My 7,500 Mile Walk

Over the past four years, I walked 15 million steps – the equivalent of walking 7,500 miles around the perimeter of the United States. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering I did it while teaching college courses, working at a library, completing a second master’s degree, volunteering and still managing to have time for myself.

15 million steps = 7,500 miles walked around the United States.

15 million steps is equvalent to walking 7,500 miles around the United States.

The secret to my success was to walk an average of 10,000 steps per day. Using the standard value of 2,000 steps per mile, the 15 million steps logged on my pedometer (step counter) represent 7,500 miles.

These daily steps help me maintain a healthy body weight. As studies demonstrate, those taking 10,000 steps per day have a healthy body mass index (Allen, 2009; Jackson & Howton, 2008).

Keep in mind, that not everyone walks 10,000 steps per day. Some of us may walk more; some may walk less. If you would like to start a walking program, the important thing to do is to find out how many steps you currently take per day.

When choosing a pedometer, I recommend you select one that has a cover to prevent accidental reset. One pedometer I recommend comes in a “buddy pack.” You should also buy a security strap to keep the pedometer from getting lost. To help ensure your success, you should have a friend or family member join you in your daily step program. Working with a partner will help keep both of you motivated.

10,000 steps

10,000 steps on a pedometer / step counter.

Write down your daily steps for one week, or keep track in a spreadsheet. Once you determine your average number of daily steps, try to increase your total number of weekly steps by three to five percent. Using a weekly average will account for some days when you walk a lot, as well as days when you are less active.

As with any physical activity, check with your physician before starting your exercise program. After you determine your baseline, increase your steps gradually and remember to have fun.  

According to my calculations, I should reach my next goal – 16 million steps – around Valentine’s Day; an auspicious date to promote heart health. Good luck with your own walking program and let me know about your success.

For more information on how a pedometer can support your wellness program, please check out my pedometer research interview and research abstract.

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