Is 10,000 enough? How many steps do we have to take?

One of the first keys to point out is that in order to lose weight, with whatever nutritional or sports strategy, it is necessary to have a caloric deficit. That is, we will have to burn more calories than we consume. Without this we will not be able to lose weight regardless of the number of steps we take.

In any case, increasing our physical activity is a good strategy to burn more calories. And although walking seems like an activity that is too calm or not very intense, the reality is that it can be very effective, especially in people who are overweight or with very little physical activity. However, there is no set number of steps that works for everyone. What is recommended if we are thinking of starting to walk in order to lose weight is that we adapt to our needs and starting point. To be able to calculate how much walking we would need, we can start by knowing our level of activity.

In general, it is considered that if we usually walk less than 5,000 steps a day, we could be considered sedentary . We would be little active between 5,000 and 7,499 and from there up to 10,000 somewhat active. If we are sedentary, starting with 10,000 steps may be too much. This is where we will begin to adapt to our personal situation.

To do this, we need to know how many calories we normally consume per day , what calorie deficit we want to achieve , and our deadlines. Keep in mind that 10,000 steps would be the approximate equivalent of 30 minutes of intense exercise and allows us to burn an additional 2,000 - 3,000 calories per week.

At what pace will we have to walk:

Ok, we already know more or less how many steps we would have to take to help us lose weight by walking. But at what pace will we have to do it ? The reality is that, once again, there is no specific rhythm recommended for everyone and it will depend on our needs and current state.

In general, we will have to take into account things like our current weight, our age and our gender. Depending on this , walking a mile at a leisurely pace could burn around 100 calories. But, again, it depends on many things, including our physical state. According to research in this regard , if we are sedentary people who are not used to moving, walking at an approximate rate of 5km/h would allow us to burn about 270 calories per hour.

In any case, the evidence shows that the most effective way to lose weight would be to change your pace . If we vary the pace at which we walk, we can burn 20% more calories than if we always walked at the same pace.

How many minutes a day will we have to walk to lose weight?

As with the number of steps and the rhythm, the time we need to dedicate to walking will depend on the personal place from which we start. If we are very sedentary people, a shorter activity time can have a high impact when starting. For these people, walking 20 to 30 minutes a day can be a good place to start .

However, the US Government's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends walking about 150 minutes a week . That is, at least two and a half hours a week. We can distribute it as we want, but it is recommended that we go for a walk every day or, at least, once every two days.

As we progress and improve our physical condition, we will notice that we will have to increase the number of steps we take, the pace at which we take them and the time we dedicate to it so that it continues to help us lose weight. The good thing is that, once we adopt the habit, it will be much easier for us to increase it and even begin to complement it with other physical activities.