Walking regularly has many benefits.
It’s an easy and cost-effective form of physical activity, plus, taking enough steps each day could benefit your health by reducing your risk of depression, aiding in weight management, and improving brain health, bone health, and overall quality of life (
In recent years, walking 10,000 steps per day has become a popular recommendation used to promote regular physical activity.
But you may wonder why exactly 10,000 steps is recommended and whether this guideline can help you reach your fitness goals.
This article takes a closer look at daily step recommendations and how many calories you burn by taking 10,000 steps.
For many people, walking 10,000 steps equates to roughly 5 miles (8.05 kilometers).
What’s more, current research also supports the claim that walking 10,000 steps is good for weight loss and overall health (
In a study in 35 adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 31.7–44.9, participants received dietary counseling and gradually increased their daily steps until reaching 10,000. After the 6-month intervention, participants’ BMIs significantly decreased by 3.7% (
Other body measurements improved as well.
That said, this study did not differentiate the effects of dietary counseling from those of walking. Therefore, it’s not possible to attribute the decrease in BMI to walking alone.
Taking 10,000 steps each day is not an official health recommendation, but it has shown to benefit weight loss and overall health.
Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not simple to measure exactly how many calories you burn by taking 10,000 steps.
In fact, each person likely burns a different number of calories every time they take those steps because the number of calories you burn through physical activity is affected by many factors.
Because it takes more energy to move a larger body than it does to move a smaller body, the theory is that more calories are burned during the movement of a larger body (
However, emerging research is suggesting that after adjusting for body weight, the number of calories burned through physical activity in people with a higher body weight might not be higher after all (
Therefore, more research is needed to determine how weight affects the number of calories burned while taking steps.
Pace and terrain
Other factors that could influence how many calories you burn by taking 10,000 steps are how quickly you move and on what type of surface.
For example, if you’re walking briskly uphill at a pace of 5 miles (8 kilometers) per hour, you could be burning more than 7 calories per minute.
On the other hand, if you’re walking leisurely downhill at a rate of 3–4 miles (5–6 kilometers) per hour, you might be burning between 3.5 and 7 calories per minute (
A study in young adults found that walking 10,000 steps at a pace of 4 miles (6 kilometers) per hour would burn an average of 153 calories more than walking the same distance at 2 miles (3 kilometers) per hour (10).
One study measured the calories burned during physical activity in 8 sets of twins for 2 weeks and concluded that genetic differences were responsible for as much as 72% of the variance in calories burned during physical activity in daily life (
Plus, a study in rats found that constantly active and high-capacity runners transmitted more heat in their muscles during physical activity, leading to more calories burned, compared with low-capacity runners that were less active (
Still, some of the research on this topic is of an older date, and more current studies are needed to understand how genetics influence how many calories you burn.
The number of calories you burn by taking 10,000 steps is likely affected by factors like weight, genetics, and the pace and terrain on which you walk.
One of the best ways to calculate how many calories you burn by taking 10,000 steps is to use an equation that considers your:
- exercise intensity
- duration of exercise
A simple equation that considers these factors that you can use to calculate your calories burned while walking — and for other exercises — is (17):
- calories burned per minute = 0.0175 x Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) x weight in kilograms
To use this equation you will need to:
1. Determine the MET of your activity
MET stands for the Metabolic Equivalent of Task. A MET represents the rate at which you burn calories while engaging in a certain physical activity. Different activities at different intensities have their own MET equivalent (
For walking, an average MET equivalent ranges from 2.0 to 10.0 depending on speed and terrain (20).
2. Calculate your weight in kilograms
If you’re used to calculating your weight in pounds, it’s easy to convert your number to kilograms.
Simply divide your weight in pounds by 2.2:
- weight in pounds / 2.2 = weight in kilograms
3. Take note of how many minutes taking 10,000 steps took
Since this equation calculates calories burned per minute, you need to multiply the result by the total number of minutes it took you to take the 10,000 steps to determine the total calories you burned.
For example, if it took you 1.5 hours (90 minutes) to take 10,000 steps, your final equation would look like this:
- calories burned = 0.0175 x MET x weight in kilograms x 90 (minutes)
4. Plug your data into the equation.
Once you have determined your MET, your weight in kilograms, and the total number of minutes it took you to take 10,000 steps, you can plug your data into the equation and complete your estimate.
Here are a few examples of how the calories you burn could vary for different body weights and step intensities. In these examples, it’s assumed that each person walked for 1 full hour (60 minutes) regardless of the speed.
|2.0 mph |
|3.0 mph |
|4.0 mph |
|5.0 mph |
|173 calories||266 calories||309 calories||514 calories|
|214 calories||329 calories||383 calories||636 calories|
|253 calories||388 calories||451 calories||749 calories|
|294 calories||451 calories||525 calories||872 calories|
You can easily estimate the number of calories you burn taking 10,000 steps with a simple equation that considers your weight, walking speed and intensity, and the time it took you to walk 10,000 steps.
Overall, taking 10,000 steps each day appears to be one way to improve overall health and wellness.
Still, taking 10,000 steps each day may not be right for everyone, for example, because of a lack of time or joint problems. That said, even walking fewer than 10,000 steps each day has been shown to have benefits (
One study in women found that a 12-week walking program in which participants walked 50–70 minutes on 3 days a week could reduce abdominal obesity and improve blood markers of insulin resistance (
Walking 10,000 steps each day could help you meet your weekly physical activity recommendations. However, taking any number of steps each day is still more beneficial to your health than taking none at all.
Taking 10,000 steps each day may help you get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days per week.
Yet, taking 10,000 steps daily may not be realistic for everyone. Plus, fewer steps can still improve your health.
The number of calories that you burn by taking 10,000 steps varies from person to person — and even day to day — as factors like body weight, genetics, and walking speed could increase or decrease the number of calories burned.
To estimate how many calories you have burned, use an equation that considers your body weight, walking intensity, and the time it took you to complete the 10,000 steps.
All in all, walking regularly may offer many health benefits — whether you walk 10,000 steps or fewer.
Most rough estimates revolve around 100 calories burned per mile for a 180-pound person. How many miles are 10,000 steps? On average, 10,000 steps are going to come out to be roughly 5 miles. So assuming you weigh 180 pounds, then yes, by simple mathematics, 100 calories x 5 miles equals 500 calories.Does walking 10,000 steps reduce weight? ›
What is 10000 Steps Equal To? “But,” continues Jamie, “if you walk briskly for 30 minutes and include enough activity throughout the day to reach the combined total of 10,000 steps, you're burning about 400 to 500 calories a day, which means you're losing one pound each week.”How many calories do you burn 10,000 steps a day? ›
Most people burn around 30-40 calories per 1,000 steps, which means they will burn around 300-400 calories by walking 10,000 steps.How many calories burn in 15000 steps? ›
|2,000 Steps per Mile (Height 6 Feet and Above) Calories Burned by Step Count and Weight|
People interested in walking for weight loss should consistently hit at least 10,000 steps each day. Some people may even want to increase their total number of steps beyond this amount. However, any steps that a person takes beyond their normal daily step count can help them lose weight.How many steps to burn 500 calories? ›
On average, 10,000 steps are going to come out to be roughly 5 miles. So assuming you weigh 180 pounds, then yes, by simple mathematics, 100 calories x 5 miles equals 500 calories.How can I lose 2 pounds a week? ›
Generally to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories more than you consume each day, through a lower calorie diet and regular physical activity. Depending on your weight, 5% of your current weight may be a realistic goal, at least for an initial goal.How many steps a day to lose 2 pounds a week? ›
In order to lose 2 pounds a week, it is recommended to take 10,000 steps a day. This is equivalent to about 5-6 miles and should be taken over the course of the entire day. The amount of energy you burn during this amount of walking is estimated to be 400 to 500 calories a day.Has anyone lost weight walking 10,000 steps a day? ›
To lose weight by walking, you have to burn off an extra 500 calories a day to lose a pound a week. Most people burn around 300 to 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps.What exercise burns the most calories? ›
Running is the winner for most calories burned per hour. Stationary bicycling, jogging, and swimming are excellent options as well. HIIT exercises are also great for burning calories. After a HIIT workout, your body will continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours.
Walking might not be the most strenuous form of exercise, but it is an effective way to get in shape and burn fat. While you can't spot-reduce fat, walking can help reduce overall fat (including belly fat), which, despite being one of the most dangerous types of fat, is also one of the easiest to lose.How much weight can I lose in 1 month by walking? ›
How much weight you can lose from walking depends on your current weight, diet and activity level. We recommend losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week for sustainable weight loss, which means you could potentially lose 10 pounds in five weeks.Why am I not losing weight from walking? ›
One of the main reasons why burning calories through exercise may still not result in weight loss is due to overexertion, or inflammation of your body. If you exercise too hard on a daily basis, there is an excess of inflammation in your body. All the added up inflammation makes you gain more weight than lose.Does walking tone your butt? ›
Walking is absolutely a great form of exercise, and one that doesn't get a ton of love because it's so chill and easy compared to other forms of exercise, Saltos says. But, rather than building butt muscles, walking can actually make your bum a bit smaller.What is the flat tummy walk? ›
The Flat Tummy Walk
abdominal muscles, leading to a flatter stomach. This type of exercise typically involves engaging the core muscles and walking at a brisk pace. It can be done indoors or outdoors and doesn't require any equipment. It is also called a “power walk” or “brisk walk”.
Mostly, losing weight is an internal process. You will first lose hard fat that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and then you will start to lose soft fat like waistline and thigh fat. The fat loss from around the organs makes you leaner and stronger.How to lose 50 pounds in 3 months? ›
Know how many calories you need to cut to lose weight.
To lose one pound a week, you need to create a calorie deficit of about 500 a day, or 3,500 a week. To lose 50 pounds in three months, you will need to create a weekly calorie deficit of at least 14,000 calories, in order to lose about four pounds a week.
To lose 10 pounds in one week, you'll need to burn between 3,500 and 5,000 calories more than you consume each day by restricting your diet to small portions of nutritious yet low-calorie foods, and significantly increasing your aerobic exercise with interval training, sports, and other vigorous activities.How to lose 3 pounds in a week? ›
Set a new daily calorie goal to create a 1,500 per day deficit. 3 lb (1.4 kg) is equal to 10,500 calories, which means you'll need to cut 1,500 calories per day using diet and exercise. Once you know how many calories you burn in a day, subtract 1,500 from it to get your daily calorie goal.How many calories do I eat a day to lose 2lbs a week? ›
For example, to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week — a rate that experts consider safe — your food consumption should provide 500 to 1,000 calories less than your total weight-maintenance calories. If you need 2,325 calories a day to maintain your current weight, reduce your daily calories to between 1,325 and 1,825.
While losing 10 pounds in a month may seem like a lofty goal, it's entirely possible by making some small modifications to your diet and lifestyle. Taking it one step at a time and making a few small changes each week can help you lose weight safely and keep it off long-term.What happens if you eat 1,000 calories a day? ›
However, other studies show that while consuming 1,000 calories a day may result in significant weight loss, most people cannot sustain it and often experience significant weight regain . The reasons include regaining lost muscle mass and increased appetite. Also worth noting is that the human body can adapt.How much should I walk to slim down? ›
In terms of how the type of walking you need to do to lose weight, a brisk pace is recommended. Walking for 30-90 minutes several days each week will help you to lose weight. Walking at a brisk walking pace for 30 minutes typically results in a distance walked of 1.5-2 miles or 3,000-4,500 steps.How to lose 20 pounds in a month? ›
- Count calories. ...
- Drink more water. ...
- Increase your protein intake. ...
- Reduce your refined carb consumption. ...
- Start lifting weights. ...
- Eat more fiber. ...
- Follow a sleep schedule. ...
- Set reasonable goals and stay accountable.
A study in JAMA Neurology found that walking about 10,000 steps a day was linked to less cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke and heart failure), 13 types of cancer, and dementia. Taking 10,000 steps is about the same as walking four or five miles, depending on your stride.How long does it take to see results from walking? ›
After 3-4 days of walking: you will notice the “better fit” or more room in your clothes! After 7 days of walking: real changes are happening! You have used body fat as energy (fat burning!) Muscles feel more toned!How to lose 5 pounds a week by walking? ›
Walking for weight loss plan
5 minute brisk/medium intensity walk followed by 15 minutes at a low intensity. Rest. 6 minute brisk/medium intensity walk followed by 15 minutes at a low intensity. Nathalie suggests this plan if you want to start walking for weight loss after a long time of being inactive.
Completing an extra 10,000 steps each day typically burns about 2000 to 3500 extra calories each week. One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories, so depending on your weight and workout intensity, you could lose about one pound per week simply by completing an extra 10,000 steps each day.What burns belly fat? ›
- Try curbing carbs instead of fats. ...
- Think eating plan, not diet. ...
- Keep moving. ...
- Lift weights. ...
- Become a label reader. ...
- Move away from processed foods. ...
- Focus on the way your clothes fit more than reading a scale. ...
- Hang out with health-focused friends.
Your weight is a balancing act, but the equation is simple. If you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. And if you eat fewer calories and burn more calories through physical activity, you lose weight. In the past, research found about 3,500 calories of energy equaled about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat.
According to Healthline, running burns the most calories. A tried and true exercise that requires little more than your legs and the open road, running burns just over 800 calories for a 155-pound adult per hour.What is the best time to walk to lose weight? ›
The ideal time would be in the morning, before having your breakfast. At this time your body is already in a calorie deficit mode, and walking can ignite the body's ability to burn fat.How much weight can you lose walking 1 hour a day? ›
You can achieve part of this deficit by walking 1 hour per day or by gradually decreasing the number of calories you consume. Depending on your calorie intake, a deficit of 500 calories per day may lead to 0.5–2 pounds (0.2–0.9 kg) of weight loss per week ( 10 ).How many pounds does it take to lose an inch off your thighs? ›
In general, it takes about 8 pounds to lose your first inch.Can I lose 20 pounds in 2 months by walking? ›
At a weight loss rate of ½ -1 pound per week, it will likely take you at least 20 weeks to lose 20 pounds. Losing weight at this pace is safe and will help you keep the weight off long term. To accomplish a weight loss of ½ - 1 pound per week, try to burn an extra 250-500 calories per day by walking.How to lose 20 pounds in two weeks? ›
- Make A Commitment. ...
- Cut Your Caloric Intake. ...
- Up Your Protein Intake. ...
- Eat More Fibre. ...
- Plenty Of Sleep. ...
- Avoid Refined Carbs. ...
- Increase The Intensity Of Your Workouts. ...
- Drink More Water.
Losing 5 pounds a week comes to reducing your food intake by 3500 calories over seven days. The value that represents the decrease in calorie intake is known as the calorie deficit. If you want to lose 5 pounds in a week, you will need to reduce your food intake by 17,500 calories, which is a huge calorie deficit.How can I speed up my weight loss walking? ›
If you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories a day. Of course, the more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you'll burn.Why am I gaining weight when I walk everyday? ›
When you exercise regularly, your body stores more glycogen to fuel that exercise. Stored in water, glycogen has to bind with water as part of the process to fuel the muscle. That water adds a small amount of weight, too.How to speed up metabolism? ›
- Exercise more. Add interval training to your cardio routine and burn more calories in less time. ...
- Weight train. Add muscle mass to your body and you can burn more calories at rest. ...
- Don't skip meals, especially breakfast. ...
- Eat fat-burning foods. ...
- Get a good night's sleep every night.
Walking is extremely helpful at getting rid of fat from your legs. It is great for slimming down your legs, but you need to combine it with resistance training to tone them up. Resistance training will not only tone your legs, but it will also help with boosting your metabolism and burning more calories.Does walking shape your body? ›
Walking is particularly effective for toning your legs and bum, she adds. “The muscles you use when walking include your calf muscles, thighs and buttocks, so these areas will become more toned and shapely.” However, walking may not tone all areas of the body.How long does it take to lift a saggy bum? ›
Expert trainers will typically recommend that you work out 3-4 times a week, taking plenty of time for muscle recovery and rest. If you imagine that you could dedicate 3-4 hours a week to your lower body, you might see results in as little as 5-6 weeks.Should you walk fast or slow to lose weight? ›
Conclusions: Total body fat is lost through walking at all speeds, but the change is more rapid, clear, and initially greater with slow walking in overweight subjects. A longer exercise impulse at a lower speed in our study initially produced greater total fat loss than a shorter one with fast walking speed.Where do I lose fat when I walk? ›
One of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat is to regularly take part in aerobic exercise, such as walking ( 19 , 20 ). In one small study, women with obesity who walked for 50–70 minutes three times per week for 12 weeks, on average, reduced their waist circumference and their body fat.Can walking reduce cellulite? ›
Weight loss can lessen the appearance of an individual's cellulite. Some common aerobic exercises include: walking.
In addition to an oily appearance, your urine might also have a milky white color. This is due to the presence of fat and protein in lymph fluid. Other symptoms of chyluria include: blood in your urine.Which body part loses fat last? ›
Coming to the point, you will first lose “hard fat” (visceral fat) that surrounds your organs like liver, kidneys and later, you will burn soft fat (belly fat, thigh fat, back fat, etc.). Women accumulate fat cells around their belly area, hips, thighs and these areas are usually the last from.Is face fat the first to go? ›
Everyone's body, say experts, follows a fat-storing order. The order is not the same for each individual. Usually, when you lose the fat, it comes off in the opposite order that it was stored. If your body tends to store fat in your face or belly first, these will be the last places where it would shed from.How many steps should you take a day to lose 2 pounds a week? ›
In order to lose 2 pounds a week, it is recommended to take 10,000 steps a day. This is equivalent to about 5-6 miles and should be taken over the course of the entire day. The amount of energy you burn during this amount of walking is estimated to be 400 to 500 calories a day.
If you're walking every day and not seeing results, you're not burning enough calories on your walks to put you in to a caloric deficit, explained NASM-certified trainer and physical therapist Molly Canu.How many steps should I walk daily to lose weight? ›
Depending on your age, gender and current activity levels, if you'd like to lose some extra inches, then 10,000 steps per day is a reasonable target. Try to include solid bursts of 3,500 steps or more to up the positive impact.How many steps a day to lose 3 pounds a week? ›
If you're trying to lose weight or lose body fat, aim for 10,000 to 12,500+ steps a day.How to lose 7 pounds in 2 weeks? ›
- drink water, drink water, drink water! Water is one of the best weapons in your battle to lose the pounds. ...
- add soup to your menu. ...
- goodbye sugar! ...
- lose the salts! ...
- keep it moving! ...
- fruits and vegetables. ...
- get sleep!
Walking is a great way to lose 20 pounds for many reasons, and knowing how to do it effectively will help you reach your goal weight in no time. Walking is enjoyable for most people, easy on your joints, and one of the safest forms of exercise.Does walking lose belly fat? ›
Walking is a moderate-intensity exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Simply walking more often can help you lose weight and belly fat, as well as provide other excellent health benefits, including a decreased risk of disease and improved mood.What happens to your body when you start walking 10000 steps a day? ›
A study in JAMA Neurology found that walking about 10,000 steps a day was linked to less cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke and heart failure), 13 types of cancer, and dementia. Taking 10,000 steps is about the same as walking four or five miles, depending on your stride.Will walking 2 miles a day help lose belly fat? ›
Walking might not be the most strenuous form of exercise, but it is an effective way to get in shape and burn fat. While you can't spot-reduce fat, walking can help reduce overall fat (including belly fat), which, despite being one of the most dangerous types of fat, is also one of the easiest to lose.