But why? Why not 9,000 or 11,000? Why do they say 10,000?
The answer is simple.
As an average, there are 2,000 steps to a mile. If you walk 10,000 steps you will have walked five miles. If you walk 10,000 steps everyday for seven days you will burn a whole pound of fat (3,500 calories). That's a pound of weight loss, even if you do nothing else. Wow!
Even though 10,000 steps is a great way to lose a pound a week, that doesn't mean that walking less is not extremely good. In fact if you walk a mile a day, you are helping your body stay active. You will lose weight slower, but you will still lose weight, if you change nothing else. (That's means don't eat more just because you are walking now. 🙂)
Don't start out walking 10,000 steps at one time if you haven't been walking.
Start with a smaller goal (2000, 3000, etc.) and gradually work your way up to 10,000 and more steps a day. If you try to walk for 10 or 15 minutes at first instead of step counting, that might be the incentive you need to walk more. This is a good way to start especially if you are a slow walker.
If you walk slow a mile might take you half and hour or more. Gradually work up until you can walk a mile (2000 steps) in 20 minutes, then add more steps.
Starting out slowly will help you avoid injury. You don't want to jump in all the way and end up with a sprained ankle or sore muscles. Pay attention to any signs that you are over doing it.
If you feel foot pain, swelling, breathing issues, discoloration of skin on feet, or chest pain - STOP!
Always wear sturdy shoes that fit you good. When you walk, your body is putting additional pressure on your feet and you want to be sure they are well supported.
Setting a high goal is a good motivator even if you don't achieve it.
You can set your goal for 10,000 or more steps and push towards that goal.
If you only do 2000 or 5000 steps, at least you are walking and moving in the right direction. The more you walk, the better you will start to feel, and before long you have made your goal.
Using a pedometer is helpful and even motivating.
But you can also set a timer and walk to time instead of steps.
Set a timer for 1 minute, start walking your normal pace.
After one minute make note of the number of step you walk in a minute.
Then you can use that number to figure your step count.
For example: You walk 60 steps in a minute, which is a really slow walk, for 15 minutes, you have walked about 1/2 a mile!
The normal person can walk 100 steps per minute without stress.
It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before you begin a new exercise routine, even walking!
Do you have a regular walking routine? How many steps do you average per day? Per week? Have you recently started a new walking routine? Do you have any tips to share? Remember, walk, walk, walk!