You’ve heard about walking 10,000 steps a day. It sounds like a good fitness goal. Just to be sure, you want to know how much are 10,000 steps in miles and will it help you burn enough calories to lose weight?
In my view, there’s no such thing as bad exercise. For most people discovering how to be fit, exercising is about making the most of the time available and matching the workout to their fitness level.
The great news about walking 10,000 steps is it’s an exercise regime accessible to just about everyone. Most people are capable of walking 10,000 steps.
This post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a commission if you make a purchase through my links, but this is no additional cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
😍 This is my favorite pedometer. It’s exceptionally good value and will even monitor your sleep patterns! Syncs with the Mi Fit app to monitor your data.
What’s 10,000 Steps In Miles?
As a rough guide 10,000 steps are approximately 4 to 5 miles. It’s less if you have a short stride and more if you have a long stride. For most people, stride length will depend on their height.
If you’re over 6 feet, you’re probably clocking up 5 miles for 10,000 steps. At 5 feet in height, it’s unlikely you’re walking much more than 4.
Most pedometers only calculate steps, not distance. For those that do state distances, it’s only a guide. You really need a GPS tracker for the accurate measurement of distance. A pedometer is enough to give you a decent guide for hitting your fitness goals.
You can get a rough idea of how many steps in one mile using these charts. If you want a more accurate answer, it’s easy enough to work out your average step length and make a reasonable estimate.
How To Find Your Step Length
The easiest way is to make two markers as far apart as possible in your living room or backyard. Anywhere you have space.
If you can do this on the pavement or a track, without dying of embarrassment, even better. Fitbit recommends covering 20 steps or more to get an accurate result.
Measure the distance between the two markers and walk between the two points, at your normal pace, counting your steps. Divide the distance between the number of steps to get your average step length.
You should be counting steps, not strides. A step is the distance from the heel strike of one foot to the heel strike of the next. A stride is the distance between the heel strike of the same foot. One stride equals two steps.
Plug your average step length into the table to find out how many miles is 10,000 steps:
|Step Length (ft)||Step Length (m)||10,000 Steps In Miles|
How Many Calories Will You Burn In 10,000 Steps?
The amount of calories burned in 10,000 steps is a lot harder to estimate. It depends on your weight, your walking pace, whether the terrain is hilly or flat, and also your genetics. This calculator is a good guide.
If you weigh 160 lb and cover 4.5 miles walking 10,000 steps at a fast pace of 3.5 miles per hour, you’ll burn 420 calories. A typical range is 260 to 450 calories.
If you want to up your calorie burn, add in some hills! Walking uphill takes far more effort and burns a lot more calories than walking along the flat. According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, hiking up hills burns around 30% more calories than walking at 3.5 miles/hour on the flat.
It makes sense! Sometimes hiking up a steep hill seems much harder work than going for an easy run! Adding hills, increasing your pace, switching to running are all ways to up the benefit of your 10,000 steps.
The Benefits Of Walking 10,000 Steps A Day
You can find out more about walking 10,000 steps a day in my post:
The best advice is to find a distance you can achieve daily and make it a regular habit. There’s not much point in walking 10,000 steps one week then doing nothing for the rest of the year.
For some people, it’s better to take shorter, more intense walking breaks where you walk at a faster pace and burn more calories per mile.
The aim is to make exercise part of your daily routine and if that’s just 20 minutes of fast-paced walking, it’s a start.
Exercising regularly is hugely beneficial for controlling your weight and staying healthy. If you’re really overweight or haven’t exercised in years, walking is a terrific way to start improving your fitness.
There’s less impact on your joints than running, (important if you’re overweight), and you don’t need any special equipment – just a pair of comfortable shoes or trainers.
As you get fitter you can choose to up the ante by taking up running or just increase your walking pace.
Why Walking Can Be Better Than Running
I’ve seen so many people launch into a running program and just get injured. To be able to run regularly and injury-free it’s important to build your leg strength first.
You can do this by starting with a walk-run program such as walk a mile, run a mile, gradually increasing the distance.
For many people walking is all they need to reach their fitness goals. You can lose weight by walking every day and being mindful of what you eat.
Will You Lose Weight?
If the aim is weight loss, you can expect to lose around one pound a week walking 10,000 steps a day provided you watch your calorie intake. (Recommended 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 for men – NHS calorie checker).
This may not sound like much but as the weeks go by it will start to add up. Losing weight slowly is means the weight goes off and stays off.
Crash diets mess up your metabolism making it harder to stop the weight piling back on at the end of your diet. It’s also important to deal with the reasons behind being overweight such as stress or being unhappy.
Finding a sport you enjoy and become part of a community, such as a running club or yoga workshop, can help you take positive steps towards being fit.
The aim is for exercise to be an automatic part of your day-to-day life. Something you can enjoy.
Walking is one of my favorite ways of exercising. I may define myself as a runner but I always enjoy a good walk in my local hills. Walking 10,000 steps a day is a really accessible way to get fit. Have you given it a try? I’d love to hear all about it.
If you’ve found this post helpful, you may enjoy my other fitness-related articles:
- Fitness Goals And How To Achieve Them (7 Realistic Steps)
- How To Be Fit (A Guide For Beginners)
- Why You Need To Stop Chasing Perfection (And Start Living Instead)
- How Many Steps In One Mile Walking Or Running?
- How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise (When You Really Don’t Want To)
- How Much Are 10,000 Steps In Miles And Calories Burned?
- 6 Ways To Get Fit For Summer And Have Fun!
- Easy At Home Exercises (No Equipment Required)
As a rough guide 10,000 steps is approximately 4 to 5 miles. It’s less if you have a short stride and more if you have a long stride. For most people stride length will depend on their height. If you’re over 6 foot, you’re probably clocking up 5 miles for 10,000 steps. At 5 foot in height it’s unlikely you’re walking much more than 4.
Walking 10,000 steps a day will burn between 260 and 420 calories a day. The calories you burn depend on your weight and how fast you walk. It could be more if you take in some steep hills. Expect a weight loss of about one pound a week if you keep your calorie intake to the recommended guidelines. That’s 2000 calories a day for women and 2500 calories a day for men.
The distance you cover walking 10,000 steps depends on your step length. Your height and pace affect your step length. The average height of a woman is 5 ft 4 inches and will walk 4.3 miles at a pace of 3 miles an hour.
The calories burned will depend on your weight, how fast you walk and if there are any hills on your route. In general you will burn between 260 and 420 calories walking 10,000 steps.