Why walk 10,000 steps a day

Why walk 10,000 steps a day

Why exactly 10,000 steps

The concept of "10,000 steps a day" initially became popular in Japan. It is not based on medical research, but no scientist or doctor will dispute that walking is beneficial.

So, the coveted number spread around the world from Japan before the 1964 Olympics. In honor of the Games, one of the Japanese companies released a pedometer called "Manpo-Kei", meaning "counter of 10,000 steps."

The number turned out to be just a beautiful name, but the pedometer gained such popularity that this number stuck in people's heads as a necessary minimum.

10,000 steps a day is not a magic number, but it is a good indicator of how active a person is.

The average Russian walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, that is, approximately 2.5 to 3 km. This is considered a sedentary lifestyle. To find out how much you walk every day, just download the application for counting steps on your smartphone. Their choice is huge. If the figure turns out to be much less than 10,000, you do not need to immediately try to reach it. Add 1000 extra steps a day every two weeks - and you will reach the coveted figure without harm to health.

If you're already taking more than 10,000 steps a day and trying to lose weight, you'll need to set a daily goal for the steps above. Another option is to turn to more intense activities such as running, cycling, skiing or playing sports.

Read more about walking in the article: Walking: types, benefits, calorie consumption

How long does it take to walk

10,000 steps is about 8 km. At an average walking pace, it will not even take two hours. Most people reach 10,000 steps by taking one or more walks throughout the day.

To classify walking intensity as "moderate", it is recommended to walk at a speed of 100 steps per minute, which corresponds approximately to 5 km/h and 100 minutes to achieve 10,000 steps. So just walk 8 km daily, continuously or intermittently. Or, walk about 100 minutes a day.

For running, 10,000 steps would equate to about 10 km, which most people complete in a little over an hour.

Download training programs for marathon and half marathon and start training today!

What is the use

Why set a daily step goal? Everything is simple here. So you can measure progress, and achieving the goal will bring pleasure and give motivation to move on.

Walking, as a form of physical activity, is accessible to most people. You don't need any special equipment other than comfortable shoes. You don't need a fitness center membership to walk. You don't even need extra time! You can go to and from work while everyone is in traffic jams, walk the dog longer, and your pet will only be happy about it.

Regular long walks can help reduce the risk of common health problems:

  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • depression.

Even non-daily activity is better for your health than constant inactivity. Only 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, is recommended per week. If your physical activity is less than 2.5 hours a week now, gradually increase it.

These 150 minutes a week can be divided in different ways: some people are more comfortable doing 30 minutes five days a week, others are more interested in doing it for 10 minutes several times a day.

The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that at least 20-minute workouts are needed for health benefits, and not four sessions of five minutes each. The thing is that such short sessions do not train the heart muscle. Also, to get the full benefits of walking, you must walk at least three days a week. Anything less will not bring the desired results in strength, endurance, or weight loss.

Despite the fact that 10,000 steps has long been known as an advertising campaign for a pedometer, more steps are better than fewer. For example, at the Harvard School of Medicine, Professor Yiming Lee conducted a study with a sample of 16,000 women over the age of 70. The research team compared the number of daily steps with the likelihood of dying from any cause.

In four years and three months, 504 of the women who took part in the experiment died. It turned out that women who took more than 4,000 steps a day were much less likely to die prematurely than those who took less than 3,000 steps. Such a small difference had such serious consequences for life expectancy.

It would seem that you walk more and you will live longer. However, for these women, the benefit only increased up to 7500 steps, after which it ceased to noticeably increase and did not affect life expectancy.

However, it is still difficult to determine exactly how many steps are more beneficial and how much you need to walk, because so many variables interfere with the answer.

Are there any contraindications

People tend to think that walking is a useful and simple activity, not a sport, and therefore many people make the mistake of starting to walk as much as possible. But believe me, too much of something good can be harmful if you are not ready for it.

If you used to lead a sedentary lifestyle, do not overexert yourself, otherwise you will only increase the risk of injury and psychological burnout. In any type of physical activity, it is important to start slowly and gradually increase the volume and intensity. Especially strictly this recommendation should be observed by people suffering from obesity, cardiovascular diseases and problems of the musculoskeletal system.

A good strategy for beginners is to start with 15 minutes of walking at a relatively easy pace (so that you can speak in full sentences without getting out of breath). After that, add a few minutes every week, increasing to 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace.

Most importantly, listen to your body. If you experience pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, sudden changes in heart rate, do not force yourself to continue walking, but consult a doctor immediately.

There is no harm from walking as such, but it can be from obsession with numbers. So, for older people and those who are not in the best shape, the magic number 10,000 demotivates. For people who don't lead an active lifestyle, setting standards that are too high discourages the desire to play sports. Therefore, it is very important to remember: set a reasonable goal and start gradually.

Is it possible to lose weight

A load of 10,000 steps may seem too high for some, but for some this is a long-familiar activity. So it all depends on your current fitness level.

However, it is unlikely that a person who takes 10,000 steps or more every day will be overweight. People who take more steps per day, on average, weigh less and have a lower body mass index (BMI).

It is estimated that healthy adults typically walk between 7,000 and 13,000 steps a day. This is classified as an active and highly active lifestyle. Anything below 7,000 steps means you are not physically active enough.

If you are already taking 10,000 steps a day and not losing weight, the solution for you is to add another 2,000 steps a day with the same amount of food eaten. However, the problem is that adding time to the load may not be suitable for everyone due to its limitations. Alternatively, you can leave the volume of exercise the same, but increase the intensity. So, from a comfortable walking speed, go to a fast one or add jogging.

Try to set aside time for strength exercises to build muscle mass and thereby increase the calorie expenditure for the basic needs of the body.

How many calories are burned while walking

Most weight loss programs recommend burning 200 to 300 calories per day with moderate to vigorous exercise. The number of calories burned depends on the weight and pace of movement.

Keep in mind that you are burning calories even when you sleep, but consumption increases with intensity.

Depending on your weight, walking 10,000 steps will require 250 to 600 calories from your body. Many pedometers calculate the number of calories burned based on the number of steps, and this indicator will be even more accurate when using a heart rate sensor.

Useful material: 20 cardio workouts that will get you in shape

What pace to walk

Walking at a fast pace is best when the heart rate is increased. Of course, a leisurely walk along the embankment is better than gatherings in a cafe, but for greater benefit, it is recommended to walk quickly - 5-7 km / h.

How to count the number of steps

How much you walked in a day can be calculated using smart watches, pedometers, mobile applications in smartphones. Do not forget that the devices do not take into account the peculiarities of your movements. For example, running 10K will have the same number of steps as walking 8K, although the difference in effort and endurance training will be significantly different.

Why Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

How to walk and where to go

Proper walking technique involves proper posture, stride length, foot position, and proper footwear. If you take it seriously, it will help reduce stress on your ankles, knees, hips, lower back, as well as reduce muscle pain and wear and tear on your joints.

  • Posture: Keep your head up so that your chin is parallel to the ground. Don't slouch and relax your shoulders.
  • Stride length: do not take large steps, as an excessively wide stride puts a lot of stress on the ankle joint.
  • Shoes: Should be wide enough at the toe to allow the toes to move freely. The heel should not slip, and the arch of the foot should not be pinched. Choose shoes with good cushioning to avoid your feet hitting the ground.

For walks, it is better to choose parks, forest areas and everything that is away from highways, but if this is not possible, walk along safe and comfortable streets for you. If you listen to music while walking, use only one earbud at a low enough volume to hear the sounds around you.

7 life hacks on how to get 10,000 steps every day

  1. Do not use the elevator and take the stairs whenever possible. It's even better than walking on level ground, because walking uphill uses more muscles and is more intense than even the fastest walk. Going down the stairs, by the way, is also considered a load.
  2. If you live 3-5 km from work, instead of waiting in traffic or pushing on public transport, try walking to and from work several times a week. It may also be that during peak hours you can reach your destination faster on foot than by car.
  3. If your home and work are far apart, just park farther away or get off public transport a few stops away and walk the rest of the way. Do the same when traveling to the mall and other destinations.
  4. If you work in a multi-story office building, use a restroom that is far from your office. It will be better if you go a few floors higher. This will serve as a good warm-up in the middle of the working day.
  5. Take more walks with your dog, and if you don't have a dog, you can always offer to help your friends, neighbors, or animal shelter with walking.
  6. Walk with music. Favorite songs will make the lesson more enjoyable and inspire you to go further and faster.
  7. Combine all the cases that have arisen with a walk: a trip to the hairdresser, to the store, meeting with friends.


How far will you go today? This goal will depend on what level of training you are currently at. But even if you can't walk 10,000 steps a day yet, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor just by continuing to move step by step. Do not get hung up on the numbers on the pedometer, because there is nothing magical in the number 10,000. Movement is what will make you healthy.

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