Do you track your steps?
With the rise of health apps and smart watches, many of us now know exactly how many steps we take each day. And while we don’t always meet our daily targets, it’s still motivating to see that little counter go up every time we move.
When lightweight fitness trackers were introduced to the U.S. markets around a decade ago, they paved a way for people to measure their low-intensity activity for the day. As a result, a trend was born.
Since then, many people have embraced step-counting and various step targets, including the popular 10,000 steps a day goal.
But does walking more really have an impact on our health?
How many steps do I need per day?
According to a study by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, most adults should aim for at least 4,000 steps a day for their general fitness. This helps reduce the risks of death and developing chronic diseases while improving one’s physical health. However, many people do go above this target — and the more you walk, the better!
Walking is one of the easiest ways to keep yourself active and healthy, with the potential added benefit of helping you lose weight. You can do it any time and at any place without the need for gym memberships and/or equipment, which makes it such a versatile and convenient workout for those who are always busy and on the go.
And you don’t even have to do it for a long period of time! As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person who weighs 154lbs loses around 140 calories when walking for 30 minutes at moderate intensity. This goes to show that indeed walking can help you lose weight depending on how long and how intensely you do it.
Can walking really help me lose weight?
As mentioned, 4,000 steps is a good start for most people. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you may need to increase the intensity and length of your walking. According to research, 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can help you burn around 150 calories (depending on your fitness level and weight). Consequently, the more minutes you add to it, the more calories you burn. And as long as you burn more calories than you consume, you’ll be on track to lose a few pounds or kilograms.
The same goes for the intensity. Based on a study by PubMed Central (PMC), people who allotted 3,500 out of 10,000 of their steps for moderate-to-vigorous activity experienced enhanced weight loss. Those who consistently did so for 10 minutes or longer were able to maintain their weight loss for more than a year.
With that being said, here are seven ways to incorporate more walking in your day.
7 ways to walk more and increase your step count
Make a habit out of walking.
Allot at least 15 to 20 minutes of your free time each day for walking. This is so that you can get into the routine of walking every day and adding to your step count.
Track your steps.
There are a lot of devices and apps that can help you monitor your steps. Oftentimes, these apps include features that record your improvement over a specific time period. This is a great way to take note of your accomplishments, which in turn serves as great motivation to keep you going.
Go the long way.
It’s not all the time that we’re free to work out, but you can always opt to incorporate walking as you go about your day. You just have to take the long route so that you can get some exercise in. So the next time you see an elevator, maybe try and consider taking the stairs instead! You can also consider parking farther away at the supermarket or at work. It may not seem a lot, but those steps really add up!
Walk while doing other things.
Walking can be done simultaneously with other activities. You can talk to people around you, listen to music or a podcast and even text or email while walking (but only if you’re in a safe location, such as a park or in your home gym).
Get a walking buddy.
Walking can sometimes get lonely, so why not get a walking buddy? This way, you can spend time with a friend and get external accountability all the while getting exercise in.
Getting busy is inevitable, which is why it’s also good to set reminders on your phone. This way, you’ll still get your daily walk despite your busy schedule.
Walk after a meal.
Research shows that walking for at least 15 minutes after eating improves one’s digestion and also helps with managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
So yes, walking definitely provides a lot of benefits to one’s overall health! It comes a long way most especially when you choose to incorporate it into your day.
To help get you started, you can go to your phone settings and explore your health application feature. Most phones nowadays have apps that include a step tracker, so you don’t even need a pedometer. Just hold your phone every time you go from point A to B.
You can also get a home gym treadmill so you can walk and train even when the weather isn’t cooperating. With so many options at every price level, Powertrain treadmills are a great choice for everyone wanting to level up their fitness.