I’ve been walking 10,000 steps each day — most days. It’s a personal goal that I’ve set for myself.
Wondering how many steps make a mile?…
An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk 1 mile, and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles. A sedentary person may only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day. Source
Surprisingly, 10,000 steps a day is actually pretty easy to do, whether you have a desk job (like I do) or not.
As a full-time writer, I spend my entire workday behind a computer — which is really bad, because sitting all day is riskier for your health than many experts once thought. But I do carve out plenty of time virtually every day to get 10,000 steps in.
How do I do it?
Here are 10 of my favorite ways to achieve 10000 steps each day…
#1 – Wear A Pedometer
Pedometers keep track of how many steps you’re taking. They’re fantastic devices to help you monitor the progress toward your daily walking goal.
Normally, a pedometer is clipped onto your waistband near the hip — though some pedometers are designed to be worn in other ways or on other places of the body.
When I was actively trying to lose weight, I would keep my pedometer by my bed and clip it onto my pants first thing in the morning. I wouldn’t take it off until climbing into bed at night.
Some pedometers are a bit finicky to use, but I ended up liking Sportline pedometers the best. They became my favorite because they are the easiest and most reliable for me to use. One of my favorite models is the Walking Advantage 340 Step & Distance Sportline pedometer.
If you don’t like clipping pedometers to your waist, there are pedometer watches that work well, too. I haven’t personally tried a pedometer watch, but I hear they’re pretty convenient to use.
#2 – Wear A Fitness Tracker
If you want an exercise device that’s a little more advanced than a pedometer, then you might be interested in trying out one of the new multi-modal fitness trackers that you wear around your wrist.
There are several types of activity trackers on the market these days, including:
Unlike standard pedometers, the data from your fitness tracker can be fed into your smartphone or computer, making it easy for you to track not just your steps, but also how much physical activity you’re doing across the board.
A few of the many advantages to plugging this data into another device are that you can:
- Plan specific walking or workout routines
- Keep track of your progress over a long period of time
- Upload your info to exercise websites
#3 – Go For A Morning Walk Or Evening Walk
Walking 10000 steps in a single exercise routine might prove to be a bit much — unless you’re planning on hiking 5 or 6 miles at a time and you’re used to the distance and long walks. I mean really long walks.
One way I like to meet my daily goal is to incorporate a morning or evening walk into my schedule.
I’m a morning person and prefer walking closer to sunrise, though sometimes an evening walk is a nice way to wind down for the day.
Even taking just one of these walks is an easy, pain-free way to knock out 3,000, 4,000, or even 5,000 steps in a single, manageable chunk.
#4 – Walk During “Break Times”
I’ve heard that sitting down at a desk for more than 30 minutes at a time is very unhealthy.
So, I usually get up from my chair every half hour to get my blood flowing again. Normally, I incorporate a brief 5-minute walk into this break time, too.
This is a habit I adopted when I was still in Corporate America, and it helped make my days behind the desk a little healthier.
I continue this ritual today, as an independent contractor working on my own clock.
#5 – Walk On A Treadmill
I live in Florida, where oppressive levels of heat and humidity rule for about 5 months out of the year.
Sometimes, it’s too hot and humid to go outside even in the early morning or late evening.
When I was actively working on losing weight, I used a treadmill in my home to help me get my 10,000 steps in, even during those times of the year when it would’ve been too uncomfortable to exercise outdoors.
If you’re striving for 10,000 steps a day but find it difficult to get all those steps in due to extreme heat, cold, or other inclement weather, you might consider buying a treadmill, too.
Decent new treadmills cost between $500 and $1,000 — though if you’re trying to pinch some pennies, you may be able to find cheaper treadmills at a secondhand store.
#6 – Watch Exercise Videos
Watching exercise videos is a great way to motivate yourself to get up and move.
Don’t forget, even floor-based aerobic routines can help you meet your goal of 10,000 daily steps.
Of course, you’ll find plenty of fantastic workout routines on traditional DVDs and VHS cassettes, but YouTube is also a great source of free workout videos.
As with any type of workout routine, including the walking tips I’m suggesting here, be sure you consult with a physician or other health professional before starting any exercise program.
#7 – Multitask With An Eye On Your Walking Goal
Sure, exercise walking is probably one of the best ways to get your 10,000 steps in each day. But there are many incidental ways to knock out 100 steps here or 500 steps there. Multitasking is how I often do this.
For example, when I was working for Corporate America, my office was on the 10th floor of a building and later moved down to the 4th floor. That was great, because it meant I always had the opportunity to take the stairs. And I always did. But I didn’t take the stairs only before clocking in or clocking out. If my bosses needed me to do something (anything!) on any of the other floors, I almost always took the stairs to get there.
Ditto for whenever I ate lunch from the cafe on the 1st floor.
See? I incorporated getting my steps in (and taking the stairs) whenever I could. It was amazing how many steps I accumulated each day just through these brief daily work activities.
#8 – Take Buddy Walks
You know what really inspires me toward completing 10,000 steps a day? Doing it with people I like hanging out with.
I met someone a while ago who likes walking just as much as I do — and it’s fun getting to walk together. It makes the time go by faster, and we help push each other towards meeting our walking goals.
Finding a walking buddy may also help you in reaching your goal of walking 10000 steps a day.
Here are a few ways to find a walking buddy:
- Ask coworkers or neighbors to join you for walks.
- Shout out on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media platform that you need a walking buddy.
- Look for walking partners on social gathering sites such as Meetup.
#9 – Walk With A 4-Legged Friend
I don’t have any fur babies at this time, but I have several friends who say walking their dogs is one of their favorite ways to reach their daily walking goals.
Walking with a pet isn’t only great for improving your own health, but that of your dog, too.
In fact, most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Coincidentally, so do we.
Hmm… maybe it’s time to schedule more walks with Rover, huh? It looks like it can be good for both of you!
#10 – Walk In “Sets”
Most who maintain an exercise routine do workouts in “sets.” That’s how I’ve done a lot of my walking — in “sets.”
I mentioned earlier how I prefer to walk in the morning and the evening. Those morning and evening walks are ideally part of a larger “set” of activities that I do on days when I’m walking 10,000 steps.
If you have to trek, say, 6 miles a day to achieve 10,000 steps, then why not break that mileage into a series of “sets” — perhaps 3 — to help you meet your daily 10000 steps goal?
Here’s an example of how I make my goal of walking 10000 steps daily:
- I can walk 1 mile in about 15 minutes. (That’s 4 miles per hour.)
- I have to walk for about 90 minutes at that pace each day to get in a minimum of 10,000 steps.
- I’ll probably get about 1/3 to 1/2 of my 10,000 steps just doing my ordinary activities each day.
- I might only need to dedicate 45 or 60 minutes toward exercise walking.
- I can set aside 30 minutes in the morning for a walk and 30 minutes in the evening. (Or, if my day is particularly busy and I can’t set aside 30-minute blocks, I could carve out time for 4 or so 15-minute walking breaks.)
I encourage you to take a few moments and decide for yourself what combination of “sets” works best for you and your schedule.
Believe me, dedicating short segments of time each day for walking can add up quickly and help you reach your daily goal of 10,000 steps!
And remember… “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step!” ~Old Chinese Proverb
More Tips For Walking 10000 Steps
- How To Use A Pedometer To Get 10000 Steps
- The Truth About 10,000 Steps A Day
- Fitbit Flex Review: The Pros & Cons
- How Many Steps A Day To Lose Weight?
- What Should I Do… 30 Minutes Of Exercise Or 10,000 Steps?
- How Many Steps A Day Should You Really Walk?
- An App May Be Just As Good As A Fitness Tracker For Tracking Steps