How Many Steps Should I Walk Daily to Lose Weight?
Exercise is an important component in the weight loss equation. It augments dieting efforts by ensuring that the body burns more fat for energy. Although there are many effective weight loss exercises, walking is a cheap, fun and safe option for most people. Including it into your daily exercise routine can be an effective way to lose weight. To develop a good walking program for weight loss, you will need to set goals. That can start with something as simple as setting a target number of steps to walk daily.
How Many Steps Should I Walk Every Day to Lose Weight?
If you buy a fitness tracker from a top rated brand like Fitbit, chances are that it will encourage you to walk 10,000 steps a day, which translates to roughly 5-miles per day and about 500 calories burned. This target goes back to the 1960s when pedometers were first sold in Japan with the name “manpo-kei”, which is loosely translated as a “10,000-step meter”. Over the years, many researchers used the “10,000 steps a day” standard to investigate the health benefits of walking and found it to be a good number that was beyond most people’s average level of physical activity. As a result, this became universally accepted as a good starting point for people who want to begin walking for fitness. It is even recommended by many health organizations, including the American Heart Association. What’s more, most people looking to lose weight rarely hit the 10,000 steps marker, making it a motivating challenge.
How to Reach Walking Targets for Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight through walking, it is possible to track the number of steps taken each day by wearing a pedometer or smart activity tracker. Such a device may be worn as a wristband or belt clip-on. It will measure every step you take, be it around the house, office, or at the park when exercising.
Once you have a pedometer to track your workouts, start small and work your way up to the 10,000 steps mark. You can increase your walking duration by several minutes longer with each passing week to gradually meet your target without risking overworking your body. Therefore, don’t give up if your daily trekking does not meet the recommended number of steps.
In addition, you don’t necessarily have to walk 10,000 steps daily to reap health benefits. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults to get 150-minutes of moderate exercise like brisk walking every week. The CDC’s recommendation averages between 7,000 and 8,000 steps a day, which can also be a reasonable target while working towards losing weight.
The key to reaching your target steps when walking for weight loss is finding ways to fit walking into your daily routine. Everyone has a different schedule and commitments vary for one person to the next. Therefore, there is no single way to get in more steps during the day. This may involve walking to work, alighting at an earlier bus stop, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away from stores, or adopting a dog to take on walks.
Completing 7,000 to 10,000 steps daily is a feasible goal if you decide to walk for weight loss. With the help of a pedometer or other fitness-tracking gadget, you can keep track of how many steps you get to reach each day. Remember to avoid overexerting or injuring yourself by working up to your target gradually. Lastly, if you have a history of heart disease or experience pain while walking, it may be prudent to speak to a health expert before starting your weight loss program.
5 Ways to Get More Steps into Your Everyday Life
What is the number one excuse for not exercising? “I don’t have the time.” And that is just what it is – an excuse. Everyone can find time to exercise if they really want to do it.
In the U.S., the Center for Disease Control (CD) recommends everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. If you exercise 5 days per week, it comes out to 30 minutes per day.
One of the best (and easiest) ways to get your daily recommended exercise is by walking. The average person walks 133 steps per minute or just shy of 4,000 steps per 30 minutes of walking. But don’t stop there; strive for a daily goal of 10,000 steps. If weight loss is your goal, walking 10,000 steps per day (and eating healthy) results in enough calories burned to lose one pound of weight per week.
Besides your normal number of steps you take from daily life, here are some suggestions to get more steps in your life:
Park at the far end of the parking lot. Then walk the rest of the way to your destination. Regardless if it is in to work, or to the grocery store, it is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more steps into your life. You get in twice as many steps because you have to walk back out to your car when finished.
Take the stairs. Once inside the building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do the same in reverse when finished.
Walk at lunch. At lunch, take a walk. Leave just enough time at the end to eat your healthy brown bag lunch you brought from home.
Move every 30 minutes. If you have a desk job, one of the biggest threats to your health today is something called the “sitting disease”. And it is causing all kinds of physical issues from sore backs, to fatigue, to cardiovascular problems. But the fix is easy – get out of your chair and walk around 5 minutes out of each 30. As an alternative to sitting at a desk, see if your boss will purchase a standing desk for you. Some even come with treadmills attached so you can walk while you work.
Get off before your closest stop. If you take public transportation, get off the bus or train a stop or two earlier or later than the stop closest to your destination. Then walk in the rest of the way. Do the same thing when finished at the end of the day.
Tracking Your Steps
The only way to know how many steps you are taking is to track them with a step counter. They range from something as simple as a pedometer or to one of the more advanced fitness trackers that measures more than just steps – like one of the models from Fitbit, Garmin, Nike and a host of other companies.
As you can see, there are several ways to increase the number of step you take each day without adding significant time to your daily routine, thus debunking the tired excuse of not having enough time.