Conditioning Without Trying : Walking 10,000 Steps Per Day

Time for a stroll.

Nordic Walking
Nordic Walking.

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.
- George Trevelyan, 1913

Walking is a greatly underrated form of exercise. Whether you're trying to lose weight, increase your conditioning work or simply 'stay in shape'; walking will help you on the way to your goal.

How much should I do?

The commonly cited daily minimum is 10,000 steps (about 5 miles), but really, any amount of walking is beneficial. Just try to do more than you did the previous day or week.

Note that this includes all walking through the day. You'd be surprised at how fast it adds up; particularly if you're on your feet all day at work. The simplest way to measure this is with a pedometer (don't worry, it's a tiny, inconspicuous thing).

When should I do it?

Rather than trying to cover a large distance in a single session (and 5 miles can be quite a lot if you're not used to it), break it down. The simplest way to do this is walk in situations when you'd usually choose another option.

Sometimes this isn't feasible (especially if it's raining), but keep the following in mind as potential leave-the-car-and-walk times :


If you're just starting out on your fitness journey, it can be great to hear from others who have recently taken the plunge themselves. For information and inspiration, try these :

Former Fat Guy 10,000 Steps Forum

Rob has definitely turned his life around, and this forum takes you inside just one aspect of that - walking at least 10,000 steps daily.

The 10,000 Step Guide to Fitness

This BBC News article contains a very interesting look at the mechanism used by a typical pedometer. Rest assured, they've come down in size considerably since those photos were taken.

The Fat Man Walking

Steve Vaught drastically changed things following one simple idea - to walk across the US. That's a long, long way. Wait 'til you hear what he has in mind now.

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This is the third article in this month's series together with Run to Win's Blaine Moore. For previous articles in this series please visit

Walking the Dog
Yard Work


Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 37) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Facebook, the Daily 'Paper'; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

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From the Archives : Conditioning Without Trying : Walking 10,000 steps per day.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. - George Trevelyan, 1913
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