Most people nowadays lead a sedentary life, which entails many health risks (even premature death). Keeping track of the number of steps you take each day can be a useful tool to find out how active you really are.
By exercising more every day, you can benefit from many health benefits (including weight loss), especially when combined with healthy eating. But how many steps a day walking is necessary if you want to live healthier lives or lose a few pounds? You’ll learn that in this article!
How many steps a day do I have to walk?
Probably you have some questions about how many steps per day you have to walk.
You may be wondering…
- Why do I have to walk 10,000 steps?
- How many calories do I burn with 10,000 steps a day?
- How many steps per day can I lose weight?
Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not all easy.
How much you burn during a hike also depends on several factors, such as your walking speed, fat percentage, body weight and environment (do you walk up a hill or go downhill).
When it comes to getting a flat belly, movement can make an important contribution.
Let me divide the number of steps per day into physical activity levels:
- Inactive lifestyle: less than 5000 steps per day
- Active on average: varies from 7500 to 10,000 steps per day
- Very active lifestyle: more than 12,500 steps per day
You often read that 10,000 steps a day is the ‘magic number’ for your daily walks. We owe this to the Japanese (I’ll get back to you).
Another reason is that 10,000 steps a day is an easy rule of thumb. It means that you are walking at least one hour a day, since the average walking pace of an adult is about 4-5 km per hour (more about this in a moment).
Let me first suggest that regular exercise is one of the best ways to get rid of persistent abdominal fat. Even a big walk with the dog or working in the garden can help to burn calories.
Running 10,000 steps per day is often the default setting for pedometers and pedometers. But the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day didn’t just fall out of the sky. It stems from a Japanese marketing campaign in the 1960s.
In order to counter the trend of sedentary lifestyles, the Japanese people were encouraged to walk more. Walking 10,000 steps a day is not a magic number, but it does help to be aware to walk more often every day (source). It comes down to 7 to 8 kilometers of walking a day.
Does this mean I’m recommending you walk at 10000 steps a day? No, not in front of everyone. Some people aren’t walkers. They get demotivated with such a number.
A 2011 study showed that healthy adults take between 4,000 and 18,000 steps per day and that 10,000 steps per day is a nice symbolic target for healthy adults (source).
In addition, a recent study found that 4400 steps per day are also associated with positive health outcomes for older women. With more steps per day, the mortality rate decreased even more to about 7500 steps. More than 7500 steps did not provide any additional advantage (source).
What does this mean to you? If you’re a seated person, even a modest increase in exercise will bring you many health benefits.
It is especially important that you move more than you have always done. Don’t concentrate too much on the number. Although for some people this can be a good motivation and eye-opener to go out more often. In that case you go for 7500 steps a day!
How many steps a day if you want to lose weight?
So you want to lose weight by walking more steps a day? That’s possible! However, it is important to first determine how much weight you want to lose. What’s your goal?
If you want to lose a few kilos, 10,000 steps a day is a nice goal to start with. An adult person burns an average of 100 calories per 2000 steps. That teaches us that 10,000 steps equal 500 calories. But this calculation may vary slightly depending on your walking pace, body weight, fat percentage, gender, and age.
In this article, you can use my BMR calculator to determine your daily energy consumption.
If you walk about 10.000 steps every day you will reach 8000 meters (8 km). By walking more at a good pace you can burn some extra calories.
As a rule of thumb, remember that the faster you walk, the more calories you burn. With a powerful walking pace, you burn about twice as many calories than with a low walking intensity.
An obese person will also burn more calories than someone who moves a lot less because the heart of an obese person needs more energy to move. This also applies to your fat percentage.
If you have little body fat you will burn more calories than someone who carries more fat. During the walk, muscle tissue helps to burn calories. So if you’re reasonably muscular it works to your advantage!
Your age also plays a role in how many calories you can burn while walking. Loss of muscle tissue is a normal process in aging.
From the age of 30 we lose about 1% of muscle mass per year. Every year you lose muscle mass, which slows down metabolism. As a result, you will have to walk at a slightly faster pace to experience the same weight loss as someone who is a lot younger.
In addition to counting your steps, it is advisable to add fitness – or any other sport in which you use your muscles intensively – to your lifestyle. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn during rest and physical exertion. The end result is a slim and attractive figure!
The best pedometers to reach your goal
Looking for a pretty accurate way to count your steps? Then I can definitely recommend a pedometer or a pedometer. There are digital pedometers in the form of watches or wristbands. These are ideal if you do a lot of walking or running.
Are you looking for a simple and cheap alternative? Then you can put a pedometer app on your smartphone.
For the iPhone, the free app StepsApp Pedometer works perfectly to make you aware of the number of steps you walk in a day. Do you have an Android phone? Then go for the Pedometer & Calories counter.
These pedometers apps use built-in sensors to count your steps. So it doesn’t use GPS tracking and helps save battery life.
What’s more, your steps are automatically tracked even if your phone screen is locked. Ideal! The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to go to a gym for this. All you have to do is put on those hiking boots more often.
7 tips to walk more steps more day
Tip #1: build it up slowly
Runners are deadbeats, so the saying goes. By setting realistic goals you stay motivated.
If you don’t walk 2000 steps a day, you want to build it up quietly. Start by adding 250-500 extra steps per day. Focus on this for the first week.
As soon as this feels good you add 500 extra steps to your daily exercise every week. Repeat the process until you run around 7500-10,000 steps a day.
Tip #2: add intervals
You can also challenge yourself by adding intervals to your running sessions. I only recommend this for people in good health.
What you do is you run for 30 seconds followed by two minutes. Then you run again for 15 seconds followed by a minute. And you do this several times a day.
Tip #3: divide the walks over the day
Divide your running sessions into three parts (morning, afternoon and evening) and take a 15-20 minute walk each time.
At the end of the day you will have walked for 45-60 minutes and that’s quite a few steps a day!
Tip #4: take the stairs
You’ve probably read this tip before. Do it now! By applying this you can already take many extra steps a day.
Avoid the elevator, leave the car at home, pick up the bike or get off a stop earlier and walk to work. In this way, you can easily achieve the number of steps you want per day without having to do too much.
Tip #5: Walk while calling
Where possible, try to take your calls in places where you can walk back and forth.
Instead of sitting on the couch you can walk much better if you make a phone call. Ideal for speaking on the phone where you don’t feel like it. In this way, you’ll at least spend your time in a useful way!
Tip #6: keep yourself motivated
Walking an x number of steps every day of course requires some discipline. Think of it as an obligation to yourself to put your health first.
Stick to a routine. This is important if you are struggling with your motivation. It is possible that you are not always motivated to leave, push yourself anyway because as soon as you start to move you will feel a lot better.
And this is also your discipline. By not giving up right away, you teach yourself a new habit.
Tip #7: Don’t forget what you eat!
Focusing too much on counting your steps can cause you to ignore your diet. Of course, that’s not the point.
Losing weight by walking more steps a day only makes sense if your diet is also in order. Nutrition always remains leading when it comes to losing weight.