Walking 10,000 steps a day for weight loss.
Does it actually work? The short answer is, yes. But only if you do it properly.
This is how one of my students inside the Fat Loss Accelerator dropped 25 lbs of fat without working out.
She used walking 10,000 steps a day for weight loss and a couple of other important things. And I’m gonna share all those tips with you in this video.
Walking 10,000 Steps A Day For Weight Loss – Why It Works
A lot of people don’t really consider walking as a form of exercise. Let alone something that leads to weight loss.
The average North American for example gets about 4,774 steps per day which is not even half of that 10k mark. I think that’s actually a generous assumption especially for the majority of people who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Now, it’s not like walking 10,000 steps a day is a magical number. But it’s a significant enough increase from what the average person gets per day. It’s over twice as much.
So reaching that 10,000 step mark in itself would be an accomplishment for a lot of people. And with it comes a boat load of benefits.
This is important because 2 out of 3 American adults is in the overweight or obese category. Childhood obesity is also at an all time high. For those people, walking for 10,000 steps every day is a great first step.
And it’s extremely easy to get started with. You don’t even need to stretch. All you need is to lace up a pair of runners when you go outside, which I highly recommend, and a lot of good things will happen to your body.
When you start walking consistently, three significant things happen to your body that moves you towards your weight loss goals.
It keeps your heart rate below your maximum aerobic heart rate
Why is that important?
Your maximum aerobic heart rate is the point where you reap maximum aerobic benefits, that’s maximum fat burning, with a minimum amount of anaerobic stimulation.
In short, walking burns mostly fatty acids for energy. If you’re trying to lose body fat, that’s exactly what you want.
If you go past this threshold, you stimulate more cortisol production because it’s hard. Cortisol is your stress hormone, in case you didn’t know.
Why? Because exercise is a type of stress.
As your exercise intensity increases, when you start jogging or running because you feel like that’s a better workout because it burns more calories, your body’s preferred fuel choice shifts from burning fat at lower intensity to an ever increasing percentage of glucose.
Because it’s quicker and easier to burn when oxygen is lacking because of your fast pace. You know, when you’re huffing and puffing when you’re running because you want to burn all those extra calories?
Fun fact: Calories burned during your workout does not translate to fat burned in your body.
So when you burn glucose during your workout, you’re also teaching your body to burn sugar at rest. Even after your workout. Because your body adapts to whatever fuel source is always available.
This is why you’re always craving something starchy and sugary after your long hard run.
In fact, there’s a study done on endurance runners and they found that endurance runners tended to have chronically high cortisol levels because they’re stressing their bodies too much.
Chronically high cortisol leads directly to chronically high insulin levels. Chronically high insulin levels leads to systemic inflammation which opens up pandora’s box to chronic disease like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
For example, a typical endurance runner who spends 10-20 hours of running still carries an extra 10-20 pounds of body fat even though they burn tens of thousands of calories from training.
You would think that they would have virtually zero body fat because of the amount of running they do. Again, calories burned during your workout does not translate to fat burned in your body. Plus, running sucks.
If you’re someone who’s spent countless hours going hard on your favourite cardio machine. Or you’re someone who goes for a 30 minute jog every day and the weight isn’t coming off? This is why.
You need to slow it down. Like, way down.
It helps lower your fasting blood glucose.
Your fasting blood glucose is directly tied to the amount of insulin your body needs to produce in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels.
I talk a lot on my YouTube channel about why moderating your insulin levels is key to losing weight so make sure you check it out.
It up regulates your fat burning metabolism.
Because again, you’re mostly using fatty acids for fuel because you’re staying in the aerobic zone.
Aerobic literally means with oxygen and fat burns well in the presence of oxygen. Walking also improves your ability to burn fat at rest.
Other benefits of walking include improved cardiovascular function. Which means your heart can pump more blood throughout your body.
You also get improved mitochondrial density, it strengthens your bones, joints and connective tissues, it builds a stronger immune system, and you get increased energy because you feel good and refreshed after your walk.
This is why I always like to say that not every workout needs to feel like a near death experience.
If I ever feel lethargic, that’s usually a sign that it’s time to go for a walk. And I always feel ten times better afterwards.
You also have to remember that our Paleolithic ancestors regularly walked 5 miles every day. We simply evolved to move. Otherwise, you’d be a tree.
The problem is, we usually sit for a minimum of 8 hours every day. Especially If you’re a student or you have a desk bound job. We barely move.
There’s a lot of studies now that shows that sitting for a prolonged period of time is one of the worst you can do to your body. So stop acting like a tree.
For every hour where you’re sedentary, you need to move for at least 5 minutes. Go for a walk. Every step counts.
When you’re getting in these 10,000 steps every day done consistently, the benefits will start to add up. On average, 10,000 steps per day should take roughly a total of an hour and 40 minutes of walking time throughout the day.
And that’s key. It’s important to know that number. If you have an extra couple of bucks, you can get a fitness tracker. They’re relatively cheap these days.
Preferably, you want to get one with a heart rate monitor so you can track your heart rate as well just to make sure you’re staying below your maximum aerobic heart rate.
How to calculate your maximum aerobic heart rate
To calculate your maximum aerobic heart rate, you simply take 180 minus your age.
For example, if you’re 33 years old, your maximum aerobic heart rate is 147 BPM (180 – 33 = 147 BPM) You want to stay below that number every time you do cardio.
Having a fitness tracker is also nice because it helps keep you accountable. It tells you how many steps you’ve done throughout the day. It can send notifications that you need to move which gets your butt off the couch. And again, it keeps track of your heart rate.
It’s absolutely worth it. Because your health is absolutely worth it.
If you don’t have access to a fitness tracker, just use your watch and time your walks throughout the day. You can also use the pulse test to determine your heart rate.
Now, you might be thinking that an hour and forty minutes of walking is a lot. You don’t have time for that.
The biggest thing you have to remember is you don’t have to get all that walking done all at once. You can actually break it up throughout the day and get the same benefits.
That’s another point that I want to bring up and it’s just as important. Your goal is to avoid prolonged periods where you’re completely sedentary.
Walking is a great way to encourage movement throughout the day. You can simply sprinkle multiple walks throughout the day.
Again, for every hour where you’re completely sedentary, you need to move for at least 5 minutes. Your steps taken when you’re just walking around the house also counts. Again, that’s why it’s nice to have a fitness tracker.
If walking 10,000 steps a day sounds daunting, you can work up to it.
If you’re new, your goal is to just go for a 10 minute walk. See how that feels. Then evolve that to twice a day. Eventually, aim for that average of 4,774 steps every day.
Personally, I go for a minimum of three 20 minute walks every day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night.
Another benefit of walking 10,000 steps a day is if you go for a walk after your meal, it has been shown to decrease the blood sugar response by up to 40%.
This most likely has to do with the fact that you’re giving your body a reason to use up all the glucose you ingested from your last meal that’s circulating in your body. You’re burning it for energy right away which means it won’t get stored as fat.
Bonus points if you have access to a park, trail, or a body of water like a river or the ocean. You should do your walks there.
Because time spent in nature is unbelievably beneficial for your mental health. It helps with reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Now, what if you live somewhere cold? Well, you just have to be creative.
You can join a gym and walk on the treadmill. Which also encourages you to lift weights which brings it’s own sets of benefits.
If that’s not an option, you can simply walk around your house. You can also drive to the mall and go for a walk there. Just don’t blame me if you end up buying something.
Now, here’s a very important concept that I need you to understand for this to work. If your goal is fat loss, walking only plays a supporting role when it comes to your results.
It’s not a magic pill.
You can’t keep eating a crappy diet and start walking 10,000 steps a day and expect the pounds to come off. You can’t outrun a bad diet. Or for this scenario, you can’t out walk a bad diet.
Walking 10,000 steps a day for weight loss will only work if you pair it with the proper diet. If you pair it with a diet that moderates your insulin levels. As well as making other supportive lifestyle choices that up regulate your fat burning metabolism.
If you don’t, you’ll still get a lot of the benefits of walking. But weight loss, unfortunately, won’t be one of them.
Pairing it with the aforementioned was how one of my students, all she did was walk for exercise but she did everything else right, was able to lose 25 lbs of fat and drop 6 dress sizes. If you want a proven step-by-step plan, check this out.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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