Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise. In fact, it’s pretty common to not consider it exercise at all.
The truth is, walking is actually one of the easiest ways to get healthy movement into your daily fitness routine.
But how many daily steps do you need to maintain and improve your fitness and health? Good question...
In this article you’ll learn how many steps you need every day along with a few walking tips, the health benefits of walking and how to get your daily steps in.
Why is walking important for your health?
According to the CDC, “Regular physical activity can reduce the burden of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, and can prevent early death.”
Walking is also an important physical activity because it doesn’t require specialized equipment or skill, making it one of the simplest and most effective ways to add regular physical activity to your daily routine.
Plus, walking targets several different muscles in your body including the hamstrings, calves, hip flexors, back extensors, and obliques.
How many steps do I need everyday to be healthy?
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity which includes brisk walking.
Since brisk walking counts as moderate-intensity aerobic activity, your exact step count may vary depending on your pace.
You may have heard that you need 10,000 steps every day to reach an average fitness level.
While 10,000 steps is a decent average benchmark, how much—and what type—of physical activity you need is different for everyone.
We recommend starting with 4000 to 7000 steps a day. Starting small is always better than pushing your body too quickly.
Plus, walking doesn’t need to be your only physical activity. In fact, it’s good to make walking a part of your overall daily fitness to get the most benefits from your activity.
How to calculate how many daily steps you need
Use a pedometer app to determine how many steps you can comfortably do in a certain amount of time.
This will help you learn the exact number of steps you need in a day to reach recommended fitness goals.
Remember, the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity that can include brisk walking.
The benefits of walking every day
The benefits of walking can include:
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Helps lower high blood pressure
- Weight loss
- Improves sleep
- Improved ability to think and learn
- Boost creativity
Walking has also been shown to improve mood and overall mental health in several ways including helping walkers reconnect with nature as they exercise.
As Hippocrates says, “If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.”
How to get your daily steps in
If you’re not sure how to get your steps in, start small.
Here’s how to get your daily steps into your routine:
- Go for walks with friends
- Try several small walks around your neighborhood instead of dreading one big walk
- Walk to a destination you’d normally drive to like the grocery store, gym, pharmacy or your local cafe
- Listen to a good podcast or audiobook to make your walks more interesting
- Use a pedometer app to gamify your steps
- Make a walking playlist to listen to
- Walk while you work: if you have phone meetings try to attend while walking
Finding motivation can be tough. Track your progress with a fitness tracker to measure your achievements and learn how much you need to walk in order to hit your step goals.
Walking on sunshine
Walking is a great and easy way to add healthy movements to your day, improve your mood, and enhance your overall health.
Now that we’ve talked the walk, now it’s time to walk the walk. So get moving and feel the benefits for yourself!