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Have you ever heard the phrase, “walking is man’s best medicine”? It’s something that Hippocrates said once a very long time ago, and it still stands today. Walking is one of the easiest ways to exercise for most of the population, but if you find yourself asking how many miles should I walk a day to lose weight, you’re in the right place.
It’s a New Year, so the mantra says it’s time for a new you, but not everyone can afford personal trainers or gym memberships. Thankfully, there is a world of free pavements and hills out there, and you can take your time to build as many steps into your day as you want to get that healthy physique you’ve been seeking. So, let’s dive into walking and how much of it you should be doing per day to whip yourself into shape.
How Walking Helps
Movement, glorious movement. If you have the luxury of being able to get on your feet, head outside, and enjoy a little fresh air, then you should be lacing up those walking boots as often as you can. Walking is free, it’s fun, and depending on how fast you go, safe! It’s an ideal exercise to do as you can take your own time and pace, and you can plug into a podcast while you do it. Podcasts, not your thing? Audiobooks are just as motivating and will keep you company as you go.
When you pick walking as your exercise of choice, you choose to get fit and healthy every time you step outside. It’s known as an effective tool for weight loss and depending on your goals, how much you will reflect what you can achieve. Walking burns your calories, and this is the primary way it can help you to lose weight. Basic science tells us that weight loss relies on calories in/calories out. If you consume 2000 calories per day, it makes sense that you want to burn more than that to lose some weight. The number of calories you burn as you walk depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- Your walking speed
- The incline of the road
- How far you walk
It’s commonly said that if you walk at a regular walking pace for four miles per hour, you can burn roughly 400 calories in that time. So, a 20lb weight loss in less than six months purely due to walking isn’t unachievable. Now that you know how walking can help let’s dive into how much you should be walking per day to lose weight.
How Many Miles Should I Walk A Day To Lose Weight?
To get right into the center of it, a person must walk around 2,000 steps in an average mile to lose weight. You’ll see everyone recommend that you should be walking 10,000 steps per day, and walking one-mile burns around 100 calories. So, walking your 10,000 steps per day will burn off 500 calories, putting you in a deficit for the day.
If you consider that 1lb of weight is equal to 3,500 calories, and you could burn 500 calories per day doing 10,000 steps, then it stands to reason that a 1lb per week steady weight loss is realistic to look forward to. You’d need to walk 5 miles a day to lose 500 calories per day, and while you may not think that 10,000 steps in a day are possible, you’ll be able to make it happen if you have a goal in mind.
Fitting In The Miles
There are plenty of ways to fit the miles in per day to hit that magical 10,000 step count. Firstly, you need to consider how you can stay motivated while you get your steps going. Trying out fitness watches like the ones you find here is a good place to start. You want to be equipped when you get walking, and a step tracker will help you to stay accountable and motivated at the same time. You cannot possibly count your steps manually, which is why I love fitness watches.
Now, before you panic and think that you can’t fit in 10,000, here are some of the best ways to add them to your day:
- Start parking your car a mile away from work or wherever you were supposed to be. Remember, 1 mile burns 100 calories on average, and you can get these extra steps in this way.
- Leave the car at home entirely if you can! If you can start your day a little earlier, walk to work and walk home again.
- In every building, stop using the elevators. Choose the stairs every single time.
- Swap the school run drive for a walk, and if it’s raining, bring an umbrella!
Do You Know Your Starting Point?
Before you embark on a walking plan for weight loss, you need to know your start weight, your goals, and then do the math from there. So, if you want to lose 2lbs per week, you need to double your daily step count to 20,000 steps per day: 10 miles. Ten miles does not have to be a hike, as we pointed out earlier. You can swap your car out for your feet and pound those pavements. You could even walk around the block for an added walk in the evening!
Let’s not forget that while walking will help you lose weight, your diet needs to be considered. It’s only going to be worth walking to burn all those calories if you’re not eating them back. They must be a part of your daily calorie deficit, or your efforts are futile. Keep your diet as healthy as possible and lean towards an 80/20 approach to your food. When you pair these together, you will have much better results.
The Wrap Up
Now you know that walking 5 miles per day at 10,000 steps will help you lose weight, where do you plan to start? It’s time to write down those goals, get your fitness watch , and start taking those steps to a healthier you.
Form Me Fit