How To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

A little self-challenge can go a long way and you may have heard about this particular challenge through the grapevine. Today we are going to teach you how to walk 10,000 steps a day and fill you in on the many benefits that can come from this little bit of light, pleasant exercise.

Walking 10,000 steps a day is a slow but sure way to getting cardiovascular exercise without taxing your body too quickly in the process. It is a way to lose weight simply and effectively and it also improves your overall health.

Let’s explore the topic so that you have a better idea of this healthful commitment that seems so small but can really make an enormous difference.

Is walking 10,000 steps enough to lose weight?

Yes. Walking 10,000 steps a day is certainly enough to lose weight and the best thing about it is that it is a gradual process. This means you don’t have to worry about getting that ‘deflated’ look that can come with losing weight in an unhealthy, speedy manner. It’s a light cardio exercise and it’s very good for you.

If we want to break it down into calories burned then we can give you a rough idea of how much weight you can lose by walking 10,000 steps every day. In order to lose 1 pound of weight then you need to create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories.

Related: Walking To Lose Weight- Ultimate Guide

So, how many calories do you burn walking? On average it looks a little like this:

  • If your body weight is close to 120 pounds, then you will burn between 260 and 390 calories walking 10,000 steps. This means that you can burn 1820 – 2730 calories per week which comes to a loss of 1 to just under 2 pounds every 2 weeks.
  • If your body weight is closer to 180, then you will burn more calories walking your 10,000 steps. Your walks should burn between 400 – 600 calories burned per day, which comes to 2800 – 3200 calories per week so you can lose 1.5 to 2 pounds every 2 weeks.

How to walk 10000 Steps A Day

For a great plan for overweight walkers/runners, check out this post on my other website:

Related: Is It Ok To Run If I’m Overweight?

Walking/Running Plan For Overweight Walkers/Runners

What will happen if I walk 10,000 steps a day?

While it seems a little odd at first, just getting out there and taking your 10,000 steps, the awkwardness will quickly pass. You’ll develop a routine of areas that you will be walking by and at the pace of a leisurely stroll you can really enjoy your surroundings.

If you have a park nearby, we suggest that you take advantage of it to make things a little more scenic.

Your cardiovascular/aerobic health is going to start improving as well. When you first start taking these walks you may feel a little tired or your muscles may feel a little tight but don’t worry, this is normal. Stretching beforehand can also prevent tightness. If you have some tight knots in your legs. Before stretching, use a trigger point massage ball to release myofascial tissue (SMR – self-myofascial release). Simply roll the massage ball or foam roller around on the tight area until you find the tight spot. After you find the tight spot hold pressure on that point for 30 seconds and release. Always before SMR before stretching and exercising if you have tight spots that need to be ironed out.

Over time, the walks get easier until 10,000 steps seem like almost nothing. After only the first week, you’ll be feeling a little stronger, breathing a little better, and things just keep improving from there.

Related: Why Do I Feel Tired After I Run (besides exerting energy)?

How long does it take to walk 10,000 steps?

While the number sounds daunting, taking 10,000 steps is actually only going to take you around 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is not a very quick-paced walk, as you’ll strolling along at 8km/4.9 miles per hour and it’s not something that you need to do all at once.

Some people like to break their walks up into a morning walk and an evening walk, which only comes to 50 minutes per walk, or could do a 40-minute walk in the morning, a 20-minute walk to and from a nice area to have your lunch, and a final 40-minute walk in the evening.

It’s all about hitting the goal so you can pick your own way to walk 10,000 steps a day.

How many kilometers is 10,000 steps?

10,000 steps come to about 8 kilometers of walking. There will be a little variance, of course, as this is an approximation and some of us have a longer stride than others but this is an accurate ‘ballpark figure’. Factoring in differently sized steps and you are looking at about 6.4 – 8 kilometers of distance for a walk of 10,000 steps.

How many miles is 10,000 steps?

When we break it down into miles, a 10,000 step walk is generally in the area of 4 to 6 miles (though some say it is more likely 4 – 5, though as we’ve said this really boils down to the length of the individual’s stride).

How Long Does It Take To Walk 1 Mile?

How Long Does It Take to Walk A Marathon?

While it sounds like a lot you’ll find as you get into the habit of taking your 10,000 steps a day that it will get easier as you go. Many people even start extending their walks a little once the challenge has begun to lessen but let’s worry about that once we get there!

How to walk 10000 Steps A Day

How many steps are in a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon

While every person’s stride is different because of height and gender it’s hard to give a general answer to the question.

Based on Heigth and gender, I’ve put together a detailed post that shows you a range of steps it should take to walk a certain distance. It’s not perfect but a good reference point. Check out the post here:

How many steps are in a marathon (and other smaller race distances)?

Does walking 10,000 steps really work?

It most definitely does as long as you set yourself some goals and stick to them. You’ll want to make sure that you are getting your 10,000 steps every day. If you don’t want to have to keep track of the time then you can always try using a device such as a Garmin, Fitbit, Apple, or Polaris GPS smartwatch, to help you keep track of your exercises (I’ve put together the best of the best GPS smartwatch buying guides for walkers and runners). Garmin Connect and Fitbit both have challenges that are free to access and track daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.

That said, if you don’t have any of these fancy toys, your wristwatch or your phone will do just fine.  Just start walking, keep track of the time, and get your 10,000 steps done every day. That’s all that you need to do.

How can I get 10,000 steps without leaving the house?

If you are a bit shy about getting out of the house a treadmill is another way to get your 10,000 steps without having to leave the house. The nice thing about this is you don’t have to wear your headphones or earbuds, just turn on your stereo or play your favorite mix on your pc and get to walking.

Treadmills can keep track of your stats including walking distance and time. One of the easiest ways to track your treadmill progress is to simply hang a cheap calendar next to the treadmill. When you’ve completed your 10,000 steps for the day, cross out the day with a marker.

It’s a good idea to mark off your walks even if they are completed outside. Simply by physically marking a calendar, it gives you a visual morale booster that shows your progress and determination. Give it a try and see for yourself, there is nothing quite like seeing the achievement of a month’s worth of ‘Xs’ chained together and marked out!

There are days that I literally will walk around the house in laps to get in my steps.

How to walk 10000 Steps A Day

Related: Is Walking Better Than Running?

10 before 10 (10,000 steps before 10 AM )

When I first started out trying to get in my daily exercises for the day, I quickly realized that if I didn’t exercise before 10 AM on weekdays – I didn’t exercise.

I created this strategy to get 10,0000 steps in by 10 AM – every day. If for some reason I didn’t make 10K before 10 AM, I definitely got a jump start on my daily step goal. When you juggle work, kids, hobbies, life, etc., it becomes more and more difficult to find the time to exercise. Here is a look at my 10 by 10 strategy here:

10 by 10 – Knockout your exercises early in the day

100 Ways To walk 10,000 steps a day

I’ve created an eBook that’s free to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription (or $0.99) called 42,000 steps – 100 simple ways to maximize your daily step count (Amazon Link).

Some final advice on walking 10,000 steps a day

The best advice that we can give you is to be patient with yourself. Try walking 10,000 steps for 3 days a week for the first 2 weeks. After that, move up to walking 5 days a week for the next 2 weeks. Once you’ve mastered this for about a month,  give 7 days a week a try.

I try to walk at least 10,000 steps per day if I’m not running for the day. By sticking to this goal I end up with well over 100,000 steps each week (running + walking).

We realize that it sounds a bit daunting at first but keep this in mind. Your average walk around a grocery store is ¼ to ½ a mile. 10,000 steps are good for you and easier than you realize. For creative types, that walk is also quite inspiring.

Just give it a try and you’ll see for yourself!

Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Walk More?

Other Walking Resources

If you’re up to the challenge, a lot of walkers have surged past walking a 5K and 10K. They set their walking goals higher and moved on to half marathons and marathons. If you’re interested in walking a half marathon, check out this post asking the questions: Can You Walk A Half Marathon in 4 Hours (Pacing charts included in post)?

Are You Looking For A Half Marathon Training Schedule?

12-week/15-week beginner half marathon training plan (free sign up required)

8-week beginner half marathon training plan

8-week intermediate half marathon training plan (easily run a 5K)

4-week advanced half marathon training plan (already run 6+ mile long runs)

Half marathon walking training plans complete with pacing charts


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Coach Scott's Credentials:
  • Published Author
  • RRCA Certified Running Coach (Level 2)
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  • NASM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).
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He has published over 20 books including, Beginner's Guide to Half Marathons: A Simple Step-By-Step Solution to Get You to the Finish Line in 12 Weeks! (Beginner To Finisher Book 3), which has become an Amazon International #1 bestseller. Scott specializes in helping new runners become injury-free race finishers. He recently completed his 22nd half marathon race. 

 To sign up for a FREE half marathon training schedule, log sheet, and pace predictor CLICK HERE.

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How To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day
How To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

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