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The University of Tennessee

Walk Across Tennessee

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10,000 Step Program

  • Studies show that taking about 10,000 steps a day is the target for improving health and reducing risk of chronic disease. Inactive people average about 2,000 to 4,000 steps each day. Moderately active people average about 5,000 to 7,000 steps each day. Active people average at least 10,000 steps per day. Moving at an increased speed for 3,000 to 10,000 steps can improve heart health. But to loose significant amount of weight, experts recommend 12,000 to 15,000 steps daily along with calorie reduction.
  • 10,000 steps are equal to about 5 miles.
  • A pedometer can count how many steps you normally take in a day and help you set a target for increasing daily steps.
  • To begin the 10,000 Step Program, measure your normal routine of steps for several days to establish your baseline number of steps. Record your number of steps at the end of the day and reset your pedometer to zero for the next day. Subtract the number of steps you normally walk from 10,000. This is the number of steps you need to increase. Start slowly by increasing your number of steps each day by 20 percent to increase you number of steps to 10,000 or 12,000 to 15,000 to achieve significant weight loss.
  • Here are some tips for increasing your number of steps each day:
    • Park at the outer edges of parking lots instead of close as possible to stores, grocery stores, church, health clubs, banks, work, dry cleaners, etc.
    • Get up and walk during television commercials. Every hour of television programming includes about 15 minutes or more of commercial time.
    • Choose the restroom furthest away from your office at work.
    • Pace while you are talking on the phone.
    • Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators.
    • Walk and talk with friends, family, co-workers instead of sitting and talking.
    • Avoid the drive-thru and walk to your destination.
    • Use part of every break or lunch time to add a few steps to your day.