Set a daily step goal for health and weight loss

  • 2 Minutes Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

You know it's good to get more steps in your day, but how should you set a reasonable daily step goal? Fortunately, even adding relatively few steps to your day has significant benefits.

daily step goal

What daily step goal is recommended?

Many organizations suggest walking 10,000 steps daily for fitness, heart health, and weight control. Yet many of us get far fewer steps, considering that the average American walks only 3,000-4,000 steps daily. In fact, 10,000 steps may be "down the road" for some people. Read on to find out how to set the right step goal for yourself, and what it takes to go for the 10,000.

Set your step goal

Before setting a daily step goal, wear a fitness tracker or pedometer to determine your baseline number of steps. You may be surprised that you have not acquired as many steps as you think, even though you may feel exhausted at the end of the day.

A 10,000-steps-per-day goal is not for everyone. The best plan for you means one that is realistic yet challenging. For example, if you usually walk 10,000 steps per day and have a weight-loss goal, set your goal even higher. If you average only 3,000 steps a day, a 10,000-step-per-day goal would be daunting. Instead, set a goal to increase your steps gradually. For example, set your goal 500 steps above your baseline daily step count. Increase the goal in 500-step increments every week or two. Be inspired knowing that adding only 1,000 steps to your day can help you live longer, even if you don't reach the 10,000-step milestone.

What constitutes 10,000 steps in distance and time walked?

Most people walk roughly 2,000 steps per mile (1.6 km), though it varies with stride length. Walking 10,000 daily steps equals about 5 miles (8 km) total.

Consider the following walking speeds:

You likely get about 2,000-3,000 steps from your everyday activities, so you don't have to meet your entire step goal from purposeful walking, jogging, or hiking.

Track steps with MyNetDiary

With MyNetDiary, you can track daily steps and set your daily step goal in the "Steps" section of your dashboard.

You can enter your daily steps manually. It is also easy to automatically import your step count by linking MyNetDiary with fitness trackers such as iOS Health, Google Fit, Fitbit, Withings, and Garmin devices.

You may also use MyNetDiary's Step Bonus feature to increase your daily calorie budget for steps above your activity level setting. For example, steps above 4,000 will activate a step bonus if your selected activity level is sedentary. You can view and choose your activity level in Personal Info under the "Me" tab.

Get more steps in your day

It is motivating to watch the steps add up as the day progresses! Use these strategies to add more steps to your day:

Related content:

Is walking good for weight loss? Here are 7 ways to maximize the benefits of your walking workout plan
Nibble on "exercise snacks" to keep active throughout your day
Step Bonus feature: Your reward for moving more!

Original contributions from Kathy Isacks

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Exercise->Walking & Steps
Jun 27, 2022
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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