Walking is a great way to stay fit as it’s something that anyone can do, regardless of their fitness level.
What’s more, with the rise of step counters and step-tracking apps, tracking your daily steps is fast becoming the new craze.
The CDC recommends that you walk 10,000 steps per day to stay in good health.
However, many health enthusiasts are taking it a step further (pun intended!) by walking an astonishing 20,000 steps a day.
Why Walk 20,000 Steps A Day?
Why would anyone want to walk 20000 steps a day, you may ask. Well, firstly, walking is a gentle form of exercise that is enjoyable and doesn’t leave you covered in sweat.
Therefore, anyone looking to get fit or lose weight will significantly benefit from setting the goal to walk 20,000 steps a day.
Secondly, going for a walk has the additional benefit of spending time in nature, something else that is essential for our health and wellbeing.
Therefore it’s a fun challenge for avid hikers and backpackers, allowing you to explore more great outdoor destinations.
How Far Is 20000 Steps?
As you can imagine, the downside of walking 20000 steps a day is that it will take up a large chunk of your day.
If you’re wondering ‘how far are 20000 steps?’ it roughly equates to 15 km or 9.2 miles.
How long it will take to get your steps in will depend on many factors. Your fitness level, walking speed, stride, weight, and height can all determine this.
However, for most people, it takes around 4 hours a day to walk 20,000 steps.
The same goes for how many calories you will burn from walking 20000 steps a day. Of course, the faster you walk, the more you will burn, but your weight and height also play a role.
For example, a 155-pound person will burn:
- 298 calories an hour walking at 3.5 miles per hour (mph)
- 334 calories an hour walking at 4 mph
- 372 calories an hour walking at 4.5 mph
Therefore, on average, this person could burn between 1100 and 1200 calories a day, walking 20,000 steps.
How To Increase Your Number Of Daily Steps
Increasing your steps doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many small changes you can make to fit more walking into your life.
Build It Up Gradually
Twenty thousand steps is a lot of ground to cover, so if you are not already walking every day, start slow and gradually work your way up.
If you set yourself the goal of 20,000 steps a day straight away, you are more likely to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and give up.
So instead, start at 5000 steps a day and slowly increase it over a few weeks.
Break It Up Into Multiple Short Walks
Walking 4 hours at once will quickly take its toll on your body and feet.
What’s more, you will likely find it challenging to juggle this among your work life and other commitments.
Therefore, I recommend breaking the 4 hours of walking into multiple short walks throughout the day.
For example, take an hour walk in the morning, another one around lunchtime, and then a long walk in the evening to reach your target.
Schedule Your Walking Time
Planning your walks every day is essential to avoid running out of time and falling short on your target.
By ‘time blocking’ your hikes, you won’t feel stressed or rushed to get in your steps.
You can also allocate yourself short movement breaks throughout the day, where you stretch your legs by walking for five minutes up and down the stairs or in the garden.
If you schedule in lots of these mini-walks, you’ll find you will reach your target without such an effort.
Walk In Scenic Locations
I’m not going to lie, walking can get boring.
Therefore, use this as an opportunity to travel and explore more. Research hiking trails near you as well as forests and fields that are suitable for walking.
If you live close to the ocean, you’re bound to find plenty of scenic coastal walks too.
Create a list of all the places you want to walk, and start working your way through them. During the week, when you have less time, you can visit the nearest ones.
Then, you can take a trip to a different town and enjoy a hiking adventure there on the weekend.
Opt For The Stairs
There are also some easy changes you can make to increase your step count. The most simple swap is to take the stairs instead of the lift wherever you go.
For example, if you work on a high floor of an office building, taking the stairs every time will significantly increase your daily steps.
What’s more, climbing stairs is one of the best ways to improve your cardio and stamina!
Walk To Work (Or Park Further Away)
PSSST. Your travel medical insurance can now cover COVID-19!
If you grab SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, it’ll be covered just like other illnesses. I’ve been using it since 2019 and I can assure you it’s the perfect solution for nomads like you and me.
Another lifestyle change you can make is to walk to and from work instead of driving or taking public transport.
Of course, if you commute into a city from a suburb, this may not be practical.
However, if this is the case, you can choose to park further away and walk the last kilometer. Or if you take a bus or train, you could get off at the stop before.
Walking to work doesn’t just help you get your steps in, but it will also save you money.
Moreover, suppose you usually find yourself in traffic jams or experiencing delays. In that case, you may even find it doesn’t add much time to your journey.
Take Up Dog Walking
If you find walking on your own boring and none of your friends are interested in joining, walk the dog.
If you don’t have a pup yourself, ask family or friends who have one if you can take it out. I’m sure they will gratefully take you up on that offer.
You could also contact local rescue centers and animal shelters to see if they need any dog walkers.
Unfortunately, most shelter dogs get minimal walking time due to not enough volunteers. Therefore, by taking some out, you’ll be doing an incredible good deed while getting fit.
Use A Detailed Step Tracker
Having an effective step counter is crucial for reaching your walking goal. There are many free apps that you can download on your phone.
However, with these, you will probably miss many steps unless you carry your phone everywhere, including to the bathroom.
Wearable devices like smartwatches are much more accurate. You can put it on in the morning, and it will track every step you take until you go to bed.
Here are my three favorite wearable step trackers that will help you reach your 20000 steps a day target.
1. Fitbit Versa 2 Health & Fitness Smartwatch
Fitbit is the most famous brand of fitness trackers, with many different models to choose from, spanning different price ranges.
Although the Fitbit Versa 2 is one of the more expensive ones, I love it because it offers many unique features.
What makes the Versa 2 stand out is the built-in Amazon Alexa.
This allows you to quickly check the weather forecast before heading out on a walk, set a timer for how long you want to walk, or ask Alexa to schedule walks and remind you.
In this way, Alexa acts as an accountability buddy to help you get your steps in.
I also like the large screen display on the Versa 2. You can easily see how many steps you’ve taken just from a glance.
This Fitbit tracks so much more, too, such as your heart rate, sleep quality, water intake, distance, calories burned, and active minutes.
Plus, it tracks the number of floors climbed so you can see how many extra daily steps you’re getting by choosing to take the stairs.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more affordable Fitbit, consider getting the Fitbit Luxe – which helps you track all the important things. (I have the Fitbit Luxe at the moment.)
2. Amazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker
If you’re not prepared to splash out on a Fitbit, the Amazfit Band 5 Fitness Tracker is a brilliant affordable alternative.
It has many of the same fantastic features as Fitbit, such as built-in Alexa and heart rate and sleep tracking.
One of the USPs of the Amazfit Band 5 is its long battery life.
The tracker lasts up to 15 days before needing a recharge, making it super convenient, as you can keep it on your wrist and let it do its thing.
It’s also one of the best fitness trackers for women because of its unique period tracking system. Band 5 records and predicts your menstrual cycle.
Therefore, you can plan and reduce your daily steps during your period days if needed.
3. YAMAY Smart Watch
The YAMAY SmartWatch is another great step tracker which shows you both your daily steps and weekly total.
This is a valuable feature for those who take ‘catch up days’ on the weekend to make up for the steps they have fallen short of during the week.
This smartwatch has a decent battery life, lasting 7-10 days on one single charge.
It is also IP68 waterproof standard, which means you can keep it on when washing your hands, showering, or swimming.
Therefore, if you often forget to put your watch back on after a shower, the YAMAY step tracking watch is for you.
There are many physical and mental health benefits of increasing your number of daily steps.
Whether you choose to walk 10,000, 15,000, or 20,000 steps a day, you will significantly improve your cardiovascular health and metabolism and boost your mood too!
As a traveler, your health and fitness can dramatically improve your travel experiences as you discover a new country, hike a mountain to enjoy the views, and more!