10,000 Steps a Day: Four Ways to Complete Them

One of the easiest ways to exercise without realizing you're doing it! Walk 10,000 steps a day to make a positive impact on your well-being.
10,000 Steps a Day: Four Ways to Complete Them

Last update: 24 July, 2018

Have you heard that walking 10,000 steps a day is the recommended minimum in order to remain in good shape? In trying to follow this suggestion, you may find it difficult to meet the challenge of walking so many steps in a single day. However, here we will give you four simple and clever ways to optimize your time and fulfill your step goal.

Why 10,000 steps a day?

The theory of 10,000 daily steps originated in Japan, during the decade of the 60s. At that time, a doctor named Hatano realized that the Japan was experiencing a concerning increase in the rate of overweight people.

Whilst investigating the daily routines of the Japanese, Dr. Hatano observed that adults walked from 3,500 to 5,000 steps a day. Then, he completed several studies to estimate the healthy average of steps for an adult to take each day.

His conclusion was that 10,000 steps a day would mean an average caloric expenditure of 500 calories. In obese adults, this physical activity would allow a significant reduction in body weight. Additionally, it would also help the general population to avoid the symptoms of being overweight.

In 1964, Tokyo received the Olympic Games and the debate on the importance of physical activity for people’s health resurfaced. Dr. Hatano took the opportunity to launch his own 10,000-step pedometer called, manpo-kei.

Hatano’s pedometer was a predecesor to other sports monitoring devices. It was then that the theory of 10,000 steps a day became known worldwide.

Walking 10,000 steps a day

Are 10,000 steps a day enough to remain in shape?

This is what we all want to know! The 10,000 steps represent an estimate of the minimum amount of physical activity that a person must perform daily in order to maintain a balanced weight.

This number may vary depending on the metabolism of each individual. For an elderly person, for example, 10,000 steps a day can be too many, especially if the person has a history of musculoskeletal diseases.

Additionally, we are talking about a very basic physical exercise that allows for minimal caloric expenditure. This results in slow and gradual weight loss, but not in the definition of muscle mass. If your intention is to increase your muscle mass or lose weight fast, the result of walking 10,000 daily steps may disappoint you.

However, the theory of 10,000 steps represents a good motivator for the general population to adopt a more active routine. As we know, the medical recommendation is to walk at least 30 minutes each day. Whether we complete the 10,000 steps in a row, or split them up wisely, we can achieve this goal.

Four ways to complete 10,000 steps a day

Just with any other physical activity, the goal of 10,000 steps requires commitment in order to generate good results. Below, we will give you four ways to achieve this goal, but it will be your willpower that will guarantee your good shape.

  • Accumulate the maximum number of steps per hour

A reality of our current world is that we all have little time and are always in a hurry. Therefore, the fastest way to meet the goal of 10,000 daily steps is to take as many steps as possible per hour. This means carrying out more intense and prolonged activities, in an accelerated rhythm, in order to generate better results.

  • Complete steps during your work day

For those of us who do not have much free time, a good option is to complete the 10,000 steps through work activities. In order to achieve this goal, during an eight to nine hour work day, you must take an average of around 1,200 steps per hour. In practice, this means walking for 15 minutes of every hour.

  • Divide steps into three planned sessions

This method is ideal for creating a healthier and more active routine, as well as setting aside moments for a mental break. Remember that overloading on work will hurt your health and decrease your cognitive performance.

To achieve the daily step goal, it is best to plan three periods of daily exercise: one in the early morning, one in the afternoon, and another at night. This way, you will keep your metabolism active throughout the day and you will be more willing to do the exercise.  You can have three sessions of 20 high-intensity minutes, taking approximately 3,000 to 3,500 steps per period.

  • Optimize your walks with the dog

Did you know that people who have dogs tend to be healthier? In addition to the benefits for emotional balance, having a dog also helps us to maintain a more active routine. Therefore, an excellent way to meet your 10,000 steps a day, is to start exercising with your dog.

Before beginning your 10,000 steps a day challenge, it is essential to consult your doctor. Also do remember that a balanced diet is essential for good weight management.

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The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.