A decade ago, no one had a specific number in mind when thinking about how many steps they should take in a day. These days, however, the cardinal rule is to hit 10,000 steps per day, whether you exercise or not. You may be wondering what the significance of this number is or exactly how beneficial it is to your body. Walking more in general has positive health benefits. Studies have shown that walking more can improve heart health, personal growth, weight maintenance and other variables that contribute to a healthy body.
There are a few reasons why 10,000 steps is the universal magic number. Aside from just being a round number that is easy to remember, 10,000 steps is equal to about five miles in distance, with 100 calories being burned per mile.
To achieve fat loss, you must burn more calories than you eat, causing a caloric deficit. A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories, and with a 500 calorie deficit per day, about a pound of weight will be lost each week.
People claim that walking 10,000 steps throughout the day has the potential to burn a total of 3,500 calories each week from walking. However, this claim is a rough estimation and only applies to a few people with certain body types and habits.
Eating foods that are dense in calories and low in nutrients foods can bring calories back on quickly, which undoes all the work of the walking. It is important to focus on eating a diet full of nutrient-rich whole foods that are low in calories to keep your body properly fueled for more exercise without replacing burned calories.
Keeping track of walking 10,000 steps is impractical without a pedometer. If you do not have a pedometer, you can track your distance and figure out your stride length to make an educated guess on the number of steps you have taken.
Quality Over Quantity
10,000 steps per day does not fit everyone the same. This may be too many steps for someone who is just starting out with walking or incorporating a new fitness routine into their life. If you do use a pedometer, use it for the first couple of days to see how many steps you currently average, and bump up your goal from there. Continue setting your goal in small increments to continue to improve.
Another idea is to forgo the pedometer and create a goal to speed walk for 30 minutes each day, and gradually build up the amount of time and distance that you spend walking.
The estimate of 3,500 extra calories burned per week with 10,000 steps per day has many varying factors for different people. Weight, height, diet, speed, and incline will all affect how calories are burned. In order to get a better idea of how many calories 10,000 steps burns for you, get a heart rate monitor to track how hard your body is working.
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