How to Walk a 16 Minute Mile

Couple walking outdoors

Walking is one of the best exercises to keep your body in good shape, as it is a gentle, moderate-intensity activity. Learning to keep your pace to 16 minutes per mile can help ensure that you meet your exercise goals. In certain circumstances it is necessary to walk at least a 16 minute mile, such as in long-distance races. In many races you will be disqualified if you do not maintain a 16 minute mile at your slowest pace.

Choose your route based upon the length of time and distance that you wish to walk. Walking around a track makes your calculations easy, as you generally walk around standard tracks four times for one mile. Use a pedometer to calculate the distance that you walk in other circumstances. A pedometer is a device that you wear that can tell you how far you have gone.

Time your walk using a stop watch. To walk a 16 minute mile you need to walk at a pace of approximately 3.75 miles per hour. Your pedometer can help you determine whether your pace is accurate to meet this goal. Otherwise use a watch to time yourself. You should walk 1/4 mile every four minutes. This is one time around a standard track.

Adjust your pace if you walk faster or slower than 1/4 of a mile every four minutes. If you walked faster than this, you want to slow down for the next 1/4 mile. If you walked slower you need to pick up the pace to complete the mile at your goal speed.

Walk correctly for optimal fitness and health benefits. Your feet should hit the ground squarely and evenly, and your head should be erect with your shoulders back. Wear proper walking shoes when exercising to avoid injury to your feet.

Slow down your pace, or stop entirely, if you feel pain or shortness of breath while walking. You might need to take a break, or work your way to walking a mile by starting at a 1/4 or 1/2 mile.

Increase your pace as you become more fit. Walking a 16 minute mile is great for people who are relatively out of shape, but will not do you as much good as you lose weight and increase your cardiovascular health. Keep improving at a healthy rate to increase your level of fitness further.