Why Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

Activity trackers are becoming so popular that some businesses award them to their employees to encourage them to keep track of their health in a user-friendly manner. But why walk 10,000 steps a day?

Where Did 10,000 Steps Come From?

In 1780 Abraham-Louis Perrelet of Switzerland created the first pedometer. He used it to count his steps and measure distance while walking. He was inspired by the mechanism of a self-winding watch when he created the pedometer.

Fast forward to 1964 when Tokyo hosted the Olympics. At that time, the Japanese became much more aware of fitness as a good way to battle lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and stroke. They took note that the simplest exercise was by walking.

The pedometer entered the Japanese market about this time. It could be worn to help calculate the number of steps an individual walked and soon became an extremely popular way to stay fit. Before long, it was a hot item on the market.



The slogan for the health-conscious Japanese public, was Manpo-kei. This literally means 10,000 steps. Gradually 10,000 steps became the mantra of the general public to encourage fitness in their daily lives.

From Japanese walking clubs to around the world, the fitness goal became 10,000 steps.

Activity trackers are becoming more and more popular. You can wear them on your arm like a watch or carry them in your pocket. They monitor your heart rate, your calorie consumption, the distance you walk or run, and the speed at which you go. An activity tracker also can monitor your sleep patterns as well as your activities while you are awake.

Today, Fitbit defaults their walking goal as 10,000 daily steps.

How Regular Exercise Helps

Although 10,000 steps a day is not the be-all and end-all in your fitness, research has shown that the more active you are, the more your health improves. Most national and international health authorities recommend that adults get 150 minutes
of moderate to vigorous activity each week.

Today we are aware that regular exercise is a good way to combat poor lifestyle habits. Walking is quickly becoming a way to fight the epidemic of obesity as well as other diseases.

Almost anyone can walk, and it takes no special equipment or training. The greatest drawback to walking can be a lack of motivation. Having a walking buddy and an activity tracker is a great way to stay accountable, so you continue walking as a regular habit.

REMEMBER: Before beginning any new diet or exercise plan, always consult your physician or healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.


Is 10,000 Steps the Goal?

An active lifestyle is what you are looking for. It is not always going to be possible to get 10,000 steps in every day. You are going to occasionally miss a day here or there. But do not let that discourage you! The goal is just to keep moving.

From the marketing strategy of pedometers in Japan it has extended worldwide. Today, 10,000 steps a day, is the goal that has improved many lives. Now you can wear these fitness trackers on your wrists, or carry your phone in your pocket, to track your steps.

fitness trackers on your wrists

You Can Make It Work for You!

There are some people who physically cannot put in 10,000 steps a day. Age or physical limitations may put some at a disadvantage to walking 10,000 steps a day.

It was found that those who put in 4,400 steps a day were significantly healthier than sedentary people. As the daily steps climbed to 7,500 steps a day, the benefits increased. Even a modest increase of activity makes significant health benefits.

Does Tracking Your Leisure Activities Make Them Seem Like Work?

There is a certain simple pleasure in going for a walk. Go out in nature and enjoy the sights and sounds. You might rate that as a 5-star experience.

If you must go for a walk to get your 10,000 steps in does it put a damper on your enthusiasm? Does counting steps rob you of the pleasure of walking? Like stepping on the bathroom scale, does it rob you of some motivation?

What Motivates You?

Find what motivates you. It is important to exercise each day. Does the walk itself give you the motivation to get going? Or are you the competitive type who would like to measure and try to increase your limits. Would you rather compete with a friend.?

I find just knowing that I am going to meet my walking buddy, gets me up and ready to go.

It is best to know how much exercise you are getting. You can do that by tracking how long you are walking or how many steps you take.

To monitor your step count you can see what you have accomplished. What is your optimum step count? If 10,000 steps are too much, try for 7,500.

Some prefer to say they are going for a 45-minute walk. Some want to walk for an hour or more.

Success Breeds Success

If you have a target you can reach, it inspires you to reach it again and again. Perhaps you can strive to master your goal and set a higher one.

Benefits to Your Body

When you put in the exercise your heart and lungs become stronger. Your attention span increases, and you build muscle endurance and strong bones. Walking helps you maintain your balance. It helps the insulin in your body work more efficiently and helps stabilize your blood sugar levels. Walking improves your mood, your flexibility, and your energy levels.

With all these great benefits, it should encourage us all to participate in this sport, Hey, try for 10,000 steps
a day. Why not?

Can You Lose Weight by Walking?

A new minimum is 250 minutes a week if you want to lose those few extra pounds.

Some people wonder what they can eat in order to lose weight. Is there some magical ingredient for weight loss?

You cannot fill your body full of junk food and expect to lose weight. In terms of your body’s health it matters what kind of food you eat.

When thinking of weight loss, it is determined by the number of calories you consume. Calories in, calories out. You must burn more energy than you take in, in order to lose weight.

If you consume fewer calories than you burn by exercise and body maintenance, then you will lose weight.


It All Comes Down to Math

With a bit of mathematics, you can calculate how far you need to walk for the number of calories you consume.

Most estimates calculate that a 180-pound person would burn 100 calories per mile. If you weighed 120 pounds, it is estimated that you would burn 60 calories per mile. And 10,000 steps are roughly 5 miles.

Choose the Right Time for Your Walks

Plan your walks for the same time each day. It will give you an incentive to form a good habit. Many people like to get up early when there is not much traffic on the streets.

What a great way to greet the morning and tackle the day ahead. There are fewer distractions to interrupt you.

Discover what works with your lifestyle. If you are not a morning person, perhaps you will have more energy later in the day.

Find the time that suits you the best. A walk in the fresh air, can be a great source of stress relief and an excellent opportunity to meditate and relax.

Can You Get Fit by Walking in Place?

Some people live in areas that they do not feel safe walking outside. Others may be confined inside because of illness. That does not mean they cannot get their 10,000 steps in.

To get a good aerobic workout and get their 10,000 steps in, some people like to use Leslie Sansone walking exercises in their homes. Others use their mini steppers to get their steps done.

Have you thought about walking in place? Turn on your favorite music! If the music has a quick tempo, it will keep your workout strong.

Walking in place during commercials provides a good workout. You would be surprised how quickly you can reach 1,000 steps.

Use an app or an activity tracker and journal your progress or have some friendly competition with your friends! This may help you stay motivated and achieve your desired number of steps.

Journal Your Progress

You can track your progress in a journal, with an app on your phone or on your activity tracker. Track your walking:

  • time
  • speed
  • distance

Tracking your distance may be in:

  • steps
  • kilometers
  • miles

Many apps will give you an indication of how many calories you have burned.

Two apps that are available are MapMyWalk and MyFitnessPal. You do not need to be obsessive over the results, but it may be fun to have some friendly competition with your friends!

In Conclusion

Why walk 10,000 steps a day? Being active, helps us gain and maintain our optimal health.

The point is to find the number of steps that are right for you. Some have found that when they reached the 10,000 steps they wanted to keep going. Others have found that walking 7,500 steps was all they could easily accomplish.

Find what motivates you. Whether you are confined indoors or walking in the fresh air, an activity tracker or an app would help you keep track of your steps. So, just keep moving!

Please Leave a Comment

I would love to hear from you. Do you have an activity tracker? What brand do you like best? How many steps do you try to get in every day? Do you get your exercise done in the house or outside?


Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Before beginning any new diet or exercise plan, always consult your physician or healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.

6 thoughts on “Why Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?”

  1. Regular physical activity helps by increasing the amount of oxygenated blood that is sent to the muscles. The more fit you are, the easier this happens and the harder you will be able to workout. Walking 10,000 steps will burn between 250-600 calories. These 10,000 daily steps will help with weight loss, strengthening your heart, store less body fat, it can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and can aid in improving your brain’s function and performance.

    • Thanks for stopping by with your comment! It is good for our overall health to stay active. Having an activity tracker can help us count our steps to see how active we really are. We need oxygen throughout our body and the more active we are, the more efficient that process becomes. 

  2. Losing my Fit Bit was a step backwards for a while for my personal fitness.  I suppose I am more motivated by the record I was keeping.  It was an interesting experience, and I have considered replacing the FitBit.  I had no idea where the 10,000 step movement originated.  Thanks for the info. Are any of the less expensive trackers as easy to use as FitBit?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Sami. I enjoyed the comment. I too rely heavily on my fitbit. It is not a real FitBit, rather a Timex, and I don’t know if they still make them. Here are some you can check out.

  3. It was interesting to read more about the background as to where 10,000 steps per day originated from. My Samsung phone has a health app with a default setting of 6,000 steps, which I have been using. I do find it a great incentive when I look at my steps and see how much I have done, or get a message that automatic workout has been detected. 

    I love the idea of walking on the spot if you cannot go out. I will certainly look at the two apps, MapMyWalk and MyFitnessPal, that you mention, as walking with even a virtual friend, is far more fun than doing it alone. 

    • Hi Line, Thanks for stopping by with a comment! I love to get out and get some fresh air in my lungs as I get good exercise. Since I often walk alone, I like to take some music along with me to help me keep up my pace. I do try to get in at least 6,000 steps a day, and when I hit 10,000 steps I think I have hit the jackpot! Having an app helps to keep track of how many steps you take each day.


Leave a Comment