You may have read, and certainly experts have confirmed, that if you can walk 10,000 steps in a day, then you can get rid of the pounds faster, than most other forms of weight loss.
Personally, what I think is even better, is that when you walk, you will naturally build up real muscles.
That is actually very important, as this muscle building then helps keep the weight off for a longer period. Overall though, it is also important to understand that walking every day has some amazing health benefits.
Due to a combination of this muscle building and an increased heart rate, you start to burn off more fat. That is, we believe, great news, and it is why we advocate walking so highly.
10,000 steps every single day – “Have you gone mad?” I hear you say. Please allow me to break this down for you, and you will see that it is not quite as bad as you might first imagine. The average stride length is about 2.5 feet. Therefore the distance covered for 10,000 steps would be 25,000 feet.
There are 5,280 feet in one mile
So therefore 10,000 steps is about 4.73 miles each day. Let’s round that up to 5 miles, so as you have an easy number to remember. If you have never thought about the number of steps you take each day, you might be surprised by just how many you do take. Think of things like walking up and down stairs, maybe walking to the bus, walking on the job, going shopping etc., and you will see that just by doing normal day to day things, you already walk quite a bit.
Now granted, some people will not do much walking, and others such as taxi drivers, will spend much of their time behind a wheel. Generally speaking though, most people will already easily cover at least half of the 5 miles, simply through normal activity. You see, I told you I wasn’t THAT crazy!
Buy a Pedometer
For between $12-20 you can pick up a small pedometer that will count your steps for you. Most of these also come with a calorie counter, track time, and have a distance counter. If you already have a heart rate monitor device, chances are, that it already has a step counter built right into it.
They normally also have a memory, and that helps keep track of your progress. For me, it is a simple, cheap and effective method of motivating yourself to get the daily steps done.
You can clip these on to your hip, keep them in your pocket, or even in a bag. For the best accuracy though, it is always best to wear these around the waist.
Small Changes In Habits
Make small changes initially to increase your walking habits. If you take the car to the store, but you could also walk there, then try that. If you take the elevator at work, then use the stairs, or at least go part of the way by stairs.
If you read at lunch time, then walk somewhere and read there. Even if you make just a few simple changes, they all add up, and soon you will move closer to your target.
It truly is amazing how by just changing a few small daily habits, we can increase the amount of exercise we get through walking regularly.
Let’s assume you only walk a couple of miles a day. That would mean you need to increase that distance by about 3 miles. A nice pace for a mile is about 15 minutes. Therefore, plan some time where you can walk for 45 minutes each day. That might be at lunch time, after work, first thing in the morning, or in the evening.
You will know which time suits you best, and then you can start to make it a habit. It does take a little planning to get started with this. Soon after though it becomes a nice, daily routine. And no, you don’t have to do it every day.
This number came from Japan, which made the initial pedometers. Studies have shown that people who walk this distance have reduced their blood pressure, and have also lost weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anything over 8,000 steps works. So somewhere among all of this research one thing is clear, walking is good for your health.
We believe the actual number of steps is not that important. It is simply important to do something in terms of walking. The average person walks about 4,500- 5,000 steps a day. Many already walk more than this, but if we use that average, then half an hour’s extra walking would be ideal.
I have also written an article on how to make walking a lot more fun, which you can read by clicking here.
It takes a little work to build up to the daily dose of between 8,000-10,000 steps, but it is really worth it in the end.