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Cover some of your miles at a brisk pace to benefit your heart.
If you're trying to lose weight, being more active can help. Aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day is one way to add more activity to burn more calories and lose a few pounds. While walking alone may help you lose some weight, changing your diet may also be necessary for the weight loss to last.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, adding 10,000 steps to your day may change your calorie equation enough to help you lose weight.
Weight Loss Basics
It may not have been your favorite subject in school, but weight loss is all about the math. To drop unwanted pounds, you must burn more calories than you consume. Activity, such as walking, burns calories. If you're fairly inactive and start a walking program with a goal of 10,000 steps a day without making any changes to your diet, you may lose weight by changing your calorie equation.
Why 10,000 Steps
On average, Americans typically walk between 900 and 3,000 steps a day. For good health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you get 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, which is equal to about 8,000 steps a day. Aiming for 10,000 steps gets you to the recommended physical activity goals, plus a little more, and is an easy number to remember.
Plus, walking is a safe and effective form of exercise that almost anyone at any fitness level can do, and it doesn't require special equipment or an expensive gym membership
Power of the Pedometer
Motivation is a powerful tool. Tracking your steps with a pedometer may help motivate you to increase your activity and help with weight loss. A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Sports Medicine found that women following a diet and exercise program who wore a pedometer lost about four more pounds than women following the same diet and exercise program without a pedometer.
How to Add Steps
Counting steps is one thing, but you may need to be creative in finding ways to add more activity to your day to reach your goal of 10,000 daily steps. Start by parking at the far end of every parking lot and always taking the stairs. Take a break every hour and walk around the office to add a few more steps. After work, take a brisk walk through your neighborhood or your local mall.
Think About Your Diet
Walking 10,000 steps is a good way to jumpstart your weight loss, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle. But walking may not be enough, especially for long-term weight loss.
In addition to your 10,000 steps, start making changes to your diet. Swap out your high-calorie coffee drinks for black coffee and your soda for seltzer with a splash of juice. Add more vegetables and fruits, and limit fast food and junk foods as much as possible.
A healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, whole grains and healthy fats may help reduce the calories-in part of the weight loss equation. And whether you end up losing a lot of weight or not, walking 10,000 steps a day can help improve your overall health.