How many steps a day should you be walking?

Get Healthy Walking Expo on July 8 can help you get fit

Walking is the simplest way to get fit — you can do it anywhere, anytime.

The average American takes 5,117 steps a day, which is equivalent to walking just over 2.5 miles. That may sound like good exercise, but 2.5 miles a day is far less than how much you need to walk to improve your health.

Researchers define those who walk 2,000 to 3,000 steps per day as sedentary. Boosting that to 6,000 steps a day significantly reduces health risks, and 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day promotes weight loss, even without changes in your diet.

It doesn’t matter how you get your steps — whether it’s from walking on a treadmill or vacuuming laps around the couch, it all adds up.

To get an average accounting of how active you are, wear a pedometer for several days. Then, set that as the minimum and plan to increase your daily steps incrementally until you reach 10,000 per day.

Steps for success:
  • Get properly fitted for a high-quality walking shoe. Pay now or pay later — the wrong shoe can cost you comfort and lead to injuries.
  • Buddy up with a walking partner for accountability, safety and support.
  • Post your progress on your computer, phone or a simple paper chart. Have fun with it — try plotting an imaginary journey, such as a virtual mini-marathon or walk along the Appalachian Trail.
  • Plan rewards for meeting daily, weekly or monthly goals

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