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This Summer in Wisconsin, Take a Hike

woman walking with child in the woods

How Many Miles Should I Walk in a Day?

By Kristy Fast – Quality Health Integration Program Coordinator

With the arrival of warmer weather, walking outside is a nice opportunity to get more physically active.

Walking is a great and accessible option for physical activity as it is available to most people. You don’t need special equipment or skills, only supportive walking shoes and a path to walk.

What is the recommended daily step count while walking?

Those with a fitness tracker are probably aware at least 10,000 steps per day is recommended. This is about five miles for most people. The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, or about one-and-a-half to two miles.

If you want to start walking more, it’s a good idea to find out how many steps or how many miles a day you walk doing your day-to-day activities. Knowing this number will help you establish a baseline to measure your progress.

>>> READ MORE: Are Fitness Trackers Dangerous? <<<

After you figure out your baseline, you can work up to a goal you have set for yourself. Start by adding 1,000 extra steps a day every one or two weeks. If you don’t have a pedometer, add 5 or 10 minutes to your walk every week and see how your body handles the change.

How much activity should I get every week?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, such as brisk walking. Moderate-intensity activities are those that get you moving fast enough to increase your heart rate and breathing rate.

During this recommended intensity level, you may sweat, but you are still able to carry on a conversation.

In other words, you can talk, but you can’t sing.

The benefits of walking every day

Walking has been found to have significant health benefits. This is especially true for people with a sedentary lifestyle or who work in a seated position.

Walking for physical activity can help reduce your risk of common health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Walking also helps strengthen your bones and muscles, improves your mood and can improve balance and coordination. Looking for more benefits? Regular walking will improve sleep, memory, reduce anxiety symptoms and increase overall mental well-being.

It’s a fantastic way to be active and feel great at the same time.

How to get more steps by walking every day

Try these ideas for fitting more walking into your routine.

  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Listen to music (or a podcast) while you walk
  • Have your family join you
  • Walk while your child(ren) ride their bike(s)
  • Walk during your lunch break
  • Park farther away at the grocery store

For most people, 10,000 steps is a good goal, but fitness goals vary from person to person. Talk to your personal doctor to set an expectation that is more reasonable for your lifestyle.

If you have questions related to personal wellness and how your Network Health plan can help you reach your goals and stay physically and mentally fit, contact us today.

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