How Many Miles You Should Be Walking Every Day To Stay Healthy

Regardless of the number of steps you take, walking for 30 minutes per day at a moderate pace will help to ensure one maintains good cardiovascular health.

By Kristi Eckert | Published


It’s common knowledge that exercising regularly is vital to living a longer, happier, and healthier life. However, the reality is that many individuals don’t exercise enough or, perhaps, are misinformed about how much to get or even what exercises to do. The good news is walking consistently lends itself well to many lifestyles, and you don’t have to complete as many steps as you think.

That said, while scientific evidence strongly suggests that walking 10,000 steps or 5 miles per day provides the ideal cardiovascular benefits needed to keep adults of all ages healthier, you don’t need to adhere to that exact science when trying to get in your daily steps. A report detailed in USA Today highlighted that walking at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes a day, or 150 minutes per week, provides benefits equal to that of following the 10,000 steps rule.

So chuck the pedometers and turn on the timer instead! In all seriousness, however, walking for 30 minutes per day is a far more digestible metric than hitting that 10,000-step mark. Moreover, Michael Fredericson, who works as the director of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation division of Stanford University, explained that individuals don’t have to walk for an uninterrupted period of 30 minutes to see health benefits. Fredericton says that even splitting the walk up into ten-minute intervals will still yield the same results. 

That is great news for those with über busy schedules and very little free time in between! It’s far easier to squeeze out little ten-minute walking sessions each day than to commit to walking 30 minutes at once. Equally so, for those not fond of exercising at all, walking for ten minutes at a time versus 30 can make finding the motivation to actually do it that much easier.

Furthermore, walking each day, in whatever way works for one’s schedule and lifestyle, has become more important than ever, especially in the wake of the pandemic. A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program revealed that in the years following the height of the pandemic, the number of steps individuals in the US are taking each day is in noticeable decline. And the scariest part is that the decline in average steps per day is most notable in young people. 

Dr. Evan Brittain, a researcher on the aforementioned study and an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, cited that his team found that “On average, people are taking about 600 fewer steps per day than before the pandemic began,” but what was most concerning is that those who suffered the biggest losses in steps per day were between the ages of 18 and 30. “In fact, we found every 10-year decrease in age was associated with a 243-step reduction per day,” said Brittain to ABC7

Brittain and his team’s findings are concerning on multiple levels, but perhaps the most pressing concern is that with cardiovascular diseases already on the rise, the decrease in overall physical activity among the US populace will only serve to exacerbate an existing public health crisis. Fortunately, though, it’s something fairly easy to combat should the message be adequately and consistently conveyed. Hence, the main takeaway is to get up, go out, and get walking!