Step goals: Is there magic in taking 10, 000 steps each day?. Hutton Health

Step goals: Is there magic in taking 10, 000 steps each day?

24th June 2023

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Many adults are moving less than 3, 000 steps each day. I know for myself, when I’m working from home, my day is filled with video calls and the hours slip by. If I don’t consciously take breaks to move my body, I can finish my workday and have taken less than 1, 000 steps.

Even people who work out regularly can be sedentary outside their dedicated exercise session and this affects both our mental and physical health.

There is plenty of research to support the benefits of regular movement throughout the day rather than exercising in one session, such as doing a 30-minute walk, than otherwise having minimal movement.

10,000 steps each day has become a ‘golden rule’ for many people as the target to lose weight, get fit and increase your health. I personally use this as a step goal as I know if I don’t hit it, I start to feel lethargic, low on energy, and sluggish.

This blog will look at:

  • Benefits of step goals:
  • Downfalls of tracking steps
  • Is there magic in taking 10,000 steps each day?
  • How are steps measured with a fitness tracker?
  • 5 Ways to increase your steps each day

Benefits of step goals:

  1. Tracking your steps help determine your current activity level

Tracking your steps helps to show how much you are currently moving on an average day. It is easy to guess how active you are, but tracking your steps help to ensure your estimate is actually reality.

In order to create an effective exercise programme or fitness plan, it is important to have a clear understanding of where you are currently in terms of your fitness and health.

Weight loss, fitness and health goals need a clear starting point in order to ensure goals are realistic and achievable. 


  1. Tracking your steps is a great source of motivation

When you are tracking your steps on a fitness tracker, it is easy to see when you haven’t moved your body throughout the day. Having a step goal is great motivation to move in order to reach your target.

I try to take 10,000 steps each day. If I get to the end of the day and see that I haven’t reached my target yet, it motivates me to get out for a walk or run to get some steps in.


  1. Taking more steps each day helps to burn more calories

The amount you move your body outside of a formal exercise session has a big effect on your caloric expenditure. Taking more steps increases the amount of movement you do, and the number of calories that you burn each day.


  1. Easy to track your movement

With the affordability and ease of tracking steps with a fitness tracker, tracking steps is an easy way to track your movement.


  1. Tracking your steps is a good way to track your progress

In order to keep us motivated and accountable on our fitness, weight loss and health journey, it is important to make sure that we set SMART goals.

A step goal is a great way to ensure that you can track your progress and commitment to moving your body and walking or running consistently.

Seeing trends in your steps over time can help ensure you are getting the maximum benefits of a walking or running programme.


  1. Reaching your step goal regularly can be a cause of celebration!

A step goal gives you 7 opportunities each week to celebrate when you reach your target. Each time you move your body, it feels great to see the steps increase on your fitness tracker.

Celebrate each time you reach your target. Celebrate each time you get up and squeeze purposeful movement in rather than relaxing into the sofa. Celebrate taking time for YOU!

Not all fitness, health and weight loss goals are created equal. 

Download Hutton Health’s free Goal Setting Workbook to ensure you are setting effective health and fitness goals to help keep you motivated and on track with your exercise programme.

Benefits of step goals:

Downfalls of tracking steps

  1. Step tracking doesn’t count all forms of exercise

Tracking steps can deter you from trying different forms of exercise as it doesn’t naturally count as ‘steps’ on your fitness tracker.

I went for an hour bike ride with a friend earlier today, and when I returned home, my Garmin was showing a measly 2346 steps for the day.

Although activities like biking and swimming are great forms of exercise, they won’t add the steps to show on your fitness tracker. You can manually convert these activities to steps, but it can be discouraging if you are aiming for a step target on your fitness tracker.


  1. A step goal can be overwhelming

The golden rule of ’10,000 steps’ can be daunting for some people. Starting at a realistic target that is sustainable is more important than a target step goal that be unattainable to someone based on their current fitness and health.


  1. Not everyone loves to walk or run

As much as it is important to move more and to include regular purposeful movement in your day, the easiest way to adopt exercise into your schedule long term is moving in a way you enjoy.

Downfalls of tracking steps

Is there magic in taking 10,000 steps each day?

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

10,000 miles works out to about 5 miles each day for most people, which would ensure that this recommendation is met.

10,000 steps each day is a great goal for some people, but as in all fitness and health goals, it is not a one-size fits-all number.

  • If you are hoping to lose weight, you may want to increase your step goal to ensure you are getting enough movement in and burning enough calories.
  • If you are new to fitness or currently live a fairly inactive lifestyle, it is likely more suitable to set a goal with fewer steps

Your step goal can change depending on where you are at in your fitness journey and your current goals.

Is there magic in taking 10,000 steps each day?

How are steps measured with a fitness tracker?

A fitness tracker senses movement in every direction using a 3-axis accelerometer.

How are steps measured with a fitness tracker?

5 Ways to increase your steps each day

Incorporating regularly consistent movement into your day is important in improving your health, building endurance and feeling your best.

5 Easy ways to build more movement in your day include:

  • An after dinner or evening walk
  • Have a kitchen dance party
  • Park further from the entrance to the shops
  • Walk whenever you talk on the phone
  • Schedule movement breaks into your day in the same way you book in other important engagements. This is an important commitment you are making to yourself!

Find out 10 ways to exercise more in this blog!

5 Ways to increase your steps each day

Increasing your health and fitness can be as simple as a walk in the park. Find out more about walking your way to health and fitness here.

A step target is less about a specific number of steps needing to be taken to achieve a fitness or weight loss goal and more about incorporating regular, consistent movement.

Where can you inject more movement into your day?

Fitness and health motivation

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