Looking to get more exercise? Here’s how much you need to be walking each day.

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Have you been feeling guilt-tripped by your activity tracker? You’ve been on the move all day, but it still wants more. You may be wondering – ”Sheesh. How much should I walk in a day?” Since the boom of activity trackers like the Fitbit or Apple Watch, many people would be inclined to say around 10,000 steps. This goal may be right for you, and the more steps you take, the better – but it really depends on your current activity level and what your goals are. Recent research has found that walking just 4,000 steps per day decreases the risk of dying from any cause. Many experts contend that any activity is better than no activity, so slowly building up an exercise tolerance may be an excellent place to start. We aim to answer some questions you may have about walking.

What are some of the benefits of walking?

Walking, and physical activity in general, can help prevent many different health issues. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular activity can help stave off:

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

  • Walking is also a stepping stone to more vigorous exercise. Jeremy Golden, the former Director of Athletic Training at Santa Clara University, the former Strength and Conditioning Coach for The University of Virginia Women’s Basketball Team, and the current Director of Fitness at Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, California says, “You crawl before you begin to walk, you walk before you run. You don’t want to go all out right away because then you put yourself at risk for injury.”

    What is the recommended distance to walk each day?

    The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week, which can include walking. These minutes can be broken up into smaller increments, which is helpful for those who may be crunched for time. Sometimes, it can be as simple as taking the stairs or parking farther away from your destination. Activity adds up.

  • How far is 10,000 steps in miles?

    10,000 steps is significant – it adds up to about 5 miles. Walking 10,000 steps does have its benefits – after 4,000 steps, for every 1,000 steps taken, the overall risk of mortality drops by about 15%.

  • How much should I walk a day for my weight?

    This depends on what your goals are. If you are trying to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. If you are eating more, you may need to walk more, and if you are eating less, you might not need to walk as much. Everyone can benefit from walking, whether or not you want to lose weight.

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