placing one foot in front of the other, it's a good form of low impact exercise for everyone and knowing how to measure how far you walk helps keep you on the right track.

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How to Measure Walking Distance