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Is 10k Steps a Day a Realistic Goal?

 |  General

Have you ever wondered, “how many steps should I take a day?” If so, you might also be wondering what your average steps per day are and how it compares to the average American. Most adults average just 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, which is less than half than recommended. Or at least what most people think is the recommended amount. Many people think that they need to take around 10,000 steps a day, but is that a realistic goal? Not necessarily.

While there really isn’t a definitive answer to the question “how many steps should I take a day?” it’s beneficial to track your steps and make a conscious effort to stay active the easiest way possible – by walking. Here we’ll be going over the basics of why walking is beneficial to your health, what the actual recommended average steps per day is, and ideas for how you can get a few more steps in during your day.

Benefits of walking

Walking is arguably the most basic form of exercise, and it’s accessible to most people. It doesn’t require any kind of specialized equipment aside from supportive shoes. There aren’t any techniques that need to be learned, and there is no fitness center or gym membership needed. Walking regularly can:

  • Help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • Strengthen bones and muscles.
  • Improve balance and coordination.
  • Improve your mood.

Additionally, walking can help reduce your risk of developing common health problems like:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression

Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated, and walking is a great example.

What does science actually recommend?

If you’ve ever looked up “how many steps should I take a day?” you’ve probably seen a lot of sources that say 10,000. However, that number actually is not supported by most scientific research. Rather than aiming for 10,000, you should actually try and get in 7,000-8,000 average steps per day. Of course, there’s no reason to stop there, but just don’t feel as though you have to be aiming for 10,000 every day.

A little is better than none!

Any exercise is better than none, so while 7,000-8,000 steps a day is the recommended amount, don’t feel like you have to meet that number immediately. Start where you are and work yourself up to 7,000-8,000 average steps per day gradually, by increasing your activity every week.

Also, don’t feel like you have to get the bulk of your steps in at one time. This approach might work for some people, but others may prefer to space their walking and other exercise activities throughout the day.

How to include more steps in your day

You might be wondering how to include more steps in your day so you can get closer to the recommended 7,000-8,000 average steps per day. Consider some of these ideas:

  • Take your dog on an extra walk or make their walks a little longer than usual.
  • Put on a song with a strong beat that’ll motivate you to walk a little further, faster or both.
  • Get your whole family involved! The more people that are involved, the easier it is to hit your goals.
  • Walk to a colleague’s desk rather than sending them an email or shooting them a message.
  • Don’t just sit down and wait for an appointment or a flight. Use it as an opportunity to get more steps in.
  • Park further away from the entrance of your office and any shopping malls or stores you visit.
  • Put reminders in your calendar to take walking breaks.
  • Take the stairs rather than using an elevator or escalator.

Curious what other easy ways you can improve your health a little bit at a time? Bayless Integrated Healthcare takes a whole-body approach. Get a free 15-minute consultation with a doctor in 72 hours by contacting us today at 602-230-7373.