Just 30 minutes of walking per day can come with a plethora of benefits. Before we had the modern conveniences of cars, buses, or other forms of transportation, people walked everywhere, giving them an ample amount of physical activity. Unfortunately, the average American now only takes about 1,600 to 3,000 steps a day! The first goal we usually set for our patients is to move from 3,000 steps a day to 6,000. This is the break-even point. Taking 6,000 steps a day is just about 3 miles. At this point you are burning about the same number of calories you are taking in if you are eating an average diet. The next goal is to increase from 6,000 steps a day to 10,000. At 10,000 steps you are walking about 5 miles and are actually burning more calories than you are taking in. If you are intent on losing weight, this is the level you want to be at.
See the chart below for more benefits of taking a daily walk.
(Adapted from The Seven Numbers by Dr. Scott Conard)