Taking 10,000 steps a day can keep the doctor away! Walking 10,000 steps a day (1.5 miles or 2.4 km) can improve the health status in adults. Several research studies show that taking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day can aid weight loss, reduce blood pressure, and improve fitness and mental health (1), (2), (3).
Don’t be intimidated by the high number of steps. This post tells you how to take 10,000 steps a day and what to do when the gyms are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read on!
Table Of Contents
How To Take 10,000 Steps A Day
You will be surprised to know how easily you can take 10,000 steps a day! Here are the most effective ways you can do it:
1. Buy A Pedometer
A pedometer counts the number of steps you take. You can also use the step counter in your fitness band, watch, or smartphone. The pedometer will give you an accurate measure of how many steps you are yet to take to reach your target of 10,000 steps a day. Monitoring the steps taken will also help you set a mental goal, which will motivate you to get up and start walking.
2. Take The Stairs
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It is a great calorie burner, works on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes, improves heart health, and, of course, will help you reach the target of 10,000 steps a day. However, if you have a knee injury or are recovering from surgery, avoid taking the stairs.
3. Walk To Nearby Places
Instead of taking the car or bike, walk to nearby places. Quick, short walks will also help you get the time to think, reflect, enjoy nature, make new friends (maybe), and release serotonin (the feel-good hormone). You will burn calories and de-stress. Isn’t that a good deal?
4. Walk Around Every Hour
Sitting at one place for too long not only causes pot belly but also leads to poor posture and mental fatigue. Take a break every hour. Walk around and get at least 50 steps. It will help break the monotony, keep your metabolism going, and help you get a new perspective on what you are working on.
5. Walk Your Dog
Walking the dog is a great exercise for you as well. Take your dog out for walks twice a day. You may walk or jog. You can also play with your dog. This will help increase your heart rate, release feel-good hormones, and burn some serious calories.
6. Play With Kids
Playing with kids in the park can help you get closer to your 10,000 steps a day, for sure! Running around will help improve your stamina and endurance and reduce stress levels. Also, spending time with your kid(s) will help you bond as a family, make memories, and share stories.
7. Park Far Away
Parking away from the elevator will make you walk an extra 50-100 steps. If you take public transport, get down one or two stops before and walk to your destination from there.
8. Walk Swiftly
Walk swiftly if you also wish to lose weight or get rid of belly fat. A faster-paced walk will help burn fat, increase heart rate, and improve endurance and stamina. Wear walking shoes and workout clothes and carry a water bottle with you.
9. Keep A Journal
Maintain a journal to track your progress from Day 1. If you are not used to walking, start with 100 steps on the first day. Keep adding 300 steps every day. Track your progress. Also, write about how you feel and what you did to walk the extra 300 steps that day. When you reach the target of 10,000 steps, you will be surprised at how your determination and adherence to the plan made you successful.
10. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself when you first reach the 10,000 steps. Do not go overboard and consume too many calories or stop walking! Celebrate your success by buying another workout gear or plan a cheat meal sometime next week.
These are the 10 ways you can take 10,000 steps a day. But how many calories will you burn? Find out below.
How Many Calories Do 10,000 Steps A Day Burn?
Taking 10,000 steps a day may help you burn 400-500 calories a day. However, that will depend on the intensity, time duration, age, sex, current weight, medical history, and current medication.
The next question is how to take 10,000 steps during the coronavirus pandemic? The gyms are closed, and you are quarantined. Here’s what you can do.
How To Still Get 10,000 Steps A Day During The COVID-19 Pandemic
With all the gyms and community parks closed, it is tough to walk 10,000 steps a day. But you can keep yourself active even in quarantine. Here are a few effective ways:
- Treadmill – If you have a treadmill, make the best use of it now. Walk on a 3-degree incline. You may also jog, run, or do sprints. Wear running shoes. Do not try to get to 10,000 steps in a day or run at 14 mph on the first day. Increase the pace and steps gradually. If you do not own a treadmill, do the following exercises:
- Dance – Dancing is a fun workout session. It will help you burn 300-400 calories, improve fitness, balance, and flexibility, and elevate your mood.
- Spot Jogging – Jogging at one place is known as spot jogging. Jog at one place for 1-2 minutes. Rest for 10 seconds and jog again for 1-2 minutes. You will burn 100 calories if you do it for 10 minutes.
- Jumping Jacks – Do 30 jumping jacks and rest for 10 seconds. Do 30 more. Ten minutes of jumping jacks will burn about 50 calories.
- Jumping Rope – Rope jump is a great warm-up exercise and full-body workout. You will burn 100-200 calories, depending on the reps and intensity. Do high-intensity rope jumps to lose fat.
- Squat Jumps – Adding a jump to squats can make it a functional exercise. These are similar to box jumps. Here’s how to jump squats. You will burn calories and improve balance, fitness, and lower body tone.
- High Knees – This exercise is similar to spot jogging. Only, this time, you have to raise your knees higher. It is a high-intensity exercise that targets the core and lower body muscles and helps shed fat from the overall body. Do 3 sets of 25 reps to burn about 100 calories.
- Other Exercises – The main aim is to stay physically active while staying indoors. Apart from the exercises mentioned above, you can do HIIT, yoga, bodyweight exercises, play with a hula hoop, and stretch.
What will happen after a week of taking 10,000 steps or doing these indoor exercises? Find out next.
Results After A Week
Do these exercises for 5 hours a week, and you will lose weight, stay in shape, feel energetic and motivated, and see an improvement in mood. As you will sweat, it will also help flush out toxins and improve your skin health.
Staying physically active can help you live longer. Take 10,000 steps a day and lower the risk of poor lifestyle-related diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Even if you are quarantined, you can get 10,000 steps or stay active. Get your daily workout and boost your immunity.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How many miles is 10,000 steps?
10,000 steps equal 1.5 miles or 2.4 kilometers.
Does 10,000 steps a day count as exercise?
Yes, 10,000 steps a day is counted as an exercise if you move around, and it ups your heart rate.
How much weight can you lose by walking 10,000 steps a day?
You may lose up to 3-4 pounds in a month if you get 10,000 steps every day and eat healthy food.
Will walking 10,000 steps a day build muscle?
No, walking is a cardio exercise. Cardio burns fat and causes muscle loss. To build muscles, you must do strength training every alternate day.
- Yuenyongchaiwat, Kornanong. “Effects of 10,000 steps a day on physical and mental health in overweight participants in a community setting: a preliminary study.” Brazilian journal of physical therapy vol. 20,4 (2016): 367-73.
- Increasing walking steps daily can reduce blood pressure and diabetes in overweight participants, Diabetology International, 9(1): 75-79.
- Hallam, K T et al. “”Happy feet”: evaluating the benefits of a 100-day 10,000 step challenge on mental health and wellbeing.” BMC psychiatry vol. 18,1 19.