Personal Health

Essential Guide to Weight Loss: How Many Steps a Day Should You Take?

Over the last decade, smartphones have become ubiquitous not just for sending texts and staying abreast of news, but also for monitoring daily activity levels.

Doctors and physical therapists share the truth about how many steps per day you need for weight loss.

Weight loss

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise out there. After all, it’s easy to do and requires no specific gear. Simply grab a pair of socks and your favorite kicks and head out the door. It’s healthful. Walking can strengthen your musclesimprove sleep, and is good for your heart. It improves circulation and lowers your blood pressure, and walking is low-impact. Most individuals are capable of taking a few steps or a stroll around the ‘hood. But do you know how many steps a day you actually need to take to lose weight? Maybe, but probably not. Why? Because that magic number you may be thinking of is (somewhat) arbitrary. 

“Taking 10,000 steps a day is a traditional goal in achieving fitness and lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

“However, studies have shown that at least 15,000 steps daily is optimal to shed a few pounds for weight loss. Reaching this goal improves metabolism significantly, preventing increased sugar levels and deposition of fat around the waist.”

Physical therapist Alicia Filley adds that in order to lose a pound a week, you’ll need a 500-calorie deficit each day. That means you need to burn or decrease your dietary intake by 500 calories, or some combination of the two. Most people can burn 300 to 400 calories a day simply by walking 10,000 steps. That means you’ll only need to lower your caloric intake by 100 to 200 calories. “But walking is an easy way to do this since all 10,000 steps don’t have to be taken at one time,” she says.

Many people aim to take 10,000 steps each day, or about five miles. This can help reduce your risk of certain medical conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, but many people also aim to walk 10,000 steps a day.

However, 10,000 steps may not suit everyone, all the time. You may need to work up to it, and you’ll also need to work out how many steps you need to meet your individual goals. Finding time to walk 10,000 steps can also be challenging.

How Many Steps Should You Take a Day to Lose Weight?

The number of steps you should take each day varies from person to person and situation to situation. It is also contingent on a wide variety of factors, such as your age, gender and diet. However, it doesn’t take much to reap the benefits of walking.

Essential Guide to Weight Loss: How Many Steps a Day Should You Take?

According to Google “Studies have demonstrated that 4,400 steps a day significantly decreases your risk of getting chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke,”

However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, but many people also aim to walk 10,000 steps a day.

However, 10,000 steps may not suit everyone, all the time. You may need to work up to it, and you’ll also need to work out how many steps you need to meet your individual goals. Finding time to walk 10,000 steps can also be challenging.

Why 10,000 steps?

The idea of 10,000 steps began with a 1965 Japanese marketing campaign aimed at selling pedometers.

In 2001, a project called Every Step Counts aimed to get people and communities more active. It’s a nice round number, a reasonable target, and it’s encouraged many to start walking.

Some research into walking 10,000 steps a day has linked it with health benefits.

In a 2007 study, for instance, 14 individuals with low activity levels began walking 10,000 steps per day for 15 weeks.

At the end of the study, they saw improvements in:

How Many Calories Does Walking Really Burn?

The long and the short answer is: that depends. Sadly, there’s no direct ‘X steps = Y calories’ equation.

The amount of calories you burn while walking will vary, with weight and distance being the biggest factors. However, according to Calorie Burner HQ, most individuals burn an average of 100 calories per mile walking. 

  • How far you walk (as mentioned above, this varies from person-to-person)
  • How fast you walk and the effort you put in
  • The type of terrain you’re walking on
  • How much muscle you have
  • How you weigh (those carrying more bodyweight will burn more calories as the effort of walking will be more strenuous)

On those last two: ‘Muscles burn more calories than fat, and those carrying more body fat will also burn more calories as the effort of walking will be more strenuous,’ Eastwood explains.

‘As a general rule, you will burn calories by just walking 10,000 steps – but how many you burn really does depend on what kind of steps you are taking. Instead, just focus on challenging yourself and going for a long as possible.’

If you’d like some fairly accurate numbers to use as a benchmark, a fitness watch if you want to get more of an idea.

Also, get this: for every 2,000 steps you take, your risk of heart disease, cancer and premature death decreases by 10%, coming to a peak at 10,000 steps, according to a recent study. It also found 9,800 steps a day can drop risk of dementia by 50%.

Here’s a breakdown of recommended step ranges for weight loss based on activity level:

  • Sedentary (Less than 5,000 steps): Aim for at least 5,000 steps per day. This represents a significant increase in activity and contributes to weight loss.
  • Lightly Active (5,000-9,999 steps): Increase your goal to 7,000-8,000 steps daily. This provides a more substantial calorie burn for weight loss.
  • Active (10,000-12,500 steps): Strive for 10,000-12,500 steps daily. This level supports ongoing weight loss and promotes overall fitness.
  • Highly Active (12,500+ steps): For individuals already highly active, exceeding 12,500 steps provides additional calorie expenditure and supports weight management goals.

Remember: Consistency is key. Aim for a consistent increase in steps over time and find ways to integrate walking into your daily routine.

Stepping Up Your Activity: Strategies for More Daily Steps

Incorporating more steps into your day might seem daunting, but simple strategies can make a significant difference. Here are some practical ways to increase your daily steps:

  • Become a Parking Pro: Choose parking spots further from your destination to add extra walking before and after errands.
  • Embrace the Stairs: Opt for stairs whenever possible, whether at work, home, or in public places. Every step counts!
  • Walk & Talk: Schedule walking meetings or phone calls instead of sitting down. Utilize breaks at work for short walks.
  • Walking Errands: Walk to nearby stores, shops, or appointments whenever feasible.
  • Commute by Walking: If your work allows, consider walking or cycling to commute if the distance is manageable.
  • Active Entertainment: Replace sedentary activities with active ones. Take walking breaks while watching TV, or explore walking tours in your city on weekends.

Make it Fun! Keeping Yourself Motivated on Your Step Journey

Sticking with a walking routine requires motivation. Here are some tips to keep yourself engaged:

  • Set SMART Goals: Create Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. Aim for smaller milestones within your overall step increase plan.
  • Track Your Progress: Utilize fitness trackers, apps, or a simple step chart to monitor your progress. Seeing improvement can be a powerful.

Maharij Saleem

Hi, I'm Maharij Saleem, founder of Stepshowto.net. A blog that provides authentic information regarding blogging, SEO, Islam, Wordpress, and how to Earn Money Online with blogging.

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