You’ve probably heard that you should walk 10,000 steps per day for fitness and weight loss — but how many miles is 10,000 steps, and why is that number important? Initially, this concept of walking approximately 5 miles originated as a way to get people to move more. However, scientists are now looking into whether that’s a worthwhile objective.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

10,000 steps a day isn’t a magic number, according to research thus far, but it is a good measure of how much exercise a person gets in during the day. In fact, a daily step and weight study revealed that those who walked more generally weighed less.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

Getting 10,000 steps burns about 340 calories for a 170-pound person walking at a brisk pace, which helps contribute to weight balance. If getting 10,000 steps per day is your goal, here is what you need to know about getting those steps in.

How to Get Your 10,000 Steps

How many miles is 10,000 steps? This distance is equal to walking approximately 5 miles. Unless you have an active job, such as a waiter or nurse, it is difficult to log 10,000 steps with daily activity only. An inactive person takes 3,000 steps or less in their daily activity of moving around the house.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

Most people achieve 10,000 steps by taking one or more sustained walks or runs, the equivalent of 30 to 60 minutes of walking. That equals the minimum daily exercise recommendation from most health authorities to reduce health risks.

If you’d like to take more daily steps for health and fitness, start by determining your baseline. Track your steps for a week or so using an activity tracker or smartphone app (many phones have a built-in step counter). You don’t have to jump from 3,000 steps a day to 10,000 overnight.

Once you have a sense of your daily average, aim to add 2,000 to 2,500 steps a day to begin (about a mile).4 Walking a mile burns about 80 calories for a 150-pound person. As you get comfortable with this additional exercise, lengthen your walks, or take more short walks, so you get closer to 10,000 daily steps. In adding steps, you may find it helpful to consider wearing ankle support shoes.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

 Walking for Weight Loss: How to Burn More Calories and Lose Weight

How Many Calories Does 10,000 Steps Burn?

Depending on your weight, walking 10,000 steps burns between 250 and 600 calories. You can use a steps to calories converter chart to estimate this for yourself. You will need to know your approximate steps per mile.

Most weight loss programs recommend burning 200 to 300 calories per day in moderate to vigorous exercise. The number of calories you burn by walking depends primarily on how much you weigh and secondarily on your speed of motion.

With the help of this calculator for calories per day, you can determine how many calories everyone burns just by sitting and breathing. Walking increases your caloric expenditure per minute; running increases it even further.

Numerous activity monitors, like the Fitbit and Apple Watch, calculate your caloric expenditure by counting your steps. When calculating how many calories you burn, these devices also account for the speed at which you are walking or jogging.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

Learn How Many Calories You’re Burning

How to Add Steps and Intensity

Walking 10,000 steps per day, with 3,000 of those steps at a brisk walking to jogging pace, should help you burn enough calories to lose weight.5 If you are already logging 10,000 steps a day and not losing weight or maintaining your weight, then the key is to add another 2,000 more steps per day while eating the same amount or less.

The problem is that recording more steps starts to take time. Instead, up the intensity of your workout to burn more calories in the same amount of time.

You can boost intensity by taking more of your steps at a brisk walking or running pace, or adding intervals such as hills or stairs. Also try to set aside time for dedicated moderate-to-vigorous-intensity exercise, whether that is walking, resistance training, or some other form of exercise that you enjoy. Many fitness trackers and smartwatches detect whether or not your movement is enough to be considered moderate or vigorous exercise.

Aside from cutting out empty calories, make sure everything you eat provides you with healthy nutrients to aid in weight loss. Keeping a food and exercise journal will help you identify areas for improvement. You can track all of your data (nutrition, sleep, water intake, and fitness, among other things) in one location using certain phone apps or web programs.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

A Word From Verywell

If your goal is to increase your steps in a day, start by getting a good handle on how many steps you are already taking in a day’s time. From there, you can set goals for gradually increasing your steps. Moving in manageable chunks toward your goal is more effective than trying to do everything at once. Plus, there is less chance of getting injured or feeling overwhelmed along the way.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

It might also be beneficial to speak with a healthcare professional or even a qualified dietitian beforehand if you want to add more steps to your weight management plan in an attempt to reach your goals. They can assist you in creating a strategy that suits your needs.Should You Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day for Weight Loss?

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