How to Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

Many health and fitness experts are encouraging people to start the 10,000 steps a day challenge for health and weight loss that was popularized in Japan. While there was no initial medical proof that 10,000 steps a day was beneficial to our health, a Harvard study revealed that walking or running up to 6000 steps a day can slow down the aging process and prolongs one's life.

Why 10,000 Steps?

Do you know that the average sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day? Therefore, to strive for an active lifestyle, one should aim to walk 10,000 steps a day which is equivalent to 5 miles (or 8 km) of walking exercise.

Two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that this walking lifestyle is as effective as a traditional exercise program. In order to achieve good health, walking 10,000 steps a day will also burn about 2000 to 3500 calories a week, which will not only improve one’s overall health but will also:

  • elevates one's mood and physical well-being
  • decrease the chance of developing coronary heart disease
  • reduces anxiety and depression
  • slows the aging process and prolongs life
  • promote healthy bones and reduce the chance of osteoporosis

For fitness enthusiasts and those who want to lose weight fast, you may want to gradually work up to 12,000 steps to 15,000 steps a day.

How to Start 10,000 Steps a Day

Depending on your health and fitness level, one should first start to wear a pedometer to record the daily steps and then assess how much activity one is getting per day.

Assuming that your average daily step counts is 2500, a reasonable goal is to increase your daily steps by 500, working up at a comfortable pace until you reach the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day.

Tips and Warnings

Get Moving and Walk 10,000 Steps A Day

If you find it difficult to clock the 10,000 steps mileage, there are numerous simple activities that can help to increase your daily steps. Here are some ideas that you might want to try out:

  • Get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way to work or home
  • Walk your dog or offer to walk your friend's dog after dinner
  • Park your car at the furthest lot so you will walk the extra distance
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Take a stroll in the mall, by the park or the beach
  • Do your errands on foot instead of driving

Should you feel any pain or discomfort during the course of increasing your steps, do consult your physician. Any form of pain or discomfort is a sign that something might be wrong or an injury is at risk. This walking challenge aims to help you become more active and lead a healthy lifestyle, so always carry out your workout with caution. Taking it slow and easy yields better results.

Tools You Need To Complete the 10,000 Steps Challenge

A Good Pair of Shoes

Before you start walking, you will need a good pair of running or walking shoes. The right shoe can make walking easier and reduce foot fatigue and blisters. The best advice is to get a pair with plenty of cushion as it provides more support for your soles and heels.

Keep in mind that once your shoes feel flat and unsupportive, do replace them. The rule of thumb is to change a pair of shoe after every 500 miles (or 805 kilometers)

A Training Pedometer

Evidently, to even know how many steps you have taken, you would need a pedometer, also known as a step counter. Pedometers are basically motion sensors that measure steps and record the distance a person covers on foot.

Wearing a pedometer will give you a clear sense of your activity level and helps to remind you to walk more to increase your daily steps to achieve your goal of 10,000 steps a day.

Studies have shown that people who used pedometers to step count resulted in an average increase in step activity of 2000 steps a day, or about 1 mile.

10,000 Steps A Day Challenge


Strap on a pedometer and give it a try! Currently, the brand used most often is the HJ-112 by Omron.

Featuring 2D smart sensor technology, the Omron pedometer will consistently and accurately records every step while you walk towards your 10,000 steps a day goal. And as you check your count, it will also automically calculate your actual burnt calories, time the distance and duration of the walk as well as feedback on the total number of steps walked up to 7 days ago.

So put on those walking shoes, strap on that pedometer and get started on the 10,000 steps a day challenge today!