How To Walk Ten Thousand Steps A Day

Some time ago, someone from on high recommended walking ten thousand steps a day for optimal health and wealth.  Minus the wealth part.  When it was recommended, I was probably taking well over ten thousand steps a day so I sort of ignored it, as one does to advice that doesn’t apply, and went on my merry way.

And then I started a blog.


I’ve become so sedentary over the last few years, tap, tap, tapping away on my computer, that my average daily steps are around, hold your breath, 3,000.  I know.  Shocking.

Walking around Europe snapped me right out of that, but I’ve had a hard time maintaining my daily walks here at home.  I drive the car to the park, to the grocery store, to the pool.  It’s downright shameful.  The obvious solution to the problem is to exercise every day, you know, like you’re supposed to.


Yesterday was my first day wearing my new pedometer and I’ll tell you what, 10,000 really isn’t much but it was hard to come by.  I hit 10,013 at 10:00 pm.

In order for me, in my relatively sedentary lifestyle, to walk 10,000 steps during the day here’s what I had to do:

  • walk 2 miles in the morning
  • clean the house a little
  • go to the pool and swim for 3 hours
  • come home and feed the kids
  • do a few loads of laundry
  • walk up and down the stairs for no good reason other than to hit my goal
  • weed in the garden for an hour

And even after all that, I barely hit the goal.

I’ve got some work to do, clearly. So I’d like to know, are you in the range of 10,000 steps a day?  Are you closer to 30,000?  What do you do to fit all those steps in?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. dani :

    My husband’s company has some health initiatives to lower our premiums and the latest one is getting 10k steps a day. It’s both harder and easier than I thought. If you just get up and do activities throughout the day the 10,000 comes pretty easily (walkin to the dog park and running with our dog help). But if you just want a lazy day? Getting 1k-2k is difficult. On days o work and am on dog park duty it’s easy for me to get 10,000. And days where we work out in the morning usually get me automatically to 10,000.

    • Allison :

      I love that they do health incentives for stuff like that. Totally headed in the right direction.

      Maybe if I had a dog I’d walk more? I’m just trying to make it a part of my everyday routine.

      • katrina :

        Do you have to walk a new tiny pony?! :D

  2. Jenny :

    I want one of those! I wonder how much I walk in a day. We have been riding bikes places, like swimming lessons and the library and places within a few miles of the house, but I always have an excuse. It takes too long, it is hot, it interferes with naps, I can’t get as much done…. blah blah. I finally decided that maybe if I don’t have enough time to do it on a bike then maybe I’m over-scheduled. How does footsteps translate over into pedaling, or does it not count since I’m sitting?

    • Allison :

      Jenny, I got it at Costco, and I’m in love.

      I don’t think it measured anything while I was swimming, which is a shame because I was in the pool forever. But I’m sure there’s a way to track bicycling = footsteps. Someone on the interwebs has to have thought of that surely.

  3. cathy :

    I’m embarassed to ask but I need to know: how can a watch count steps? I had a pedometer that I placed at my waist (close to the hip) but it didn’t work all that well. Thanks for the info!

    • Allison :

      Cathy, don’t be embarrassed! I think it measures pulse? I’m not entirely sure but it’s as accurate as my other pedometers, and it’s a watch too!

  4. Alicia W. :

    I had to wear a pedometer for a couple of classes in college (Exercise Science majors get to do some fun stuff!) and I remember thinking it was not too hard to hit 10K steps. Since I am not running around campus anymore it would be more difficult. I did get my in-laws hooked on using pedometers, though. It’s amazing how having that goal of 10 thousand steps can motivate a person to get moving!

    • Allison :

      In college all I did was walk, now all I do is sit. I’m going to remedy this.

      • Maddie :

        I’m a college student and walking everywhere (and occasional workouts) is probably the only reason I stayed at a reasonable weight with all the late-night edamame binges. Anyone else compulsively eat when they study? No, just me? Shucks. Now that I’m home for the summer with no compelling reason to walk anywhere I feel your pain. And I actually have to drive to the gym(!!)…not going to happen. Sometimes I force myself to go to the mall just because I know I will walk the entire length three times.

        By the way, I love your blog! The homeade beauty recipes are perfect for a gal on a college budget :)

  5. tara pollard pakosta :

    that’s crazy right?!
    with that being said, I TRY to walk 3 miles per day. Some days I do 3.5-4, but some days only 1 mile (and then I try to jog it if it’s only 1)….it’s sooooo hard!!!!!
    I really need to get this watch kind, can you take it in the pool?!
    very cooL!
    I also do workout on the elliptical a few days per week on top of the walks/jogs!

    • Allison :

      You’re a rock star Tara! I’m getting there, but it’s painful.

  6. katrina :

    baaaahhahahh, I highly dought I am even at 3,000… I tell people I am truly surprised as much sugar intake I have and as little exercise I do I am surprise I am not 300 lbs. Luck for me I got good genes :) {to this my European, semi-exercising, husband would comment “is that something to be proud of Katrina”} not really.

    • Allison :

      It’s scary how sedentary I’ve become. Truly scary.