10,000 steps a day. What will they give to you?

10,000 steps are about 8.05 kilometers. Why exactly 10,000 steps? Is this a fitness myth or do they really help us lose weight and feel better?

You've probably heard that you need to go at least 10,000 steps a day to stay fit and healthy.

10,000 steps a day is also often mentioned as a prerequisite for weight loss.

Does it really work? And if so, how?

 

The concept of 10,000 steps per day was first popularized in Japan in the 1960s. Although the 10,000 steps concept was not based on medical research, it was becoming increasingly popular.  

The studies available today (and there are really a lot of them) confirm that a 10,000-step walk is a good support both for weight loss and for our health in general.

 

How does it work?

10,000 steps is not a magic number. In principle, it doesn't matter if you walk exactly 10,000 steps or 9,000 or 11,000 steps during the day. The important thing is that you move and move more than usual.

People with a sedentary lifestyle take on average around 2,000 steps a day, which is not enough. It is a sedentary lifestyle that is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease - and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death.

When we move five times more, we also train our cardiovascular system more and thus significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

By moving more, you also spend more calories, which is important if you want to lose weight. The energy absorbed by food is either spent or converted into fat. And walking is a good way to "burn" calories. Depending on your weight, walking speed and physical fitness, 250 to 600 calories are burned in 10,000 steps. For comparison, a woman's energy consumption (basic metabolism) ranges from 1600 to 2000 calories per day (depending on weight, height, and genetics).

The best part is that you don't need expensive equipment or a gym subscription to walk. A walk costs exactly nothing and you can walk anywhere. And, combined with a balanced and healthy diet weight loss is inevitable.

 

How to calculate how many calories are burned?

One of the best ways to calculate how many calories you burn in 10,000 steps or any other activity is to use an equation that takes into account:

  • Your weight;
  • Exercise intensity;
  • Duration of exercises.

Calories burned per minute = 0.0175 x MET*(Metabolic Equivalent of Task) x Your weight in kilograms.

Since this equation calculates the calories burned per minute to determine the total number of calories burned during a walk, you need to multiply the result by the total number of minutes you walk.

For example, if your walk lasted 90 minutes, then the final equation would be: calories burned = 0.0175 x MET x weight in kilograms x 90 (minutes).

 

*What is a MET and how to determine it?

MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) is the rate at which you burn calories during a certain amount of physical activity.

MET is the ratio of your metabolic rate when you are doing something to your resting metabolic rate. One MET is the energy your body consumes at rest - your resting metabolic rate or basal metabolic rate. If the MET value is 4, it means that your body uses four times more energy than at rest.

During the walk, depending on how fast you walk the MET can range from 2.0 to 4.3. For comparison - when running up the stairs, the MET is 15.0, running a marathon - 13.3, sleeping - 0.98, but wiping dust - about 2.3.

MET values for more than 800 different activities can be found HERE.

 

Walk training schedule for weight loss

If you want to shed those extra pounds, walking is a good start. In order to reduce monotony and the risk of burnout, variety is needed, while providing sufficient rest and recovery of the body.

A well-designed walking schedule can help you reach your weight loss goals faster, improve sleep quality, and reduce your anxiety/stress levels, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other illnesses. Respectively - significantly improve your quality of life.

Whether you are walking to lose weight, maintain weight, or improve your health, following your workout schedule will help you be consistent and reach your goals faster.

The training schedule I propose is not set in stone. If necessary, change the training days. For example, if you know that there is usually a lot of work on Mondays, plan a long walk for another day. If you miss one day, it's not the end of the world. The schedule will help you continue from where you left off.

If you are a beginner, you may need to improve your endurance before using the suggested walking schedule/workout plan.

Start with a 10-minute or 20-minute walk. Every day or the next day add a few minutes and so on. Gradually increase the walking time until you can walk at an average pace for at least 40 minutes without rest and shortness of breath.

Example of a walking training plan

Monday

60 minutes walk at a fast pace.

Tuesday

Recovery Day. Light activities are possible.

Wednesday

30-minute walk at a fast pace + strength training.

Thursday

30 minutes walk at a fast pace.

Friday

60 minutes walk at a fast pace.

Saturday

30-minute walk at a fast pace + strength training.

Sunday

A 30-minute walk at a fast pace, followed by another 30 to 90 minutes at a light pace.

As you can see, you should generally go at a fast pace - when breathing is harder than usual and your heart rate is 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. You can check your heart rate by measuring your heart rate manually or using fitness bracelets or watches.

Read more about heart rate zones HERE.

 

60 minutes walk at a fast pace

  • Warm up by walking at a light pace for five minutes;
  • Accelerate to a fast pace and continue at a fast pace for 60 minutes;
  • Slow down to a light pace, walk for five minutes;
  • After warming up or after a walk it is desirable to take stretching exercises.
 

30 minutes walk at a fast pace

  • Warm up by walking at a light pace for three to five minutes;
  • Accelerate at a fast pace and continue to go at a fast pace for 30 minutes;
  • Slow down to a light pace, walk for three to five minutes;
  • It is advisable to do stretching exercises after warming up or after a walk.
 

Several short walks

If you do not have time for a long walk, find time for two to four 15-minute walks. The total fast-paced time should be at least 30 minutes:

  • Warm up by walking at a light pace for one to three minutes;
  • Accelerate at a fast pace and continue at a fast pace for 10 minutes;
  • Slow down to one to three minutes.
 

A 30-minute walk at a fast pace, followed by another 30 to 90 minutes at a light pace

  • Warm up by walking for five minutes at a light pace;
  • Accelerate at a fast pace and continue to go at a fast pace for 30 minutes;
  • Slow down and walk for another 30 to 90 minutes.
  • It is advisable to do stretching exercises after warming up or after a walk.
 

Recovery Day

Your body needs rest to recover.

Some completely eliminate physical activity on a day off and spend time with family and friends. Others prefer active recreation with a low level of intensity, such as leisurely walks, fun cycling, etc.

Listen to your body to choose the most suitable for you. You may need 2 days to recover initially.

If you feel that you need more than two days to recover, you may be overtired. If this happens, check your heart rate while walking to make sure you don't overdo it. Reduce your heart rate to 50% or less of your maximum heart rate and/or shorten long walks by replacing them with shorter ones.

 

Strength training

Strength training will help improve muscle strength and endurance. Strength training, which includes functional exercises, can also help improve balance and coordination. In short, it helps to maintain youth and improve well-being.

If weight training is new to you, don't worry. No need to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment. You can do simple exercises at home using your body weight.

For example, by doing the following exercises:

 

If you want to lose weight, adding strength training can help you lose fat faster, especially when combined with a diet plan that exactly suits your needs. It should be noted that by starting strength training, your weight may temporarily increase because the "activating" muscles will retain more water.

Find out more about how to train and keep fit at home HERE.

 

In conclusion

Walking can be a good cardio workout and can improve your overall health as well as help you lose weight - whether you walk 10,000 steps or a little less.

Balanced and a healthy diet can only speed up this process.

The number of calories you burn in 10,000 steps varies from person to person because we all have different body weight and genetics. Walking speed can also increase or decrease the number of calories burned.

 

Move and be healthy!

 

Sources:

Step-Based Physical Activity Metrics and Cardiometabolic Risk

Revisiting "how many steps are enough?"

How many steps / day are enough? for adults

How many steps / day are enough? Preliminary pedometer indices for public health

2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

Metabolic equivalent: one size does not fit all

Recovery from exercise: vulnerable state, window of opportunity, or crystal ball?

Resistance training for activity limitations in older adults with skeletal muscle function deficits

Tell us what you think about this topic

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on email

follow me

Pulse zones

Pulse zones

How to find out how effective your workouts are? For example, when you run, you burn fat, develop endurance, or speed, or maybe strength? Is your physical activity intense enough, insufficient or, on the contrary, too intense?

Read the full article »