How to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

Time to be active

Walk 10,000 steps a day. Chances are pretty good you’ve heard the advice before. Maybe you’ve even tried it. But what’s so magical about getting those steps in?

Walking 10,000 steps a day doesn’t unlock magical unicorn powers, reveal a pot of gold, or win you a dream vacation. But there are some important health benefits to putting on your shoes and making walking a daily habit.

15 Healthy Reasons to Get Your Steps for the Day

If you’ve been thinking about taking action to improve your health, walking is one of the easiest ways to start.

Why? It doesn’t require any special skills, a gym membership, or expensive equipment. Just lace up your shoes and go.

Research shows that walking can help you:

  1. Lower blood pressure
  2. Build muscle strength
  3. Improve balance
  4. Boost energy levels
  5. Develop aerobic or cardiovascular fitness
  6. Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  7. Sleep better
  8. Control blood sugar levels
  9. Improve cholesterol levels
  10. Reduce risk for heart disease and stroke
  11. Strengthen bones
  12. Lower the risk for certain types of cancer
  13. Decrease stress
  14. Reduce anxiety and depression
  15. Help you live longer

Change Your Habits…Change Your Life
Still on the fence about walking 10,000 steps a day? Think about this….

  • Tip the scale in the right direction. Walking 60 minutes a day for a year would burn about 146,000 calories or about 40 pounds.
  • Feel the burn. It would take about 30 minutes of brisk walking to burn off the calories in a donut.
  • Prevent disease. Walking can help reduce the risk for heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of an estimated 659,000 people a year. But it’s largely preventable.
  • How many steps per day do you get? Be honest. The average adult only gets 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day.3

How to Make Walking a Regular Part of Your Day
Want to hit the 10,000 steps per day mark? It’s not as hard as you might think. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking each day (break it up if you’re short on time).

Here are some easy ways to add more steps to your day to improve your health:

Track your steps
A pedometer, wearable device, or mobile app can track the number of steps you take per day. Keep a record of how many steps you take. Monitor your activity throughout the day. Fit in an extra walk if you need to so you can meet your goal. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.


Take the stairs
Skip the elevator or escalator, and take the stairs. If you’re working at home with stairs, walk to deliver a message instead of yelling.

Park far away
Got a shopping trip planned? Forget about trying to find the closest spot to the front door. Park far away, and walk. You’ll add more steps to your day, and save time and stress trying to find a parking spot.

Schedule walk breaks
Let’s face it. We’re all busy. And if you don’t make time for walking, it’s easy to forget. So schedule it. Put it on your calendar. Your health depends on keeping this appointment. Take a morning and afternoon walk break. Fit a walk break in during your lunch hour. Or take a walk after dinner. Pick up the pace a few minutes at a time for added health benefits.4

Use a treadmill
If the weather stinks or you have other reasons for not walking outside, get on a treadmill. You might have one at home, the gym, the office, or even at a hotel when you’re on the road.

Walk and talk…without tech
At home you might yell from room to room. At the office, probably not. But you might send a co-worker an email or text. Walking in a group Either way, you’ll get more steps by taking a short walk to deliver the message in person.

Move more, sit less
Add more steps to your day by pacing around. Think about how often you’re sitting, when you could be moving: brushing your teeth, waiting for an appointment, on the phone, etc.

Walk with someone
It’s all too easy to hit the snooze button for an early-morning walk, or skip out because you’re “too busy.” But if you go with a friend or group, you’re a lot more likely to get your steps in. Social distancing rules may apply.

Host a walking challenge
Are you game for a little competition? Challenge your friends, co-workers, or family members to walk more, too. Keep track, and encourage each other to hit their daily steps goal. You could even share your progress on social media.