How Many Steps Should You Walk a Day?

How Many Steps Should You Walk a Day?

How many steps you walk each day plays a significant factor towards your health. Though it may not be apparent, physical inactivity and obesity largely result in the same type of diseases such as cardiovascular disease.

While a gym membership may be expensive, walking to get healthy is free and fun. The only valid reasons for not walking as often as you can is lack of time (this can easily be resolved) and if you have some sort of physical imepediment (if it’s foot pain related, we have insoles to ease the pain) – everything else are just excuses.

So if you’re able and willing, exactly just how many steps should you walk a day?

The general rule of thumb is 10,000 steps per day which is equivalent is around 5 miles.

This peculiar number is thought to have derived from the craze of pedometers in Japan during the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Nowadays, 10,000 steps is the default target setting on many fitness trackers and pedometers.

Now you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time to walk 10,000 steps a day!”.

Most people who work don’t as the time it takes to walk that distance is at least 1 hour. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged because that figure is not set in stone.

As a matter of fact, the UK National Obesity Forum classifies a person as being “moderately active” if they walk between 7k to 10k steps per day.

So as long as you’re hovering around the 7-8k mark, then you’re doing enough to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle, providing your diet is also well maintained.

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Walking thousands of steps is not paramount when...

You’re already an active individual, and by that we mean that you exercise at least 3 times a week.

If you go running or swimming several times per week, then walking thousands of steps per day will not significantly increase your fitness, although it will contribute towards it.

However, if you’re largely inactive – whether due to your office job or lifestyle – then walking thousands of steps daily will dramatically improve your health and fitness.

The most important lesson to take away from all of this is not the amount of steps you should be taking (although you should maintain a high amount consistently), but that you should never remain sedentary.

These tips will help you walk more steps

It’s easy to lose track of how far you walk each day and no one is insane enough to keep count!

If you want ensure that you’re at least on the right path to a more active lifestyle, then follow these tips:

  • The easiest way to keep track of your steps is to wear a fitness tracker or pedometer. These wearable devices will alert you whenever you hit your target which can easily make walking an addiction.
  • Unless time is a concern, make an effort to walk the long way to your destination. Going to the supermarket? Park your car further away. Walking to or back from work? Take the long way round instead.
  • The pressure you put on your feet as a result of walking thousands of steps everyday can damage your feet if you’re wearing uncomfortable footwear. Make sure that your footwear has enough heel and arch support and if they don’t, then insert heel pads or supportive insoles to absorb shock and relieve pressure from your feet.
  • Walk the dog more often if you have one
  • Walk with your spouse, child or friend – not only for more exercise, but for more bonding
  • If your local shops are within walking distance, there’s no need to drive there – just walk!
  • Avoid elevators, take the stairs instead
  • Take up hiking – there’s a huge community of hikers that may motivate and encourage you to do more walking.

Walking may not be your thing, but the key is to create a routine that’s suitable for you. The more you walk, the more you’ll get used to it and it’ll soon become a good habit.

Start today and you’ll be glad you did – it’ll be one of the best decisions in your life.

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