You’ve have a new fitness tracker or a sudden urge of exercise motivation. You want to start walking your way to 10,000 steps daily. That’s what doctors and fitness experts recommend, right? Well, is that the right goal for you? It all depends on your fitness level and personal goals.
Setting Your Step Goal
The average American takes 3,000 – 4,000 steps daily. About how many do you take? Before you set a step goal, know where you are right now. If you walk 4,000 steps daily but are trying to lose weight, you will want to increase your activity. If you walk a lot less because you have a sedentary job or mobility issues, 10,000 is probably not realistic right now. You may want to start with less and progress.
Generally speaking, increase your step count if you have a weight-loss goal and feel that you can make room for more exercise. Lower your goal from 10,000 if you have health conditions or mobility issues that limit exercise, or if you aren’t used to physical activity. Success is made with progress over time.
Benefits of Setting a Step Goal
Why is setting a step goal helpful? Walking is good for you in many ways. It can be fun, therapeutic, and great for weight control. Not to mention your health overall! Here are just a few of its many benefits:
- Heightens mood and relieves stress
- Improves sleep quality
- Helps with weight control
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces risk for heart disease, diabetes and other diseases
- Reduces risk for some cancers
For more information on the benefits of walking, CLICK HERE.
It’s All about Lifestyle Changes
Increasing your daily steps is great, but this may not be worth much if your goal is only short-term weight-loss. Regular exercise should be part of your lifestyle and something you turn into a habit. Habits usually take at least 30 days to build. It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.
If this sounds hard to you, there are many easy ways to move more. Try some of these tips to increase your daily step count:
- Take your dog for longer, more frequent walks.
- Schedule workday walks to stay energized.
- Listen to upbeat, motivating music.
- Park your car farther away.
- Take a walk while waiting.
- Include your loved ones in your walks.
Walking 10,000 steps daily is great, but this number may not be the gold standard for everyone. Step goals should be personalized. Before setting your personal step goal, figure out your fitness level. Then ask yourself, “What goals do I want to reach?” Next, begin to appreciate the simplicity of walking. It will get easier and more enjoyable with time. Your ultimate goal will depend on your starting point, but everyone can benefit from walking more.