April 25, 2020

How Many Steps to Take Each Day for Weight Loss?

Walking for Weight Loss

10,000 steps, you’ve heard it a lot! Ask anyone how many steps a day should you be ideally taking, the default answer is always is 10k. No surprise there! While that works well for getting you out of your sedentary lifestyle, it might not be enough. 10,000 steps throughout the day roughly translate to 60 active minutes, but if you are walking for weight loss, there are more things to consider while you are hitting your 10k goal! 

Here are some plausible fitness-goal scenarios including, of course, the one that allows you to shed that extra weight. 

3 Fitness Goal Scenarios for Weight Loss

1. Overall Fitness

If you are new to fitness you certainly do not want to burn yourself out. You are probably someone who is not looking at walking on Day 1, and carry on with your day as usual. If you are at a desk job, chances are that you reached only about 5k (or under steps) throughout the day. Don’t be discouraged, you just set your baseline. Your task from thereon will be to try and add 1000 steps every week until you hit your 10k mark. Let’s face it, it’s a sweet spot!

A good way to push the step counter is to find incremental measures such as taking a longer route home when you are out on foot, parking your car a little further up in the parking bay, taking the stairs ever so often, and the most effective one being, walking while you are on the phone.  

2. Maintenance

If what you are looking for is to maintain your current fitness levels, 10,000 steps are ideal. We’re not talking about low-energy steps that get you from the couch to the TV. Try getting at least 30% of your steps from workouts, like brisk walking, running, cardio and floor exercises, aerobics, etc. You will benefit on many counts with this active daily regime – keeping your blood pressure in check, improving sleep or even keeping yourself mentally agile. In fact, studies have also indicated the probability of stroke risk declining with this level of activity.

walking for weight loss
An Infographic Showing the Health Benefits of Walking for Weight Loss

3. Walking for Weight Loss

You have been wanting to lose weight, but do not fancy intense workouts. For starters, a “walking for weight loss” routine might be just the way to get started. Just how much walking would this translate to, you ask? Now this involves doing some quick math. Before that though, let’s just take a minute to digress. For successful weight loss, what you need to aim for is a slow and steady weight loss regime. That would ideally mean losing between 0.2-0.5 Kg per week. 

Consider the Math While Walking for Weight Loss

The math, for how to lose weight by walking, broadly works like so:

A 10,000 steps a day weight loss regime, typically burns around 2000-3500 extra calories each week. 3500 calories, in turn, would mean a little less than half a kg of body fat. So with this, you could aim at losing close to half a kg per week. The exact calories that you burn, of course, depend upon a number of factors such as your pace, your current weight, age, body fat percentage and more. 

Screenshot of tracking your progress
Tracking your progress on the PLAYFIT App

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that speeding up your steps increases your heart rate and that is when you begin to burn calories. For instance, increasing your pace from 4km/hr to 8km/hr could bring in the results. Not to worry, your fitness tracker not only count steps but can also give you the break down of your pace, calories burnt and heart rate maintained during your walking session. 

The buzzword, therefore, is brisk walking for weight loss, to get you into the fat-burning zone and to say goodbye to those extra love bags! So its time to strap on your shoes, wear your fitness tracker, and max up the sound on your headphone. Happy Stepping! 

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