“How many steps do you need to take each day to lose weight?”, is a question commonly Googled by new walkers, myself included when I started exercising. If you are about to embark on a fitness journey, I’m sure this is something you would like to know too.
According to guidelines set by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition recommends, adult Americans should do a minimum of 2 1/2 hours of moderately paced aerobic activity, such as walking, each week. Many of us don’t do anywhere near that.
Research undertaken by the National Health Service in the UK found that most Brits walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps each day. In the US we walk even less, with the average number of steps estimated at around 2,300 to 3,000 steps a day.
Walking is an excellent form of exercise, and it is convenient to undertake. There is no learning curve; it doesn’t require any equipment, and you can do it almost anywhere. This makes it a great option for travelers or people who are often away from home for work.
Pack a pair of walking shoes and socks in your bag, and you will be able to keep up with your fitness routine wherever you are. When the weather is nice, walking is also a wonderful way to see a new town or city. If the weather is inclement, see if your hotel has a gym and use the treadmill. If they don’t, hit the local mall during a quiet time and do some window shopping as you walk.
In this article, I will answer the question, “How many steps do you need to take each day to lose weight?” to help you decide if it’s worth making walking a part of your exercise regimen.
How Many Steps Do You Need to Take Each Day to Lose Weight?
It’s impossible to give an entirely accurate answer to the question, “how many steps do you need to take each day to lose weight?” The reason for this is that numerous factors will determine how many calories you burn. Included among these is how much you weigh and how much effort you put in. The route you walk will also play a part. For example, walking on hilly terrain will burn more calories than walking in a flat area.
Walking for one hour at the rate of 5 mph equates to taking approximately 10,000 steps, or doing 30 minutes of moderately-paced aerobic exercise. Every 10,000 steps you take will burn around 500 calories. Do this five times a week, and you will burn a total of 3,500 calories, which is the equivalent of one pound. For the best result, you will also need to eat healthily and cut back on junk food. Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they’ve exercised, they can eat more. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to “out exercise” an unhealthy, calorie-laden diet.
By increasing the pace at which you walk and swinging your arms, you will burn additional calories. To kick things up a notch, wear wrist and/or ankle weights during your walks. If you are new to exercising and very out of shape, don’t do this right away. Wait until your fitness improves somewhat as the added weight can increase the risk of injury occurring. For tips on how to avoid this, read Wrist and Ankle Weight Benefits and Possible Risks.
Another option is to wear a weighted exercise vest. Click the previous link to read about the benefits and potential drawbacks.
Why you should walk 10,000 steps a day
Do I have to Count the steps?
There are easier ways to know when you’ve walked 10,00 steps than counting, which would be tedious and confusing. You could always measure out a 5-mile route and time your walk, but this would still not be 100% accurate. A far better option is to use a step measuring device. The device can be as simple as a pedometer that counts the number of steps you take. If you want more information about your workout, use a fitness tracker. This will not only tell you how many steps you’ve taken but also the number of calories you’ve burned on your walk and more. Some even have provision for tracking how many calories you take in and burn.
How to fit in 10,000 Steps if You’re Busy
A common excuse for not exercising that many of us use if that we are too busy. It’s a fact that between work, home, and family commitments, most of us are busy. And, let’s face it, we may not feel like walking for an hour after being at work all day, coming home and tidying up the house and cooking dinner. The good news is that you won’t have to. With a pedometer or fitness tracker, you will be able to keep a tally of how many steps you’ve taken over the course of the entire day.
Following are some tips to in how to get more steps into your day that won’t take up too much time.
If you drive to work, walk instead if you live close enough. If the distance is too great, park a few streets away or at the far end of the parking lot and walk the rest of the way. You can also do this when going to the mall, or anywhere for that matter.
When catching public transport, get off a stop or two before your destination and walk the rest of the way. I’ve discovered some cool coffee shops and clothing stores doing this. If you work on the 10th floor, hop out of the elevator on the 5th floor and take the stairs to your office. Keep a pair of walking shoes at work and spend a part of your lunch break walking.
If you have a dog, take him or her for an extra long walk. The pleading look in your pup’s eyes will motivate you to walk even if you don’t feel like it.
Do these simple things, and you will be amazed at how many extra steps you will fit into your day. If you are short of your 10,000 step target, go for a walk after dinner. Ask your partner or kids to join you. It will do all of you good, and you will be able to catch up on the days events. The company may also encourage you to put in more effort or walk a little further.
How Many Steps Do You Need to Take Each Day to Lose Weight Summary
Now you know how many steps you need to take each day to lose weight and you can see how easy it is to do, get walking and reap its benefits! While weight loss is one of these, this is not the only one. Walking improves heart health and muscle tone and helps guard against osteoporosis. It eases stress, and it releases endorphins, making us feel in a better mood and clearer in mind.
Check back soon for an article on the benefits of walking.