If you’ve decided to get serious about your weight-loss goals, you already know that focusing on eating healthy and exercising more are two of the core things to do when it comes to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. But you might just be overlooking another important step when it comes to dropping those pounds. And that’s walking.
Yes, the number of steps you take each day is a key component of not packing on extra pounds!
And that’s crucial during a time like right now when you might not be in the swing of your usual routine. And if you’re looking for more tips to keep you on track, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!
But how many steps do you need to take every day in order to not gain weight?
You’re probably thinking you know this one—10,000 steps. That has been known as the lucky number, right? Well, that number might actually be too low.
See, a 2017 study published in The International Journal of Obesity actually found that 15,000 steps each day is the accurate amount you should be taking.
So how did The University of Warwick in England researchers come to these conclusions? Well, they compared the lives of sedentary office workers to those of mail carriers and discovered that the postal-service workers who walked at least 15,000 steps (that’s about three hours a day or covering seven miles), had normal body mass indexes (BMI), waistline measurements, and metabolic profiles. They were also the only workers with effectively no heightened risk for cardiac disease. On the other hand, the workers who sat for most of each day (some as long as 15 hours) had larger waistlines, higher BMIs, worse blood sugar control and cholesterol profiles, and had the highest risk of heart disease.
But before you assume the only way to improve your health is to switch career paths, don’t get too ahead of yourself. The study had one positive finding for those who work desk jobs where you’re sitting a majority of the day: almost any amount of walking reduced a worker’s chances of having a large waistline and other risk factors for heart disease.
How can you make sure you’re getting enough steps in?
Think about this way—your minimum goal should be closer to 15,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of 2 hours of walking at a brisk pace. So how can you get there? Consider taking a 20-minute walk before, after work, and during lunch. That way, you’re getting fresh air three times a day, which is great for your mental health too, stepping away from work to just move. During the day, consider doing a 2-minute loop around your office or home every 30 minutes. Even walking up and down the stairs is a great way to get your steps in and work up a little bit of a sweat.
Hitting that daily goal of 15,000 steps not only improves your health, but because it helps jumpstart your metabolism, so you’ll be able to efficiently avoid gaining any unwanted pounds. Time to get walking!