Fitness Trackers: Are 10,000 Steps a Day Necessary?

Do you realise we are living in the Fitbit age? If you are not wearing a wearable device, you are seriously taking the risk of being considered ‘unfit’. Yes, that is how popular fitness trackers and smartwatches are becoming. Wearable sports gadgets like the Fitbit step tracker and Apple watch aim to count how many steps you take and how many calories you burn daily.


Why take 10000 steps a day?

Fitbit claims that taking 10,000 steps a day is the answer to the majority of fitness and health problems people face. But is this fact or fiction? What the Fitbit and other fitness trackers do is motivate and push people enough to get into a fitness regime and reach their fitness goals. Whether this is just light walking, running thrice a week, exercising in the gym every day…whatever your fitness goal may be! Everybody is different and so we all have different health and wellness goals. Your wellness goals and ability will be quite different from others.

Similarly, your fitness mantra also depends on your fitness goal.


How many steps are enough?

The default goal of the Fitbit is 10,000 steps, or roughly five miles, which is equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise a day. But this goal may not be realistic for everyone. So how many steps is enough? Is this goal for you or just a very sedentary person?

Fact is:

The 10,000-step workout does not make sense for everybody.

Fitness experts think people should customise their Fitbit because getting fit and healthy is NOT a competition, but an individual goal. So, before you shop fitness trackers online, ask yourself, “what is my fitness goal”? Your fitness goal will change over time, and it may differ from others.

If you run thrice a week, then you are probably already quite fit.

Adding 10,000 steps to your fitness routine is not going to make you any fitter. You will have to nab more steps to lose weight, thinks Laura Williams, a fitness and diet expert in the U.K. “People who are chronically unfit and inactive, walking 5,000 or 10,000 steps a day will improve their fitness'”, explains Williams.

Here are three popular fitness goals you may have.


  1. Fitness Step Goal: General Fitness and Beginners

Fitness novices and those returning from an injury need to start slowly. Beginners, please buy a fitness tracker to determine how many steps you are taking on average in a week, and increase it by no more than 1000 steps a day. Your goal should be about 5000 steps. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to work, or taking the bus can add extra minutes. Simply parking the car further away from the mall or doing some gardening will also work.


  1. Fitness Step Goal: Weight Loss

Just do some simple math, and you are almost there! Dieticians and nutritionists recommend slow and steady weight loss for long-term results.

In other words:

Aim for 1/2 kg each week, and do it for 6 to 10 weeks. That is 3 to 5 kilos.

Typically 10,000 daily steps will burn 2000 to 3500 extra calories in a week. Since a pound of fat equals 3500 calories, ideally you should lose a pound a week, depending on your pace and workout intensity.

Some people feel better giving their body a little break, while others prefer long-term fitness routines. Always make a note of how you feel and other changes in your health with a new fitness or diet routine.


  1. Fitness Step Goal: Health Maintenance 

Reached your fitness goal? The 10,000-step fitness goal is perfect for maintaining your current fitness level. All it takes is a 30 minute morning walk, and you are 1590 minutes of exercise per week is taken care of. No more exercising or gyms required! Studies show you can cut the risk of a stroke by 20% by just walking. Walking outdoors every morning slows mental degeneration, lower blood pressure, depression, improves sleep, mood, and makes bones stronger, thanks to the sunshine vitamin (D).


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