Between smart watches and apps on our phones, keeping track of your steps is a great way to make sure you’re staying physically active. So many of us work from home or spend most of our time sitting at a desk. So, it can be very easy to lead very sedentary lives. If you’re keeping track of how many steps you take each day, you may wonder how many steps are in a mile.
Here, we’ll take a deep dive to look at step counts and see how many steps you need to take to walk a mile. So lace up those walking shoes, and let’s get started!
How Far is a Mile?
One mile is equivalent to 5,280 feet. For those who are crazy enough to like the metric system, it’s 1609.34 meters. If you’ve ever wondered, a mile is 63,360 inches, 1760 yards, and 160,934 centimeters. You never know.
These nuggets of knowledge may be useful if you ever find yourself sitting in the hot seat on a game show.
How many Steps Are in a Mile?
Coming up with an exact answer to how many steps are in a mile is practically impossible. Everybody’s stride is different. However, a typical person’s stride is between 2.1 feet and 2.5 feet. Using this estimate, it would take approximately 2100 to 2500 steps (5,280/2.5 = 2112 and 5,280/2.1 = 2514) to equal a mile.
The longer your stride, the fewer steps you need to take to cover the same distance as those with a shorter stride. Unfortunately, if you have a smaller stride (typically those with shorter legs), you’ll need to take several hundred more steps.
Is a 30-Minute Walk a Mile?
If you’re walking with purpose, you’ll likely be walking between 3 to 4 miles per hour. That will result in walking approximately 1.5 miles in 30 minutes. If you were to set out for a 30-minute walk and plan to do a mile, you’d be walking 2 miles per hour. This would likely be a slower walk for most people. It would be comparable to the speed you’d expect when out for a leisurely Sunday stroll.
Is a One Mile Walk Good Exercise?
A 1-mile walk can be a great goal for anyone looking to improve their overall physical activity and fitness. While going for a 1-mile walk is typically not a bad thing, it may not be enough for everyone who may already be advanced or in excellent physical condition.
As we stated earlier, the average person would need to take between 2100 and 2500 steps to walk a mile. The Mayo Clinic recommends that Americans work towards reaching 10,000 steps per day. However, if the 10,000 steps goal is unattainable for you right now, setting a goal of walking 1 mile can be a good way to improve your conditioning and endurance as you move closer to that goal. Some steps are better than no steps.
How Many Miles Should You Walk a Day?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps daily, which is between 1 and 2 miles, depending on your stride. However, the recommended 10,000 steps would mean that we should be walking between four and five miles each day.
Thanks to technology, many of us trade efficiency for being sedentary. We don’t walk nearly as much as we should or even what we did previously. Instead of walking down the hall to ask a question to a colleague or co-worker, we shoot an e-mail or direct message them on our work’s chat program. This results in hundreds, if not thousands, of lost steps each day. Over a year, we’re talking hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of lost steps.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is a great option if you’re looking for a way to increase your physical activity. Let’s look at a handful of the benefits those who walk regularly enjoy.
If you want to maintain your weight, walking is a great way to do it. While walking burns approximately 100 calories per mile, it also helps reduce the number of weight-promoting genes. Harvard Health discovered while studying 12,000 people that those who walked briskly for an hour each day had half the number of obesity-promoting genes compared to those who didn’t.
While walking a mile or two each day isn’t enough to counteract eating the extra slices of pizza at dinner or the giant cake for dessert, it can still help maintain weight. It can help reduce the impact of those foods you know you shouldn’t have but choose to anyway.
Improves Cardiovascular Fitness
Your cardiovascular fitness is your body’s ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to your muscles and organs while exercising. If you’ve ever found yourself winded after climbing a flight of stairs or a steep hill on a hike, it’s your cardiovascular fitness telling you something.
The more time you spend walking, the more your cardiovascular fitness will improve. You’ll eventually find that those stairs or hills get easier. You’re likely not going to be nearly as winded. Also, the feeling of your heart beating out of your chest will subside.
Improves Muscle Endurance
Muscle endurance is the ability of your muscles to perform repetitive contractions with force. The more you walk, the more you’ll improve the endurance of the muscles you use. While walking a mile or two may be challenging now, it will become easier the more you can do it. Your muscles won’t be nearly as tired or sore at the end of each walk.
You need to know your limits and avoid exceeding them when you start. Heading out for a 10-mile or 20-mile walk without previous training can cause serious injuries. However, suppose you slowly work up to these distances and make incremental adjustments. When done properly, you’ll eventually feel great after walking several miles more than when you first started.
If you need an energy boost, heading out for a walk may be a better option than another cup of coffee. Research has shown that a brief low-to-moderate intensity stair walking session provided more transient energizing effects than coffee.
Coffee can provide a jolt of energy over a short period. However, the caffeine crash that follows increases fatigue and sleepiness. So the next time you feel like you need a nap, maybe you need to take a timeout and take a brisk lap around the block instead of turning to a cup of caffeine.
Boost Immune System
Everybody wants to have a strong immune system to help fight off germs. Harvard Health studied 1,000 men and women and found that those who walked for at least 20 minutes per day for five days a week used 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. Maybe employers should start encouraging walk breaks.
Is Walking a Mile Worth It?
Depending on your level of physical fitness, walking a mile may or may not seem like a challenge depending on your level of physical fitness. However, most people could greatly benefit from walking a mile. Some individuals pick up walking as a hobby. They eventually find that they enjoy it much more than they could have ever imagined. Some even increase their distances or speeds and work their way up to completing 5K or further races.
It may seem like that sounds like a far-fetched idea. But as Newton’s First Law of Physics states, objects that stay in motion, remain in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. So get out there and get to stepping!
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