You’ve probably heard the recommended: walk 10,000 steps per day concept, for fitness and weight loss. Is this a myth or a fact? is there any research that shows that it works?
The 10,000 steps-a-day theory- often billed as the minimum for good health, originated in marketing, not medicine, when a Japanese company launched a pedometer in 1965 named, in English, the “10,000-step meter” with the slogan “Let’s walk 10,000 steps a day.”
Since then, 10,000 steps have become the default goal for fitness trackers, smartphone apps, and wellness programs.
When I first got my smartwatch I realized the pressure these devices put on you to live a healthier life. Awareness and Encouragement being the main focus. However, for a person who works online, it can be a daunting task.
Walking 10,000 steps is equal to approximately five miles. Unless you have an active job, it is difficult to log 10,000 steps with daily activity only.
Realistically walking 10k a day is quite challenging. 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.
However, recent research from Harvard Medical School has shown that, on average, approximately 4,400 steps a day is enough to significantly lower the risk of death in women. This was when compared to only walking around 2,700 steps daily. The more steps people walked, the lower their risk of diseases and death.
Given that even small amounts of physical activity positively impact your health, taking regular breaks to move around if you’re working at a desk all day will help to easily get more physical activity. For lifestyles like this consider Intermittent Exercise.
Other easy ways to move more daily include walking to work or taking part in an online exercise program. Walking your dog, or meeting with friends for a walk.
Every Journey Begins With A First Step – Make It Count!
There’s no question that there are enormous health benefits to increasing your activity level through moderate exercises like walking. Research has shown that walking more has many positive health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, cholesterol level, fitness ability, and many others contribute towards healthy living.
Setting and achieving a daily goal like 10,000 steps can be a great way to increase your activity level, create a healthy lifestyle, and improve your overall health. You can add walking as a warm-up before a strength training workout, or it can be a workout by itself.
The Benefits of Walking
A good walk can do wonders for your mental well-being. It improves self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and it reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Regular physical activity, such as walking 10,000 steps a day, leads to lower glucose and insulin response after a meal. This is important for managing or reducing the risk of diabetes.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Bodies are designed to move, and the consequence of not moving them enough often comes in the form of poor health outcomes. When you walk more, say 10,000 steps rather than the typical average of 3,000 to 4,000, you are effectively improving your cardiovascular health. That means less risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Walking is also good for toning your whole body. Your legs and glutes get a good workout and if you move your arms as you walk, they also benefit.
Eat less, move more is the age-old formula for weight loss – walking is an easy way to achieve that goal.
No doubt it’s a great idea to increase your daily activity. The question is: does walking 10,000 steps help lose weight?
How many calories do you burn from 10,000 steps?
Any estimation of how many calories you burn from an exercise like walking or running depends on your weight. On average, heavier people use more energy to move than lighter people. Most rough estimates revolve around 100 calories burned per mile for a 180-pound person.
Some claim that individuals can lose a pound of fat a week just by taking 10,000 steps a day. This number has the potential to burn 3,500 calories from walking. As a general rule of thumb, a pound of fat contains around 3,500 calories. If you create an average caloric deficit of 500 calories over 7 days, that’s equal to 3,500 calories. Not bad for a pound of weight loss per week.
How Far is 10,000 Steps: Walking Speed and Distance
Before you decide to put in the distance and time, do not forget about speed. Even if you are in that 180-pound range, the calories you burn from walking depends on the intensity, or speed, of your walk. The average walking speed is about 3 miles per hour and according to the Mayo Clinic, the number of calories you’ll burn depends on your walking speed.
Why? It’s simple—the faster the pace, the greater your heart rate, and the more calories you can burn covering the same distance. With the explosion in the popularity of fitness trackers and step counters, it is easy to step count.
Walking is easy to do and good for you, too. Not only do you get the benefits of weight management and better cardiovascular health, but you’ll also sleep better and feel less stressed.
But before you set any fitness goal like walking 10,000 steps, take a minute to understand what you’re embarking on. Remember the old Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Make sure each step, from the first to the 10,000th and onwards has a purpose”.
If your plan to start this journey, take baby steps and check out this post to get you started START YOUR DAY RIGHT WITH THE MIRACLE MORNING ROUTINE