You’ve likely heard that walking 10,000 steps a day is an excellent way to support your weight-loss goals. That’s because walking is a convenient and effective exercise that can help burn calories, boost your cardiovascular health, and elevate your mood. Additionally, those who walk 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day tend to have a lower body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference, according to research published in BMC Public Health.

However, reaching the daily 10,000-step goal can be more challenging than it seems, especially if you’re new to walking or have a busy schedule. Fortunately, we spoke with Kyrie Furr, CPT, a certified personal trainer and performance coach with Barbend, who shares 12 stellar tips for incorporating more steps into your daily routine and achieving your weight-loss goals.

If you’re ready to learn how to easily integrate this low-impact exercise into your daily life and improve your fitness, keep reading for Furr’s 11 expert tips on how you can walk 10,000 steps a day to help you shed some extra pounds.

Set realistic goals.

man tying running sneakers

Setting realistic goals is critical to maintaining motivation and consistency. Like any other health or fitness goal, remember to start with manageable targets and gradually increase your step count to avoid burnout and injury.

“It’s essential to gradually increase your step count over time rather than aiming for 10,000 steps right away,” states Furr.

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Focus on intensity.

woman walking to lose weight concept

The intensity of your daily walks matters as much as the number of steps you take. To bring your walking intensity to the next level, incorporate brisk walking intervals to elevate your heart rate and maximize calorie burn. For example, do brisk walking for one minute straight, followed by one minute of rest, and repeat for 20 minutes.

“Doing intervals of brisk walking or inclines to increase the intensity of your walks can burn more calories and help improve cardiovascular health,” Furr tells us.

Boost your metabolism.

woman stretching boost metabolism with simple at-home exercises concept

Research shows that walking regularly helps boost your metabolism. A higher metabolic rate helps torch calories more efficiently throughout the day.

“Regular physical activity like walking can boost your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories,” Furr explains. “This effect can persist even after you’ve finished walking, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.”

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Add inclines and vary your walking pace.

woman doing walking lunges uphill

To burn more calories, vary your walking pace and incorporate inclines. If walking outdoors, find some hills to climb, or if you’re on a treadmill, don’t shy away from the incline setting.

“By walking 10,000 steps, you’re expending energy, which can help create a calorie deficit. If you burn more calories than you consume, you’re more likely to lose weight,” says Furr.

Track your progress.

fitness man checking watch, concept of exercising for 30 minutes

Consider using a pedometer or a fitness-tracking app to monitor your daily steps.

“Use a fitness tracker or mobile app to monitor your daily step count, distance covered, and calories burned,” suggests Furr. “These tools aren’t 100% accurate but will help you better understand how much you move throughout the day. Tracking can also help you stay motivated and accountable.”

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Switch up your routes.

mature woman in woods demonstrating what daily walking habit does to your body

Switching up your walking routes keeps things interesting and engages different muscles. It can also be a fun and exciting way to explore new cities, neighborhoods, or parks to help keep your walks exciting.

“Try to add variety to your everyday routine. Adding variety prevents boredom and stimulates different muscle groups,” says Furr.

Stay hydrated.

Drinking out of large water bottle

According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics, staying hydrated is vital for optimal physical performance and maximizing the benefits of physical activity.

Furr tells us, “Drink water before, during, and after your walks to stay hydrated and support your body’s fat-burning processes. Dehydration can impair performance and hinder weight loss.”

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Go for morning walks.

woman walking on sidewalk for exercise, concept of benefits for walking after meal

Morning walks kickstart your metabolism and set a positive tone for the day. According to the National Institutes of Health, they can also decrease your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

“Start your day with a brisk walk around your neighborhood or local park,” says Furr. “Aim for at least 30 minutes to start your step count. Plus, morning walks are a great opportunity to appreciate the quiet and stillness before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.”

Don’t fear the treadmill.

fit blonde woman doing treadmill incline walking workout

On bad weather days, treadmills can be a reliable alternative that will help you stay consistent with your walking routine.

Furr suggests, “If the weather is unfavorable, work from home, or you prefer indoor exercise, use a treadmill or walking pad to walk while watching TV, working, or listening to music.”

Parker further away.

fit senior man taking stairs, habits to slow down muscle aging

Parking further away from your destination is a simple way to boost your daily step count. Remember: Every step adds up over time.

“It may seem silly, but park your car farther away from the entrance when running errands or shopping. This forces you to walk more steps to reach your destination,” says Furr.

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Walk your pets.

close-up man walking his dog outdoors

Dog lovers, rejoice! Walking your pets benefits both you and your furry friends. Plus, it’s a fun way to stay active and enjoy quality time together.

Furr says, “Take your dog for multiple walks throughout the day. Dogs need regular exercise, and walking them benefits both you and them.”

Take walking breaks.

close-up sneakers, female walker

Take walking breaks throughout the day to avoid sitting for too long. Frequent walks can improve circulation and help you reach your daily step count.

“Break up long periods of sitting by taking short walking breaks throughout the day. Set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move every hour,” says Furr.

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