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Why Should You Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?
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Why Should You Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 8
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5 min

In this article, we shall be exploring everything about walking 10,000 steps a day to see if there are any upsides to this routine.

10000 steps a day

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Out of all the exercises that exist in the world, walking happens to be the easiest and cheapest, offering health benefits for everyone. Depending on the exercise intensity, you can burn calories, improve your immune system, build your muscles, and enhance your cognitive abilities.

However, before unlocking all the benefits, is there a certain point you must reach? Today, we hope to answer this question as we explore the gains of walking 10,000 steps a day.

How Many Calories Do 10,000 Steps Burn?

Science dictates that walking 10,000 steps will allow you to burn between 200 and 600 calories daily. At 3.5 miles per hour, a 155-pound person will burn about 133 calories in 30 minutes. 

Your calorie burn and weight loss levels are tied together. For you to lose weight sufficiently, you must be able to burn enough calories and sustain a caloric deficit. According to research, based on several variables, the average person must cut back 500 to 1,000 calories daily to shed 1 pound in a week. 

Of course, we would advise using steps to calorie calculators to get the exact data. These calculators account for your total steps, weight, and other factors in providing the caloric equivalent. As such, things like walking speed go into providing the calorie burn data.

In reality, several factors determine the number of calories burned while exercising. These include your size and the intensity and duration (length and frequency) of your exercise.

But what does that mean? First, let us take time as a constant and carry out a comparison, meaning that the duration of the exercise will remain the same. Under that context, a person weighing more will burn more calories than somebody who weighs less, even if they do the same exercise.

Similarly, partaking in more vigorous workouts burns calories in less time than low-intensity workouts.

How Far Are 10,000 Steps in Miles?

On average, walking 10,000 steps a day accounts for walking approximately 5 miles. The factors governing this distance range include a person’s fitness level, height, sex, pace, stride length, and terrain. 

For context, a man 5 feet 9 inches tall, brisk walking at 3 miles per hour (20 minutes per mile), will cover 4.5 miles after walking 10,000 steps. On the other hand, a woman of the same height, walking at the same pace, will cover 4.46 miles. This disparity is primarily due to their biological differences

Consequently, at that pace, it will take them about 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete their daily step goal. In addition, you can use an activity tracker to measure your daily step counts. Thus, you can adjust your routine if you take fewer steps.

3 Benefits of 10,000 Steps a Day

Logging in 10,000 steps a day will allow you to gain a plethora of health benefits. For example, it promotes weight loss, lowers blood pressure, stabilizes heart rate, etc.

It also helps that you do not need special equipment; everybody can freely partake. Still, here are 5 health benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day.

#1 Improves heart health

This is perhaps one of the most significant gains of walking 10,000 steps a day. According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, variations of heart diseases resulted in 2.2 million hospitalizations in 2016.

This number could drastically reduce if people participated in more physical activities, among other factors.

That is because physical activity, in this case, walking 10,000 steps a day, will improve blood pressure, stabilize blood glucose, enhance cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

#2 Promotes weight loss

Walking is an excellent way to burn enough calories to spark weight loss. Research centered on a group of adults struggling with obesity revealed that averaging 9,500 steps and above daily allowed them to lose 2% body fat and 5.3 pounds after 36 weeks.

They experienced a 3 milligram per deciliter increase in HDL cholesterol during that period.

#3 Improves mental health

Not only is this physical activity great for achieving your physical fitness goals, but it also caters to a positive mental state.

A 12-week study with participants walking at least 10,000 steps every day saw significant improvements in their Profile of Mood States (POMS) scale.

At the end of the study, participants experienced notable reductions in negative moods like tension and anxiety, depression, anger, mental fatigue, confusion, and vigor.

Researchers at the University of Stanford also opine that walking helps clear the mind and improve creativity and thinking. 

How Can I Increase the Number of Steps?

You can employ several strategies to reach your daily 10,000-step tally. However, we have listed 3 that we feel are great for you.

Take the stairs

Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, opt for climbing the stairs. Doing so will burn calories and tone your leg muscles.

Walk everywhere

Walk to work, to the mall, to the park, while waiting, walk everywhere. Doing this will help you stay active and get your steps in.  

Get a companion

Walking alongside a companion is always fun; you get less bored and can get much done. So, instead of a trip to the movies, get your family and friends to go on a hike with you.

You can also take your dog for a walk or, better still, if you do not have one volunteer to walk the dogs at your local shelter.

Then again, if you cannot take more steps daily, we recommend trying out the Walking.Diet plan. The plan allows those who cannot take on any other exercise to excel and reach their desired fitness level.

It offers personalized training plans, meal prep, and nutritional tips, allowing users to maximize their potential and hit their walking target. 

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FAQs

Are 10,000 steps a day good for weight loss?

Yes, taking 10,000 steps a day works if the aim is losing weight.

How many steps does the average person take a day?

According to research, the average person takes about 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily.

How long does it take to walk 10,000 steps?

It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to walk 10,000 steps, which translates to covering about 5 miles.

A Word From Our Coach

Walking 10,000 steps a day is the benchmark for unlocking all of the health benefits of this physical activity. There are a lot of ways to go about planning your routine. However, it all remains personal.

If you decide to take on this challenge, get in touch with a personal trainer or a certified sports medicine physician. They have all the knowledge in the world and will advise you on the different routes to take.

You need to place your body at the top of your priority list. Only do what you are comfortable with to avoid unnecessary injuries. Stay safe and healthy.

Conclusion

The time most people spend sitting is certainly not beneficial to healthy living. So it makes sense for you to opt for exercises like taking 10,000 steps daily.

The 10,000-step mark is the magic number to unlocking many health benefits; with time, you will start taking more daily steps. 

Take our advice and evaluate your current activity level, and you will conclude that you need extra movements. So, start walking!

Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified Yoga Instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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