How many steps per day to lose weight and maintain your fitness level

Walking is one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your day. But can it actually help you lose weight? Spring, may be, depending on how you do it. “If you take 10,000 steps a day and don’t change anything else, you can lose weight,” says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, FACP, chair of nutrition and food studies at George Mason University, associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine and Co -Author of Weight Loss for Life: The Proven Plan for Success. “But weight loss is variable and depends on many other factors such as activity level, portion sizes and food choices.”

Losing weight requires doing more than counting steps. “Counting steps is useful because you can monitor yourself every day, but if step count is your primary driver, you may not be getting the profits you expect,” said Anthony J. Wall, senior director, global business development at American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Certified Personal Trainer. “What is effective is the frequency, intensity and duration of your activity. Focusing on steps is helpful for overall health, but it’s irrelevant if you’re slowly strolling through a museum all day.”

Here’s everything else you should know about how many steps a day you need to lose weight:

How many steps should you walk a day?

Much research has shown that walking can have significant health benefits, including improving blood pressure, lipid profiles and cardiovascular function, reducing waist circumference, and maintaining bone density. But while you’ve probably heard that you should walk 10,000 steps a day, it turns out that number is somewhat arbitrary; It originated in 1965 with the marketing of a pedometer sold in Japan under the name “10,000 Steps Meter”.

This number is entrenched in our health consciousness, but it turns out that fewer steps can have benefits, which is good news if you’re struggling to hit the 10,000 step mark. A recent study found that among older women, walking 4,400 steps a day reduced mortality rates compared to less active women who walked 2,700 steps. Another study of people aged 38 to 50 found that taking 7,000 steps was associated with a lower mortality rate. “If you’re looking for steps for improved health and longer lifespan, about 7,000 steps seems like the sweet spot,” says Cheskin.

How many steps does it take to lose weight?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation, since factors like age, gender, and activity level play a role in weight loss, one study showed that people who lost more than 10 percent weight in 18 months walked about 10,000 steps per step Day. Another study found that 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day equated to about 7,900 steps for men and 8,300 steps for women.

But not only the number of steps counts; Duration and intensity are also important. “It can’t just be a walk from the kitchen to the bedroom. You need to walk at a pace that gets your heart rate up,” Wall says. Aim for 150 minutes of moderately vigorous activity per week. Moderately vigorous means that it is somewhat difficult to speak, not that you gasp and can hardly take your next breath. To gauge intensity, the conversation test is a simple way to determine if you’re in the zone. “It’s a self-perceived scale, so you don’t need any special equipment,” says Wall. “You should be able to speak, but not in full sentences.”

Looking at the big picture is also important when it comes to making weight loss changes. “Take a few days to monitor your habits,” says Cheskin. “Where are you getting lost? Identify small things you can change. For example, instead of saying something vague that you’ll eat better, tell yourself, “I’ll eat a piece of fruit instead of cake.” It’s the specific, measurable, and trackable steps that will help you lose weight and get more exercise .”

Tips on how to incorporate more walking into your day:

“Start with one little modification at a time, whatever that looks like to you,” says Wall. “Consistency is what will bring you gains over time.” It’s best to structure walks into your day, whether they’re 30-minute walks or broken into smaller chunks, if that suits your schedule.

Get extra steps by:

  • take the stairs
  • Walk the long way to the bathroom
  • Make several trips to the car to go shopping
  • Pacing when you’re talking on the phone
  • Pace the sidelines in your children’s activities

    Using an inexpensive pedometer or fitness tracker (like these fitness trackers!) can also help, as you can schedule walking breaks to meet your step goals. First, calculate how many steps you take over several days without walking for exercise. Let’s say you walk an average of 5,000 steps a day. Then measure the number of steps taken during a 10-minute walk. If that’s 1,000 steps and you walk 20 minutes, that’s 2,000 steps. Add your average to your goal number to get a daily step goal (5,000 + 2,000 = 7,000 steps).

    How do I stay motivated in the long term?

    It can be challenging if you feel like you’re not getting any results after you start walking. But sticking to it is key — and you need to form a habit before you see results, Wall says. Motivation is also about asking yourself, what is the value of walking or not walking? “Think of the benefits, such as B. improved overall health or freedom from function and pain, and then focus on weight loss,” says Wall. “It will come, but you have to put in the work, time and effort to get there.” Getting small wins makes you feel more confident about your goal and your mental perspective shifts to focus on how you’re doing it feel when you are more active instead of what the scale says. That’s a healthier perspective for everyone.

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